The zeitgeist of the YouTube generation

Much media hype about Apple's iPhone. Less media hype about another handheld electronic device launched at last week's Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show. The Taser C2 is a 'personal protection device' using the electro-shock technology from Taser's law enforcement product range. The Taser website says: 'Unlike conventional weapons the Taser C2 discharge can work anywhere on the body, making it easier to stop a threat under stress than other self-defense options.' Taser 'citizen defense' systems can be bought online from the company's website, of from The Taser C2 will be available to the public in April 2007 for $299, and comes in a choice of four colours.

Taser devices are used by more than 10,000 police agencies in 40 countries. The Amnesty International website says that 'since 2001, more than 70 people are reported to have died in the USA and Canada after being struck by M26 or X26 Tasers, with the numbers rising each year', and goes on to say 'the use of stun technology in law enforcement raises a number of concerns for the protection of human rights. Portable and easy to use, with the capacity to inflict severe pain at the push of a button without leaving substantial marks, electro-shock weapons are particularly open to abuse by unscrupulous officials, as the organization has documented in numerous cases around the world.' Now follow this link to experience the zeitgeist of the YouTube generation, and this one to find out about the Pentagon's manna from heaven.

Now playing - Anton Webern's orchestration of the Ricercata from Bach's Musical Offering played by the Münchener Kammerorchester conducted by Christoph Poppen (ECM 1774). As a leading member of the Second Viennese School Anton Webern (right) helped develop the twelve-tone system. He was accidentally shot dead in September 1945 by an American Army soldier in the Austrian village of Mittersill. The shooting happened five months after hostilies ended in Europe.

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Pliable said…
A reader from the US writes:

Your post on the citizen model Tazer (in four colors, no less!) has struck a painful chord. Last month, at a strip club near here a guy went berserk over a broken relationship and killed two people with the “citizen model” of the military’s M16 rifle (only the AR-15 is semiautomatic, as the gun-lovers point out, as if the difference between the ability to shoot 20-30 bullets at a time is only a fraction worse than a single-shot weapon). It was at 2 in the morning as the club was about to close—I happened to be lying awake and could hear the gunfire where I live, maybe 1.5 miles away.

It isn’t the fact of the guns (or Tazers) themselves as it is the culture here in America, with life cheaper than a high-definition TV or an iPod and so many angry, alienated people who staked their happiness on money and things (after all, killing for a woman or man is an act of wanting possession, not emotional bonding).

And people here are terrified of gay marriage, as though it would entail anarchy and death. Whose culture of death is it anyway, to paraphrase a famous play title?

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