Just last week we paused to remember the attacks on the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and United Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 11 years ago; however, by the time we returned home from work and/or evening 9/11 services, we were trying to digest yet another attack on the freedoms that we enjoy which is - YouTube.
Last Friday, my elementary-aged daughter asked me if I knew Sweet Brown. After saying no, she took great pride to expose me to yet another YouTube sensation. Sweet Brown is a lot like Antoine Dodson both of whom were interviewed by reporters about happenings in their neighborhoods that somebody saw and decided to either exploit or popularize – depending upon the lenses through which you see.
Antoine Dodson and Sweet Brown did not intend to become YouTube celebrities. Antoine Dodson’s motto became, “Hide your wife; hide your kids.” Sweet Brown’s motto is, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.” For both Antoine Dodson and Sweet Brown’s on-camera interviews, young and not-so-young technology enthusiasts have had their moments in the YouTube sun with remixing the videos, adding animation, etc. That is what happens on YouTube. Nobody ever really takes the information they see there too seriously, for its purpose is entertainment.
At least in America, what is seen on YouTube is primarily for entertainment.
However, these attacks were more than a YouTube video. Instead, brutish thugs have conveniently used this situation as a scapegoat for protesting. For the first three unpalatable minutes of the video, I asked this simple question of the protesters/attackers: “Really?”
I liken this situation, as grave as it is, to a group of feuding middle schoolers when some misunderstanding occurs, and they begin feuding for no reason. No offense is intended to the angelic, perfectly well behaved, hormonally balanced middle schoolers. In all seriousness, the point is they are children who tend to bicker, make childish mistakes, make up, and move on. This is expected of children, not adults in another area of the world who, based on the signs of protests they carried, took issue with a video clip that “offended their religion.” Even children know that if they follow up every offensive word, gesture, and/or action, they’d be spinning their wheels effortlessly for the remainder of their lives.
Christopher Stevens, Glen Dougherty, Tyrone Woods, and Sean Smith are to be thanked for their commitment to maintaining diplomacy in what has become an undiplomatic environment. Their living has not been in vain, and it certainly supersedes some low-budget, horrendously directed, and even more poorly produced YouTube video.
Furthermore, if Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, also known as Sam Bacile, had some inappropriate, sinister intentions for producing this film, which his cast is now divulging, he will be revealed. I do not know the factual scope of the controversial video depicting the Muslim religion because the religion is of little to no personal interest to me.
I do know that situations like this tend to infringe on the rights that we enjoy, and, yes, that also includes YouTube.