Melbourne came under attack last Friday afternoon.
A crazed man took to the streets, set his crappy blue ute
alight, and ran about Bourke Street trying to stab the people of
He would have been a terrifying presence, too. All six feet,
four inches of him.
Some people ran for their lives.
Most people, however, turned on their phones.
Thanks to the hundreds of smartphone videos taken at all angles,
folks at home were able to watch the moment two street cops tried
to subdue the attacker.
That same footage also gave us Trolley Man.
During times of acute stress, the human body releases a bunch of
hormones that trigger the fight or flight response.
At least, that was the typical response until 20 years ago.
Nowadays, it appears there are three ways the body deals with
acute stress: Fight, flight or footage.
And it turns out that footage is what most people went with on
A tall, strong-looking man took to Bourke Street in Melbourne
and tried to stab people.
The majority of people fled the scene.
Once they reached safety, they whipped out their phones and
recorded the mans confrontation with police. Less than 100 feet
away from the attacker, I might add.
The upside of this is that Australia scored a new hero, Trolley
And from other angles, theres some other dude walking around
behind police with a chair. Someone we shall now call Chair
Trolley Man and Chair Guy clearly have the fight response when
The thing that Im still wrestling with, though, is that the
ever-present smartphone footage meant I was able to watch the
moment a Victorian policeman shot the attacker dead.
Its confronting. It made me uncomfortable too.
But it didnt seem real.
Perhaps Im somewhat desensitised after years of watching violent
Never let a crisis go to waste
Im not sure what the media coverage is like outside of Melbourne
right now. But the local rags are chewing over every fact.
Trolley Man and Chair Guy are gaining notoriety.
And the Victorian policemen who dealt with the situation are
being hailed as heroes.
An example of the top-notch boys in blue coming out of the
Victoria Police Academy.
Turns out, one of those coppers only graduated three months ago.
Ill bet both were terrified as the situation played out.
But what happens next...