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“Big Search” has been on the prowl for its next magic bullet. Surprise! It’s a noose!

It’s already been a few months since Google spent more than anybody ever spent on cures for diseases to purchase a thing that drew all of its popularity from an element that Google has since set about to dismantle, nevertheless hoping to maintain that popularity.

YouTube would be a curiosity if it only had videos of teenagers setting themselves afire. The fact that it had great stolen content from places like, oh, TV, made it valuable, because that content would otherwise be available only after paying someone something.

Google was attracted by the flashiness of so popular a business, but Google’s lawyers wanted to tamp down some of the legal vulnerabilities around stealing other people’s stuff and then selling it.

So, goodbye Seinfeld, and hello, kids doing nothing.

Or that’s how it was looking, at least, until a little thing called “the hasty execution of a foreign despot live on camera” happened.

Because even though the New York Times decided only to show a little bit of The Snuff Film of the Century, by elevating our awareness at all that there was such a film to be found, the Times (and its many, many brothers and sisters) created all the incentive we’d ever need to search for it ourselves.

Here are the numbers.

I watched one or two versions of it, on the Times at first, and then elsewhere.

It made me feel icky. Morally icky.

So I have a new resolution this New Years. I am going to try to understand what those feelings of moral ickitude mean. I’m going to give in to that sort-of-dirty feeling I have as I type in “saddam execution video” or “saddam execute” or “saddam death” or “death sentence hussein iraq” or “hanging saddam iraq” or “death dictator sadim” or “deth sadam” or whatever it is I’ve so assiduously been typing.

It’s better than saying I’m going to join the gym. That’s crap.

What’s your resolution for the new year?


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