Sunday, April 21, 2013

"I'm a Stress Free Kind of Guy": On Dictators and Other Bad Guys

o "I'm a Stress Free Kind of Guy." And with those words, Boston bombing suspect Dhzokar Tsarnaev tweeted his last social media message -- although we suspect the words didn't accurately capture the 19 year old's true feelings.  False bravado can feel awfully good when you're not under pressure.

o Friday night in the US was highly reminiscent of the famed OJ car chase from June 1994.  Separated by almost 19 years, the two incidents highlighted television's unique ability to captivate our imagination as no other medium.  Although there was one key difference, and it could spell television's ultimate downfall: social media.  Watching reporters on TV felt, for the very first time, like reading a newspaper: television was reporting the "old news," while social media was crackling with all of the up-to-the-minute, vivid details.  Combining Reddit and Twitter with the internet's ability to allow one to listen to the City of Boston police scanners, social media was 10-15 minutes ahead of lamestream media in reporting the details of what was happening Friday night.  Tsarnaev was hiding in a boat?  Social media had it at 7:09 pm, complete with a photo of said boat (via Google earth and Bing); NBC news "broke" that little bit of information around 7:30 pm.  To this viewer, television's hegemony on breaking news feels like it is gone -- the laptop (or iPad, iPhone, etc.) has now become the go-to device to keep up with all the latest. 

o Good grief: could this guy look any more like Doctor Evil, even if he tried?  Loading seven guys onto the front of a very small boat is never a good idea, but it's even worse when you are trying desperately to prove that your country is a world power.  Next comes the demand for "one million dollars"....

This is farlieonfootie for April 21.

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