Sunday, May 01, 2011

These are the Mediums

At 9:56 I saw a ping in my twitter feed that made no sense, something about Obama saying “Mission Accomplished Boyah” and I was confused.

Granted, when you think about it the words twitter feed would have made absolutely no sense in 2001 either.

A minute later the Boy asked if I saw the news.

“What news?”

“Osama bin Laden is dead.”


Two seconds later I was running around the house in a bathrobe, naked as the day I was born underneath, trying to find my phone cord to plug it in to call the Bard. By the time I got the power up there was a text message from her to me about the news.

I called her anyway.

“ I know,” she answered. “I’m watching it right now on CNN.”

“Right. I’m trying to get a live feed of some news service.” I hung up and regretted not having any basic cable service.

I posted a status update to my Facebook page: This is going to be one of those hours that we collectively remember.

Within seconds it had been liked by someone I had not seen in person since 2006.

A minute later I was online on messenger with the Crow:

saradevil: are you watching the news?

crow: I'm listening to CBS news as we speak

crow: the jingoism I'm hearing is terrifying.

As we talked I sent messages to the Irish, contemplating calling Korea to get him on the phone.

Seconds later I got a message from him.

saradevil: News Irish, new!!!!

saradevil: news.

saradevil: Osama bin laden is dead.

saradevil: Obama to be on live t.v. Jesus I was about to call you.

Irish: confirmed

Irish: ??

Irish: they have the body?

saradevil: About to be.

saradevil: Obama has the body.

saradevil: I think they are going to be showing it on live t.v.

Irish: wow

While the talk continued I manage to find MSNBC online, but I could barely stand the coverage. The crazy recaps of bin Laden’s life were painful to watch, as were the shots of crowds gathering outside the White House. The Crow told me to check Al Jazeera online live, but I couldn't get the live feed to work.

The Boy said, “Try their YouTube feed, it’s better.” A second later a messenger window opened on my computer with a link to the Al Jazeera YouTube feed:

It was 10:21.

I was talking to the Boy, Irish and Crow in Korea, and listening to the English feed from Al Jazeera. At 10:49 Obama walked onscreen. I watched the live feed on YouTube; the boy came to sit next to me. Gracey the large black dog wandered over to sit with her head in our laps, assuming that this was the place to be.

The Boy and I hunched over my mini-computer as we listened to Obama’s speech. While we listened the One pops online and asks me how I am doing.

While Obama speaks I typed to her:

saradevil: you watching the news?

one: no

one: whats up

saradevil: Osama bin laden is dead.

saradevil: Obama is on right now talking about it.

saradevil: Tactical strike in Abidabad pakistan today, body is in hand.

saradevil: It's official.

one: thats unexpected but hopefully heartening.

We continued to talk as the Boy and I listened. As Obama closed off and walk away, the Boy and I talked, and then I returned to discussing the events with the Crow while trying not to cringe at the Americans as they rolled across the screen.

I watched as the internet lit up. The Crow pointed out people running a #freaky on twitter about the coincidence between Hitler’s death and Osama’s.

I told this to the Boy, who said he was more impressed by this being the 8-year anniversary of the legendary Mission Accomplished banner.

It was also Beltane.

It was also Labor Day.

There are a lot of coincidences.

It was 11:20 p.m. and I thought about the event, but more so I thought about how we were all experiencing the event. How quickly this news traveled. How I was the person who alerted two of my close friends in another country, on another continent. I watched as the twitter feeds lit up with various messages, I listened online, I chatted with friends, I followed the story. I experienced this entire event in real time in a virtual medium.

11:41 p.m. I finished up, got ready to go to bed. I checked my email, and I read a book on my electronic e-reader while listening to the BBC coverage on my internet radio.

This is the kind of moment that defines a generation. This is the kind of medium that defines a generation.

11:45 p.m. I posted my blog.


Doc Merrkin said...

I didn't find out until I flipped on the tube from the bed this morning. I was listening to my music on the drive home last night, not media.

I wonder how things are going to be today living in Muslim central...

Saradevil said...

Well then obviously I need to go old school and add you to my phone tree. :)