I've found that it's been really impressive how the use of video clips has really grown over the last five years. In the past, I usually avoided trying to play videos online because it took forever to load them. At home I had a simple dial-up connection, so that made it difficult. The computer network at my old workplace had barely enough bandwidth to play clips in a quick manner.
Also, there were not too many websites that actually specialized in hosting people's amateur video clips. Most of the time I would try to skip the video that was included with a news story for fear of freezing up my connection. But now, I have a cable internet connection and have a lot of fun seeing what crazy ideas people come with on web sites like Youtube and Google Video. It really helps when I want to take a small break from homework. I can look up a band that I like or I can see what funny animal videos have been posted.
Now people can even record video on their cellular phones and digital cameras. I've recorded little videos with my wife's small camera. It's fun. At my wedding last year, my dad's video camera broke after the wind knocked it over. He quickly though to use his small digital camera to record the ceremony. You can see his arm holding up the camera in a number of photos that people took. He had to change batteries and a memory card during the recording of the event. What a guy! It was kind of funny.
Then thereâ€™s the other type of videos that bystanders record. Nowadays normal citizens have more of an ability to capture events on video. In the case of the UCLA tasering incident, I think that this is a great help. I hadn't seen the video before yet, and I was shocked at the way the police officers behaved. From what I've gathered about that event, I think that those police officers were very much out of line. They have training to deal with people so they don't have to use force. From what I saw, they resorted to tasering that poor guy right away. They then proceeded to taser him after he was handcuffed. Isn't that a little excessive? I saw at least three officers there. As Paul D. Thacker reported, "NBC reported that students claimed that Tabatabainejad was stunned with a taser at least five times." Was that really necessary?
They could have easily carried that guy out of there after putting the handcuffs on him. How sad. I'm big on catching people abusing their power. I believe that the students that were in that library did a great thing in recording that event and posting it online. I think that recorded video evidence can be much more convincing to people. Especially when the accused party is someone that is supposed to be upholding the law. Web sites like Youtube can be very useful tools when trying to spread the word about something important. But then there are the more questionable reasons that people post videos online.
I was surprised to here that someone had posted the hanging of Saddam Hussein online. Usually you'd think that kind of event would have heavy security to prevent just that from happening. It almost seems symbolic of the United States' bungling of everything over there (Just my opinion). Then there was the video that was posted that showed masked men killing their hostages. How sick is that?? Showing such gruesome videos online is really wrong. What if young kids were to see those videos?
In my opinion showing such horrible video is a step in the wrong direction. When you have such easy access to gory content, there's a chance that people could become desensitized to it. That's the exact opposite of how people should regard those types of events. When presented as a sort of novelty or entertainment, the seriousness of it seems to diminish.
On a lighter note, a professor from one of my classes last semester showed us a Youtube video that was a parody of the movie called Grizzly Man. Grizzly Man was a documentary about a guy named Timothy Treadwell that lived among Alaskan Grizzlies for over ten years. Sadly, He and his girlfriend were killed by a Grizzly. The director of the film took Treadwell's video footage and used it in the film. Though their end was a tragic one, the footage showed how odd Treadwell could be a times. I wrote in a paper for that class that I thought that Treadwell must have been mentally ill. It was more of a film about Treadwell's life, and not his death.
The parody Video was called Hedgehog Man. I'm going to look like a big hypocrite here but I thought it was pretty funny. They were mainly making fun of how goofy Treadwell acted, but I think they were pushing it when they named the main character "Timothy Deadwell." However I think that the justification for the parody might become a little more apparent after you see Grizzly Man.
Asides from all that fun, I was happy to see that Time Magazine named "You" the person of the year. In a way, I think that the internet and Web 2.0 has really helped the worldâ€™s population. As Time stated, "The answer is, you do. And for seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game...â€? The term "digital democracy" really struck a chord with me. It seems to suggest that people's opinions are now unhindered by the borders of their own countries. Now people can bypass the mainstream media and the official watered down talking points. They can express themselves through any of the available digital mediums available like Youtube and Flikr. I think that this could possibly be a great tool for social change.