Watching live streams of what’s been happening in Ferguson, Missouri, this week might make you question the worth of pretty much everything — not least writing about art and culture. Seeing a town of 20,000 people devolve into something that looks like a war zone is terrifying, as are the visions of the city’s police force pointing weapons at unarmed men and harassing journalists. Meanwhile, the rest of the country is dumping ice water on its head and playing the Kim Kardashian game. But if there’s anything remotely positive to come out of Ferguson, it’s this: the ubiquity of social media, and of cameras in the hands of citizens, means that events like this can no longer happen in a void.
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