The Great Seduction

123603_mFor anyone who hasn't seen it yet, the cover of Jan 29th's New Yorker captures the absurdity of our current obsession with user generated content.

It's a picture of a little boy in pajamas with a cellphone walking into what one hopes is his parents' bedroom and taking a cell phone picture of a startled man and a woman in flagante delicto.

Gotcha! Hollaback-Kids style. This is pajamas media as filmed by lots of little amateur Alfred Hitchcocks. Rear Window filmed in all our bedrooms. How Hitchcock, the old Catholic, would have laughed. We've all gotten exactly what we deserve.

It would be hilarious if it wasn't so scary. How long before a kid takes a photo of one parent doing something naughty outside matrimony and publishing it on their website? How long before some Web 2.0 entrepreneur really does develop Hollaback-Kids?

Remember that in Nineteen Eighty-Four it's the kids who scared Winston Smith much more than the adults. And remember that in Stalin's Russia and Hitler's Germany, it was the kids who really did inform on their parents.

So next time little Alfred points his cell phone at you, don't smile too widely. And make sure your fly in zipped up and your blouse properly buttoned.