3 degrees of separation

About a week ago, someone pointed me to a video clip on Funny or Die (Loving this URL!), asking if I knew who the *enthusiastic* drummer was. The above is the same clip I found on YouTube. It surely is a Korean band, but I had absolutely no idea in what context it was shot and who the performers were. Judging from the setting and the choice of the song, I guessed it was from the late 1950s or early 1960s. Then a couple of days later, I came across a news article up on Cyworld about the clip. It was in the section of ‘What’s Hot on the Internet’. The article didn’t offer anything more than what I already knew. It just said it was up on a site called Funny or Die, and visitors to the site seemed to be amused by the drummer “looking like one of the Muppet characters”.

At the bottom of the article, there was a ‘best reply’ selected by peer users as usual, and this time it offered something the article didn’t even attempt to. “No need to look further wondering who he is. His name is Kwon Sun-Geun, and he used to play in a band called ‘Ad 4’ or something. He’s currently living in Toronto, Canada. How do I know all this? I took drum lessons from him for 5 months or so when I was in Toronto.”

20080409_who_is_the_drummer

There is a possibility that the writer of the comment was just taking the mickey, but let’s say we give him the benefit of the doubt for now. This reminded me of two things. One is that this is not the first time that I witnessed a random individual being tracked down in the twinkling of an eye by a collective of online users. Not entirely about the power of the Internet. Koreans unofficially talk about three degrees of separation, not even six. Everybody knows everybody, which can come as scary sometimes. 🙂 The other thing is that news articles in general are shamelessly incomplete nowadays, at least in the case of Korea, but my interviewees from the both sides of professional journalists and end-consumers of news told me that even so they wouldn’t worry because they believed the comment boxes would complete the story instead. I now understand better what they meant by “news in the Internet age is not a product but a process”.

Enjoy the music!

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