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The world accouding to YouTube...

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Message Paul o'Dowd
Try this;

Jump on to YouTube. Hell, get an account and upload a little video of your own if you want. Just have a look if you haven't already.

You can use anything to shoot a You Tube video, from your phone camera or laptop web cam, to a pro video camera. Your piece could consist of a single photo and sound track to an animation built from a string of stills. It could be a six second snip of your dog catching a stick to a highly polished documentary or drama. There are almost no restrictions on content. It can be funny, sad, thoughtful, stupid, weird, political, opinionated. It can be sexy but it can't contain nudity or graphic sex. Can't have that sort of thing, imagine the kiddies saw it!

Absolutely anyone can do it.

There is an incredible amount of stuff there. Lots of very good stuff as well as lots of what could generously be described as utter crap. That's to be expected when anyone can do it.

Another thing that anyone can do on You Tube is to post comments on any video they watch. Not only that but you can post comments on comments.

I'll try not to get too carried away but you can even post comments on comments on comments...etcetera. All at the click of a mouse.

In fact many videos have generated long trails of commentary consisting of numerous conversations between commentators. Not all of them are friendly conversations. Some videos have generated vigorous debate between perfect strangers who have logged on and reacted to what they have seen in vastly different ways.

Here is where it gets very interesting, and soberingly instructive as to the nature of humanity.

Among the many contributors to the You Tube archive are military personnel on duty in the Middle East. Some appear to be videos that soldiers with handy cams and video phones have uploaded. Others are of a more official nature and consist of tactical footage and are preceded by a frame of text in English or Arabic describing the military unit releasing the images and often with a short background explaining the action. Both sides are posting clips for all to see.

These military contributions depict soldiers engaging their 'enemy' on the ground and from the air. From hidden positions sniping targets or calling in air-strikes, to full frontal, guns blazing attacks filmed in helmet cam or from the infra-red targeting cameras of aircraft delivering their deadly payloads.

They are breathtakingly graphic. You will see people running for their lives, and you know that you are among the last to see that man, woman or child alive before, in a camera jolting thump, they are converted into a stain on the landscape.

Now go to the comments section.

What you will discover is the most incredible series of sickeningly aggressive and almost universally illiterate rants in support of the actions depicted in the videos. These rants are from what we are to believe are normal members of the public responding to the clips they watch. The vast majority of the comments loudly cheer the staggering, mind-numbing overkill. It is surreal in the extreme.

On the rare occasion in which the actions are questioned, the person who posts the comment is viciously lambasted by a succession of apparently highly agitated and obviously under-educated 'patriots'.

I would be tempted to guess that a good number of these replies are from PsyOps personnel except it seems that most of them are written by folk who seem more than just a little bit retarded.

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Paul is a naturalist, expedition leader for education and conservation biology research and a fixer for the film industry. His "day job" is as a marine biology educator on the Great Barrier Reef. After training as a photojournalist Paul left (more...)

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The world accouding to YouTube...

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