[-empyre-] online or in-body?

Timothy Conway Murray tcm1 at cornell.edu
Tue Dec 9 13:48:31 EST 2014

Renate's remarks about the disconnect between voting and online access
reminds me to mention the disconnect I felt on Thursday, the day after the
crazy Garner decision. Thursday marked 45 years since Fred Hampton and
Mark Clark were assassinated by Chicago police while sleeping in the Black
Panthers headquarters in Chicago.  At that time, details of the killings
were sketchy and crawled at a snail's pace across the globe as readers
depended on the minimal reportage of the traditional news media for
information.  Reactions and demonstrations lagged, confounded by the
conflicting news of the media and the delays of national and international
communication.  Flash forward to 2014 when organized blogs and social
media sources parse conflicting information while organizing responses in
almost the same breadth.

Yet the global demonstrations organized via social media, whether in Hong
Kong, Mexico City, New York  or St. Louis, are notable because of physical
performance.  While the floodnetting of the Mexican government hasn't hit
the New York Times, a modest die-in at the Apple Store on 5th Avenue or an
umbrella assemblage in the streets of Hong Kong receive international
media coverage, enhanced by the speed of digital media.

I'm wondering what we make of the disparity between the effectiveness of
online versun in-body demonstration and social action?

Timothy Murray
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
Director, Society for the Humanities
Curator, Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media
A D White House
Cornell University,
Ithaca, New York 14853


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