It’s very, very difficult to conceive of a world in which there is no possibility of audio recording at all. Some people were extremely upset by the first Edison recordings. It nauseated them, terrified them. It sounded like the devil, they said, this evil unnatural technology that offered the potential of hearing the dead speak.
So broods Walter Russell Mead, a conservative blogger. He's concerned about Hungary's Fidesz Party, led by Viktor Orbán (pictured left). The analysis and futuring are worth reading. No moe Gothic after the great title, though.
Another New York City elevator Gothic event occurred. This time is was deliberate, cruel murder. By fire, in an elevator's tiny space.
was ambushed in the lift of her Brooklyn apartment building on Saturday afternoon, doused with an accelerant and set on fire with a Molotov cocktail. The suspect had been waiting for her when the lift doors opened to the fifth floor of her apartment building in Prospect Heights,
Security cam images, via the Guardian:
The full story is quite horrific:
The attack happened shortly after 4pm, lasted about a minute and was recorded by two video cameras, including one inside the small lift.
The video showed the lift doors opening to the floor where Gillespie's apartment was located and the assailant stepping in and spraying her.
Gillespie, who had grocery bags in her arms, turned about 180 degrees and then crouched in an attempt to protect herself, he said. But the man sprayed her directly in the face and continued to spray her "sort of methodically" over her head and parts of her body as the bags draped off her arms. She turned and retreated to the back of the lift.
Then the suspect pulled out a barbecue-style lighter, used it to ignite a rag in a bottle and then waited for a few seconds before using the flames to set her alight, causing smoke to fill the lift. The man backed out as the woman fell to the floor of the lift and seemed to pause before tossing the bottle inside the lift on to the woman.
A smartphone captured a bit of real-life crime thriller, as a women apparently shot her son-in-law in the age of ubiquitous computing.
Sal Miglino was going through a messy divorce with his estranged wife and it would appear that her mother, Cheryl Hepner, was definitely taking sides. When Miglino went to pick-up his three-year old son from his grandmother’s house, she met him at the door with gun in hand and started firing. Unfortunately for Hepner, Source. Miglino had his wits about him, as he recorded the event in its entirety on his iPhone.
A modern version of the Shroud of Tourin: the imprint of a pedestrian's face visible on the front grille of the truck that killed him.
The medical article's abstract reads like JG Ballard:
Testimonies disclosed that a 44-year-old pedestrian was struck head-on by a truck while she was roaming on the motorway; at the time of collision, the truck was travelling at a speed of about 90km/h. In the second phase of the collision, the pedestrian was projected about 100m before her body was run over by the truck and then by a car. The autopsy revealed extensive mutilations, making it impossible to verify the testimonies of witnesses to the collision as regards the pedestrian's position at the moment of the first impact. However, the reports produced by the technical expert and the forensic pathologist were able to confirm the testimonies, based on an impact zone on the front panel of the cab of the truck, where part of the pedestrian's face was reproduced like a "modern holy shroud".
Another social media hoax character appeared, this time in Uzbekistan. "Gulsumoy Abdujalilova" appeared on Facebook and through comments around the Web, until she killer herself, apparently.
Using information that members of the Uzbek opposition had received from whomever was pretending to be Gulsumoy, [Elena Urlaeva, a prominent human rights advocate] discovered that Gulsumoy had never lived, much less died. A search in Munich by Uzbek exiles there yielded the same result -- or, that is, no result.
Finding no trace of Gulsumoy's existence, Uzbek activists conceded that the whole thing was a hoax. The Facebook page, which disappeared on December 14 without explanation, was a fake. So was every detail of the Gulsumoy Abdujalilova story: the note, the pictures of her sent to Uzbek media sites, and the phone calls like the one Elena Urlaeva had received.
Kendzior does a great job connecting the hoax to the weird, tense specifics of Uzbek politics. She also draws out some fine hoax issues, like the way detecting one depends on a strong sense of normative identity portrayal. Which is political:
Looking at the page again, there are signs that might stand out for a Western audience: the lack of any real photos (Gulsumoy used a headshot of a Turkish model for her profile picture-- it was openly not her photo, like when someone uses a celebrity's picture as a joke), the dearth of comments from her 114 friends, the use of a pseudonym (she posted under "Gulsumoy Andijon," a reference to the site of the 2005 massacre), and the heavy emphasis on the political over the personal. But to see these as signs of a hoax assumes a normative standard of what a Facebook profile "should" look like...
Many Uzbeks are selective or even deceptive about what they reveal about themselves on Facebook, for they are aware that the government is watching them and know giving too much up could be risky. They use Facebook to access information, not to share it. They use Facebook not to define themselves, but to find refuge, however tenuous, from the state's definition of who they are, what they can say, and who they could become.