Now Playing: Born Slippy
In first, a story: when I was touring with Kraftwerk in 1977, Ralf Hütter and the band pulled a hilarious prank where I was stripped naked, bound and thrown from the van at high speed in the middle of a European forest. I spend days lost, hungry and starving before I happen upon cave. In the cave were some bear cubs, abandoned by their mother – naturally, I chose to consume the cubs to gain their strength. However, as I began, their mother returned.
We fought bitterly, tearing at one other with teeth, fangs and claws, and the bear fought too. I learned many things that day, such as bears make as dangerous an enemy as they do a lover. Unfortunately howevers during fight the cubs were squashed and killed. A deep silent grew while the bear and I realized what had happened. Naturally the bear and I then feasted on the remains, bonding in a way that time nor species could rip asunder.
Years later I and Sasha (whose name I learned through un Animal Psychic) were still close friends, until of course I was forced to drug her and put her in a rocket for Mars due to creative differences. The question is, what does this have to do Media 140?
I attended the Sydney conference, how you say, in cog neato, so that I would not overshadow the conference. Sometimes in the shadows, sometimes suspended from le roof, I watched and absorbed all that I could.
There were many interesting point thoughts raised but one of the biggest debates that kept coming up was the debate of journalism versus blogging/citizen journalism and the risks of social media.
The problem that I see with this, my little Bratwursts, is that it is a debate that is silly and wastes time: each side is too busy reinstating it’s position – journalism defending a set of ivory tower principles, while the bloggers obsess over inflated egos, skewed numbers and self righteous distaste for ‘old media’.
For a conference about the future of journalism and the media, most focused on who had won in the past and who, based on the way the world stands today, will win in the long run – the lack of vision for the future was deafening.
Much as I learned with Sasha, the obsession with the debate, which is one that for the most part the world doesn’t really care about, is the dangerous thing. I, like the bloggers and citizen journalists, saw an opportunity in that cave that day and sought to take what I could get. Sasha, as with journalism, became enraged at the risk to her precious cubs and reacted violently. In the end though the real losers were the cubs, as each of us were too busy fighting to see what we could do for one another.
(Sure, Sasha probably would have won that day, she was stronger and I was much younger, less experienced in fighting bears. But now, after years of Akido and a regiment of shark steroids, I feel I would have a much better chance. Take from this what you will in regards to the media debate.)
So, please, consider what harm you do to the cubs. When I rode Sasha into Düsseldorf weeks later, our strength came from the fact we had each taught each other something – surely that would be a better endeavor than fighting over who has already won a debate that won’t be decided for years?
And that’s my two francs…