You Heard it Here First. Forever.

Let’s play a game of “where were you when you heard…?”

Actually, no – this is a non-interactive blog post, so let’s play “here’s where I was when I heard…”

…hydraulic deathgroin…

When Princess Di died, I was working at the menswear counter in Farmers (my part-time job while I was at University*). We started hearing from customers that something had happened to her – first it was that she was sick or hurt, then that she was dead. I finally got confirmation when I got home that evening and turned on the news.

The 9/11 attacks occurred in the early hours of the morning New Zealand time. I assume I’d been listening to music in the car on the drive in to work; if I’d had the radio on, I’d have doubtless heard about it from that. As it happened, I got to work, sat down at my desk and started my usual checking of e-mails and blog sites. The day’s entry on one of the e-mail lists that I was signed up for ended with something to the effect of “our thoughts are with everyone in New York today” – “Huh. Wonder what that’s about?” I thought. A little while later I wandered out into the main area of the office to find that a TV had been wheeled out and tuned to the rolling news coverage. “Huh. That it’ll be it, then.” I thought.

I heard about Michael Jackson’s death on Twitter.

I heard about the Pope’s resignation on Twitter.

I heard about Margaret Thatcher’s death on Twitter. And, as I was in the process of writing this post, I heard about the bombings in Boston on Twitter. Well, Facebook, but only because I checked it first.

Look, I’m not saying this is a bad thing – the speed at which information can travel around the world through informal networks of personal connections is a wondrous and powerful thing. It’s just the way things are headed now for those of us lucky enough to live in the digital society. Word of mouth now has a hashtag.

When the chemtrail-spewing murderbots finally evolve consciousness and invade, I’m sure I’ll know about it straight away as whatever communication device, sub-dermal implant or genetically-engineered brain parasite I’m using for communication at the time will doubtless light up with dozens of comments to the effect of “That awkward moment when a murderbot ejaculates acid at you from its hydraulic deathgroin” “Face melted clean off! #ttrtpt #killbots” and so on. And I’ll think “Huh.”

And my “Huh.” will be broadcast to everyone who knows me (hashtag #huh), which will be no good, because they’ll all be dead.

*The other day I was shopping there and the person who served me was someone I used to work with back then. Not sure if she recognised me, and I didn’t say anything, because how do you word “hey – remember me? I used to be exactly where you still are now, only that was fifteen years ago!” without having to then watch a person visibly die inside?

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2 thoughts on “You Heard it Here First. Forever.

  1. I heard about the bombing this morning on my radio alarm clock. MJ’s death while in my classroom at school, via the internet, Sep 11 when I got home from the Lakes District with mum and dad and turned on the TV where we were staying, and Princess Di, when mother told me at home. So in chronological order, mum, tv, internet, radio. There is an electronic theme because my mum is a robot clone. The other model lives in an apartment in the city.

  2. Apathy Jack

    I get all my news from Twitter these days. Not because I am a soulless monster of the 21st Century (well, not JUST because…) rather because I go there before – and more often than – news sites. Which means that mostly my knowledge of world events comes from context-less posts such as “What about that asteroid, huh?” which send me scurrying off to news sites in a mixture of faint befuddlement and trouser-ruining panic…

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