Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide

Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide

Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide

Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide

Excerpt

The story circulated in the fall of 2001: Dino Ignacio, a Filipino-American high school student created a Photoshop collage of Sesame Street's (1970) Bert interacting with terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden as part of a series of “Bert Is Evil” images he posted on his homepage (fig. I.1). Others depicted Bert as a Klansman, cavorting with Adolf Hitler, dressed as the Unabomber, or having sex with Pamela Anderson. It was all in good fun.

In the wake of September 11, a Bangladesh-based publisher scanned the Web for Bin Laden images to print on anti-American signs, posters, and T-shirts. Sesame Street is available in Pakistan in a localized format; the Arab world, thus, had no exposure to Bert and Ernie. The publisher may not have recognized Bert, but he must have thought the image was a good likeness of the alQaeda leader. The image ended up in a collage of similar images that was printed on thousands of posters and distributed across the Middle East.

CNN reporters recorded the unlikely sight of a mob of angry protestors marching through the streets chanting anti-American slogans and waving signs

Fig. I.1. Dino Ignacio's digital collage
of Sesame Street's Bert and Osama Bin
Laden.

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