By now, any person who happens to stumble upon this post (along with the majority of the modernized world) knows about the cruel and horrendous crimes that occurred in Paris, France this past Friday. Those, along with all of the other heinous acts (be they so widely covered or not/be political or religious) are an awful mark on our species.
But this isn’t about that, this is about the role that technology and the internet play with regards to these events. That Friday, the day when France experienced one of the worst attacks since Adolph Hitler was in power, I was bored shitless at work. Exhausted and unmotivated due to personal matters, I spent the last few hours of my shift combing over the web. As always, it was a rather bland time shifting through Facebook, Youtube and Google News. As it was, when I went to the news section in Google, there was an article detailing the opening events that would comprise the attacks in Paris.
When it started, it was just a poorly comprised “breaking news” bit, saying that explosions and gunfire had been reported. For the record, I’m not now, nor do I ever expect to be, a journalist, so I can’t speak from experience, but I imagine that trying to report a story as chaos ensues is hellish and trying to keep accurate details is a righteous pain in the ass. However, as I sat there in my swiveling chair, refreshing the page over and over, the death toll began to rise to 18, and from there to 26-40, from there to a couple of dozens and from there up to a hundred or so until the final counts began to declare roughly around 129.
As mentioned earlier, these numbers shouldn’t be news to anyone with a WiFi connection. But, as previously mentioned, that’s not the point. The point, even if it took me an unnecessarily long time to get to it, is the nature of watching a catastrophe unfold. It often feels like one wakes up to or is notified by their social media page of some horrible event that occurred. But not here. Yes, we did see the second World Trade Center Tower get hit by a plane and watch as the two towers eventually fall, but more often than not, we as citizens just see the aftermath. Here, I watched firsthand. Here, I sat staring at a monitor while at the same time, innocent concert goers were mowed down by brainwashed shit-stains appealing to a false notion of “God”.
This is the whole point of this blog: the odd, vaguely-existential notion that we’re watching humanity unfold through the lens of Facebook posts, tweets and media websites. Beforehand, we experienced this through newspaper clipping and major media sanctioned pieces, but now, we vicariously live AND FEEL through the people who are actually immersed in the chaos. We try to empathize with those awful moments, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but one that was nonexistent before this “modern” age. I, as well as many 9-5’ers, sat there glued to their monitors watching as outright define challenges were made, as political stances were reenforced and ultimately as innocent lives were extinguished. From here on out, it seems to be rather reasonable to assume that the modern-day citizen will be able to immerse themselves in the human experience that is living in a Jihadist-based sphere.