26 April 2013

Karma Kami Matteoli on

Who would have thought, that even before 2DayFM got into the London inquest for suicide Jacintha Saldanha, that the dramatic arc would be repeated? (rhetorical, answer – nobody).
The entire (well-fed) world came down like a ton of bricks onto Mel Greig and her colleague after they did something they had done without drama more than once before, when they did it to a person who unknown to them of course,  just happened to be chronically depressed.
When the FBI asked for members of the public to come forward if they recognised the men who might be the Boston Marathon terrorists, Kami Mattioli thought one resembled Sunil from her school class of 13 years ago. The sometimes UNsociable Network Of The Usual Suspects gave this an instant virtual explosion almost as harmful as the actual one.

                                                       "and then hit Reddit"

Now only her 6000 Followers can post comments to her Twitter and she is no doubt bracing herself for the virtual/ethernet lynch mob, after she tried to do the right thing.  Unfortunately, as with 2DayFM and Nurse Saldanha, this involved a chronically depressed person.

He has now been found dead, but was aware before this, that he had been mistakenly suspected, and had emailed various friends to set them straight. I would risk serious money betting that Ms Mattioli has never heard of the 2DayFM phone prank, or of Nurse Saldanha.
The student, Sunil Tripathi was a Brown University philosophy major nearing graduation and ‘was last seen on March 16 on a surveillance camera after leaving his apartment at 1:33 a.m., and his family has been frantically searching for him for a month. There is no evidence tying Tripathi to the bombings.’ ‘6 feet 2 inches tall. Tripathi left his apartment without his wallet and cell phone. ABC News reported that he was "possibly depressed and left home without any of his belongings."’ A Facebook page dedicated to finding Tripathi was taken down by his family late Thursday night after suspicions about his involvement in the Boston bombing were posted on Reddit. The Facebook page was flooded with comments that were quickly deleted before the page was taken down.'

Alexis C Madrigal lays out the sequence of events on The Atlantic magazines website, but this was written pre-suicide and could disappear if the legalities that follow a death require it. Even this (pre-suicide) April 19th Buzzfeed report by Andrew Kaczynski might disappear, and it is good so please read it while you can.
It is ridiculous of me to even dwell on all this when elsewhere there is massive repression, starvation, corruption, and mass deaths of various kinds every day, but nobody would argue with my opinion of those things. There are many suspicious things to discuss with regard to The Saldanha Inquest, and the similarity of this situation required addressing.
Sunil had taken leave with permission from his philosophy course and had gone bush. His emotional state was apparently known to be fragile. If it had not been, he would have returned and probably been propelled with Kami into their 15 minutes of fame and laughed the whole thing off while raising money for the injured victims of the real bombers.
But he was fragile and now he is dead and it is not her fault, just as the death of Jacintha is not the fault of Mel Greig.
The Tripathi parents will probably not have the confluence of a Keith Vaz, MP, and a posh hospital to propel them into legal action and claims, as with Nurse Saldanha, but the tabloid public have been flung fresh sustenance in Ms Mattioli. Poor girl. What happens next will affect any future assistance the FBI might get from The Public.