You can debate the actions of the police in this video all you want. But what I want you to think about are two things:
1) 250,000 have watched this video on Vimeo in 3 days. Yesterday Huffington Post put it up. Now its on Digg, on LiveNews Australia, and who knows how many blogs (like this one). By the end of the day today, I’m sure more than 1 million people will have watched this video.
2) Keep an eye on the crowd in this video. They are the real story here. They stand around in a semi-circle a respectful distance from the action pointing their camera phones. As the situation escalates, the number of cameras recording the action increases. Is this citizen journalism, an activist public intent on monitoring the scene? Or is this prurient Peep recording – chronicling another person’s confusion and misery because they know other people will find it entertaining?
*If the police had pulled out their night-sticks and started savagely beating this man, would anyone in this crowd of mesmerized photographers have intervened?
*Why will millions of people watch this six minute clip? (Here’s a clue: a very enthusiastic Huffington Post introduced the video this way: Herewith, the best Tasering video since ‘Don’t Tase me bro!’)