Google Glass-Wearer Shatters Window While Watching YouTube ... You Read it on Twitter
When the X-axis of our malevolent hopes for society meets the Y-axis of reality, a sort of nirvana is reached.
Man wearing Google Glass breaks window after walking into it while watching YouTube on El Camino Real near Calderon Ave.-- MV Police Blotter (@MVPoliceBlotter) August 2, 2013
In the primordial days, we used to clip schadenfreude-inducing news stories out of the paper and affix them to the fridge. More recently, your Uncle Ron e-mailed them to you. Now, there's Twitter.
So when the above tweet from the official-looking account @MVPoliceBlotter began ricocheting around the Internet on Aug. 2, many cackles and retweets ensued. Per the author of the tweet, it was circulated by several official accounts of local newspapers and television stations, Famous Internet People, and science writers for respected, East Coast publications.
Sadly, however, that author isn't a Mountain View policeman. He's Matt Basta, a programmer and faux-twitter humorist. So, no, a Google glass-user didn't shatter a window while perusing YouTube on El Camino Real or, it would seem, anywhere else. Alas.
Among more weighty internet personages, your humble narrator retweeted this bulletin as well, albeit from a personal account. It was upon attempting to contact the Mountain View Police Department to inquire just what the unfortunate man was watching on YouTube when he shattered the window that the discovery was made @MVPoliceBlotter and @MountainViewPD are not one and the same.
Bomb squad determines that suspected bomb is used quinceañera candle.-- MV Police Blotter (@MVPoliceBlotter) July 28, 2013
Basta, a Pennsylvania transplant, says he started the faux-twitter account as a humorous homage to his new home -- a place resembling the ersatz perfect small town of The Truman Show where "every lawn is so well-kept and you really don't see crime."
Between Basta's subtle sense of humor and the piecemeal nature of a Twitter feed, it's easy to see why so many people were taken in by the Google Glass blurb. On its own, it's plausible. Placed alongside other faux-tweets --"Roosevelt Circle woman reports mail tampering. Postal investigator finds woman's husband has been bringing in the mail." -- one starts to realize they're too good to be true.
Electrical issue at City Hall causes digital clocks to reset to 12:00. Efforts to reset facility VCRs taking longer than expected.-- MV Police Blotter (@MVPoliceBlotter) July 29, 2013
And that gets to another point. We really wanted that Google Glass bit to be true. "There are some people who are very passionate about hating on Google Glass," affirms Basta, who writes software for a company that doesn't produce the Google Glass. "The sheer number of people who hate the concept so vehemently" is impressive.
Those people helped sextuple his Twitter following from a little over 100 to nearly 700 in around a day's time. Some of his first followers, however, were the official Mountain View Police twitter feed and a couple of its officers (it's at their behest he's recently added a "not affiliated with MVPD" disclaimer atop his Twitter page).
Basta says he's even been invited to visit police headquarters by cops who profess they're fans of his work.
Perhaps they'll even let him leave.
Man on a motorcycle with an out-of-state plate seen riding up and down San Antonio Rd. in menacing manner.-- MV Police Blotter (@MVPoliceBlotter) July 25, 2013