Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Old 2.0

So two Sunday's ago a read this article in the City Weekly section of the Boston Globe and got all heated and wrote a letter. They quickly called and asked permission to use my letter, but then they didn't print it.

Because I hate effort with little or no reward, here's the letter I wrote.

I've found that my editorial judgement varies greatly from the folks at the Globe... meaning I'll print any stupid thing that any nutcase will write.

I'm not embarrassed for Boston. I'm embarrassed for the old people of Boston. The Boston Police Department pride themselves on having the oldest police force in the United States. With this successful marketing incident, they may have proven that ‘oldest’ doesn't only mean longest running.

Although I think the BostonPD responded well to an unknown situation, the same can not be said for Boston’s second ‘oldest’ institution, its aging mass media. The best of user generated web content (Web 2.0) consists of several audiences informing each other. It can be a platform for people with ideas to get them out to people who are interested in ideas. This seems opposed to the more senior form of media (Globe/Herald/4/5/7) that often seems intent on promoting fear, condemning imaginary evildoers, and terrorizing its audience.

Like the people who weren’t clued in to the Orson Welles’ "War of the Worlds" broadcast, a group of people with large soapboxes ran around like chickens with their heads cut off. Unfortunately for them, being headless makes it very difficult to save face. So cutting off the heads of a couple of young artists will have to do.

Although I’m bordering on old, I’m not embarrassed for Boston. This event shows my town as the home of artists that can bring a city to a standstill. It’s the home of “plugged in” comedians that can poke fun at a media/police/mayoral circus. It’s the home of new media producers that will now have plenty of material for those slow news days when Apple doesn’t have a new iPod coming out.

It is also the home of the most entertaining press conference of all time. That is unless there is some footage on the internet somewhere of artist and rabble-rouser Paul Revere, after being captured on his famous ride, meeting ye olde British Press, refusing to take any questions that weren't about powdered wigs.

John Coyne

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