Monday, 25 July 2011

The 2.0 King of Comedy

This summer's blockbuster seems to be the Norway killings.

Of course, this is a disrepectful and shocking way to begin a post on such terrible matters. I regret the meaningless loss of life; I mourn the slain victims - many of them just kids; my heart is with all the Norwegians, and all the rest of  Europeans; I silently pray for them all.

Of course: but talking about a movie blockbuster and putting De Niro on my post is a better way to get your attention. Soon after the news of the attack was broken the international journaille was talking about a - ├ža va sans dire - jihadist terrorist attack. Imagine the disappointment at Fox and many other newsmills when it turned out that the killings were the act of an apparently lone single killer, 32-year old Anders Behring Breivik. For lack of a Jihadist background, the attacker has been soon described as far right winger - a nazi. He has to fit a recognizable role, after all.

Nowadays journalists work online a lot: yesterday I saw one of those new talking heads at CNN. In the 90s during the Gulf War they had much more style and substance. These days you get to see a gesticulating jocular buffoon, with a gesture-enabled big flat screen: one slide after the other the journalist explained how they had examined the 'social footprint' of Breivik. The electronic traces all of us, more or less, leave on the Internet, especially on social networks. Here's his facebook photos, there his twitter account. Here his John Stuart Mill quotation, there his favourite book and his favourite TV series.  How keen on CNN's part, not to mention the a gazillion other newsites on the net and elsewhere.

Almost all the photos posted have something peculiar: they're not taken with a webcam or a digital camera in self shot mode. They're portraits shot by a professional photographer. It's not that unusual for a facebook profile: based on my limited social network experience I'd say that 1-2% of all profiles sport professionaly made photo portraits. But those profiles are actually used over time (if only to waste it, but they're used). Breivik opened his FB account, I read, only a week ago.

His Youtube video was uploaded the day of the attacks: I personally thought it was the work of some 'jackal' but it seems it isn't. His 1500 page PDF 'Manifesto' is all over the Internet now, and if anything it shows a deep familiarity with how the 'Web 2.0' social networks work. For example he's urging his readers to backup the videos he posted as soon as possibile, as they could not last long. The YT video was blocked in just a few hours (but again, news outlet all over the world are effectively mirroring it, not to talk about the other photos and profiles).

Contrary to many other similar cases, Breivik has not turned his rifle on himself. As far as we know he hasn't even tried, and reading his 'book' he didn't expect to. He's collaborative and talkative with the police, he wants a public trial.

His manifesto, as I said, is all over the net. Il Corriere della Sera, Italy's most read newspaper has mirrored an entire copy of it on its website, detailed instructions on how to make an AFNO car bomb inclueded. It's going to be an instant success on news sites, social networks, file sharing venues.
It has been compared to the UNABomber's Manifesto. From an intellectual point of view Ted Kaczinsky was on another level - just as crazy, but more learned and 'technically' intelligent and 'philosophically' 'deep'. Nonetheless to be published on conventional media it required the menace of further crimes, FBI approval, and Bob Guccione's bravado. Now a rough work mostly put together cutting and pasting from the wikipedia is posted voluntarily by thousands and thousands of sites, with the killer already in handcuffs and no urgent need to do so.

Anders Behring Breivik is the Paris Hilton of terrorism. He has starred in his own porn movie to gain attention, to rise above the background noise of the net. He has purportedly created his 'social footprint' in order for it to be 'discovered' by the airheads at CNN and at the other web surfing journalim joints.
He has successfully built a car bomb and successfully machine gunned dozens of young people just to increase his clickthrough.

And for the moment, he has achieved his goal.

1 comment:

  1. Ciao buona sera ,potresti passare nel mio blog vorrei sapere se si vede grazie saluti ciao Riz