Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Neda Soltan and I'm not going to post the link

How many millions of people have seen her die? I watched the real time coverage (whatever that means anymore) on June 20th on CNN. At the time, they weren't showing her face. At the time, the young turks in the newsroom were just as impressed with the technology as they were with watching a young woman die in Tehran.

I realized in that moment exactly what Marshall McLuhan meant when he said, the medium is the message. The latest and the most accurate information about a coup d'etat, a major political upheaval, was coming from a social networking site, FaceBook, and from Twitter. Not from a Walter Cronkite, or a James Brokaw. And not The New York Times. But from the same place where we preen and strut for our friends and colleagues. Talk about a shift in the paradigm.

Then, later, I did watch the unexpurgated footage on YouTube. I'm not going to post the link. I don't want to participate in, or celebrate the technological medium that has made this possible. I only wish to write a brief eulogy for a young woman who died in a very public way--- while her city was rocketed by political and religious violence.

1 comment:

  1. Like so many of our technological advances - they can be both a blessing and a curse. It is great that her tragic death did not go unnoticed and at the same time it is somehow terrible/freaky that her death could be recorded and spread so quickly and that "millions of people have seen her die".

    The same internet that is full of so much total shit is the very method by which I stumbled upon your blogs. If the shit pump didn't exist, then I would not be able to read and enjoy your thoughts. Go figure!