Something has changed drastically in our society since I was a stripling.
That "something" is computers.
I can remember when there weren't any personal computers at all. I can remember when telephones were hooked to the wall. I even pre-date cordless phones.
Now everyone has a phone with them, all the time. (Except for me. I either lose or misplace or forget my phone frequently. I have never gotten used to having a phone on me all the time.)
Big Brother and Big Business are watching us as we use our computers. But there's a flip side to that. Equipped with phones that can record video, we are now watching Big Brother.
I call this the IPhone Rebellion.
If a police officer uses unusual or excessive force, someone might catch it on video and post it to the Internet. This has happened frequently over the past few months.
We had a situation in Baltimore, Maryland in which a young man was killed during the initial stages of arrest by the police. Has this ever happened before? You betcha. Has it ever been recorded on a cell phone? Not in Baltimore.
Who among us has not recoiled in horror at the video of that young person being dragged by police, his face twisted in agony? Speaking for Anne Johnson here, I was horrified. And I'm not young or African American. I cannot even imagine how African American citizens are dealing with this emotionally.
There are riots in the streets of Baltimore. I am calling this the second incident in the IPhone Rebellion. Someone snaps a video, loads it onto the Internet, everyone sees it, and some people react. Then we get soldiers on city streets, with armored vehicles and guns.
We also get alliances between urban gangs who have longstanding rivalries.
What do you call this? I lived through the 1960s, and I do know that rebellions are squashed with impunity in this country. But we have the Internet now. What are they going to do? Shut it down?