The phenomenon of the moment on YouTube is the breakup of Ryan Burke and Mindy Moorman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Burke found out Moorman was cheating, and set up a public humiliation for her. The innovation is that he advertised it ahead of time on Facebook, and hundreds of people showed up. She came to the Pit, a public square at the university, for a "surprise." An a capella group serenaded her with a somewhat odd choice of song (the Dixie Chick's "I'm Not Ready to Make Nice"). Then he dumped her. She, taken aback, responds with a torrent of condescension. The crowd eggs them on for nearly ten minutes. He walks away first.
There has been some suspicion that the whole thing was staged by both of them. It doesn't look that way to me. I think he is surprised at how much publicity there has been.
I was struck by how they attacked one another. In that sense (and only in that sense) it does not much matter whether her response was spontaneous or scripted. The particular insults they, and the audience, chose were revealing. It is very hard to hear what they are saying, but he appears to call her a slut. At one point the crowd chants "Slut! Slut! Slut!" She responds by asking him if he is gay, asserting that "I am a woman and I have needs," and suggesting that he has a small penis. The crowd then chants "Small penis! Small penis!"
His position is that if she had sexual relations with another man, she deserved whatever humiliation he could think of. He appears to have no self-knowledge or critical reflection. Her response is also entirely in sexual terms. Neither of them makes reference to any deeper aspect of their relationship – no emotional connection, no intellectual engagement, not even the material gifts they gave one another. And no love.
Ryan Burke is clearly an ass. She is no prize, either. What is most striking to me about the whole spectacle, though, is that their entire relationship seems to be sexual, and they have no qualms about parading that in public.