Brisbane (Australia), 2021: Three cops arrest a man for taking a walk

What’s wrong with this picture?

It’s not just what those three cops did, but what those civilians did, and didn’t do, while it was happening. Yes, they filmed it; and that’s great, because we wouldn’t know it happened if they hadn’t.

But how exactly did their filming his arrest help that guy, when he needed help? And how could their belatedly uploading such outrageous videos make any difference? So a million others too are (even more belatedly) outraged by what happened—so outraged that they… share the video. So what?

No matter how well-meaning, those who just play cameraman to such outrages aren’t much different from the corporate camera crews whose job it is to get hot images to jolt the (captive) audience a little more, to win more ratings points and advertising dollars. (For some interesting cinematic takes on such routine exploitation, see, e.g., Medium Cool and

In neither case does such recording make a difference in what’s being recorded: on the contrary. Instead of making videos of such repression, those who think it’s wrong should drop their phones and intervene, so that the cops think twice about enforcing such illegal laws and sick “health” regulations.


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