A TV news reporter for a Los Angeles station was doing an on-camera report on the Grammy Awards Sunday night, and suddenly her speech became garbled. Was she having a stroke on the air?
The newscast quickly cut away when it became apparent that she was in trouble. But by the next morning, televised news reports were making it part of their Grammy coverage. (One AOL.com page featured the incident at the top of its five "memorable moments" from the Grammys.)
The video went viral on the internet. At the UK Telegraph website, where we caught up with the video showing her sudden slurred speech, 9,388 people noted they "liked" the video with a thumbs up signal and 6,027 recommended it to Facebook friends.
People couldn't turn away. They were drawn to it, watching the images over and over with the same kind of grim curiosity that compels drivers to slow down and gaze at a fatal car crash -- drawn often by a subconscious fear that the same thing could happen to us. By observing it in other people, we have our own experience of it, but at an emotional distance. The more we observe terrifying events happening to other people, the more they reinforce our sense of denial and detachment: It can't happen to us.
February 18, 2011
February 17, 2011
Ken Jennings, contestant on Jeopardy! famous for winning 74 games in a row, borrowing a line from The Simpsons to congratulate his computer opponent, Watson, for handily winning a three-day competition.
New York Times