The world is an internet forum
Racial and sexual insults? Death threats for voting for healthcare reform? It's the kind of thing that happens every day online
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 27 March 2010 11.00 GMT
By now we've all heard of the protesters shouted racial and sexual epithets at some House Democrats as they made their way to hear President Obama speak to his party this weekend to encourage them to pass the healthcare reform bill. Emanuel Cleaver was apparently spat on, Barney Frank was called a faggot, and John Lewis was called the N-word. And on Wednesday, CBS released some of the messages left for Bart Stupak, calling him, among other things, "a baby-killing motherfucker" for his decision to support the healthcare bill that President Obama signed into law on Monday. At least 10 members of Congress have received death threats.
I hardly find this surprising. Not because I'm a liberal, and not because I feel that these people are the crazy fringe elements of the world looking for a place to vent. And not because we saw it last summer at the town hall meetings. I'm not surprised because our tactile, physical world has become like the internet, and this kind of thing is normal there (here).
In Understanding Media, Marshall McLuhan explains that, "The 'message' of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs." It's the thought process behind his famous assertion that "the medium is the message". In other words, McLuhan said, something like the railway (the medium, or "extension of ourselves") didn't introduce humans to the idea of transportation, but rather altered human perceptions and functions as they related to distance, leisure, and work...link to complete article