Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Calm down everyone... nothing to see here

I had a rare moment of agreement with the Des Moines Register Editorial Board this morning. I read the first editorials “Internet I - It's uncensorable” and was amazed to find that the piece included this:

The Internet, thus, is the ultimate free market in information without supervision of editors, corporate sponsors or the government. If you believe, as did the American founders, that truth will ultimately emerge from the marketplace of ideas, this is a good thing.

Wow! Bravo! Huzzah!

Then (cue deflated, muted trumpet sound)… Wah, waah, waaaaah… we get this:

Just because you can watch a beheading on the Internet doesn't mean you should.

Thus begins “Internet II – No Need to Look”.

Oh God no. Don’t LOOK!!! You might get scared… or psychologically screwed up… Worst of all, you may just get ANGRY. Really, really, f%^king angry… And we don’t want that now, do we?

It’s like those nasty pictures from 9/11. People jumping to their deaths from those symbols of globalization and rampant capitalism. All those images do is provoke negative energy. And this is a time for healing. This is a time for coming together. This is a time for rolling over and applying the KY so that we can take it up the ol’ Hershey Highway again.

Among the reasons not to seek out the awful videos:

Watching gives the terrorist/murderers what they want. They wouldn't have posted video of their executions on the Web if they didn't want to exploit their shock value.

Well… actually, they expect us to watch and get weak at the knees, turn tail and run. What if… now stay with me here… what if these obscenities actually fortified us and filled us with deadly determination? What if, we are not quite the decadent milquetoasts the Islamo-Fascists (and the DMREB apparently) take us to be?

It invades the privacy of the victims, whose dying agonies should not be the object of morbid curiosity. .

Not to be insensitive, but the victims are, well… dead. And, the horrifying manner of their sacrifice and death CAN serve a purpose. But then we’re back to the inconvenient fact that the DMREB does not want this to upset the American people to the point of action.

It is likely to be regretted by the viewer, who may be haunted by the images long afterward.

Absolutely, if you do not feel that you can handle the intensity of the images, do not view the videos. But, good Christ, we SHOULD be haunted by those images. We should still be haunted by the images of passenger planes taking down the World Trade Center.

You know, it’s amazing to me that the DMREB and their fellow travelers are perfectly fine with us "being haunted" by the images from Abu Gharib. Oh… but those are images that foster national self doubt… Never mind.

Thanks to the Internet, everyone in the world has the opportunity to view recent executions in the Middle East posted by the killers. In pre-Internet days, very few people would have seen such images. Editors almost certainly would have chosen not to publish or broadcast them, even if film had been available. .

We know you wouldn’t have. And that’s what really scares you media elites isn’t it? It’s the fact that you and the other anointed commissars of information and culture don’t have the control you used to. It must be a scary time for you. Bummer… "And the times, they are a changin'...".

In the Internet age, everyone becomes his or her own editor, free to view anything any sick mind anywhere in the world chooses to post on a Web site. Like any freedom, it should be exercised responsibly, especially when it affects children.

The children! The CHILDREN!!!

One doesn't need to see video of the beheadings to comprehend their horror or to grasp the nature of those who perpetrate them.

Oh yeah…? Television coverage of Viet Nam anyone…? I’m thinking in particular about the film clip of the young Viet Cong prisoner shot in the head by the Saigon police chief during the Tet Offensive. I saw that on broadcast television when I was 11.

But that was prime time televised horror to curtail American imperialism. And that, of course is a good and rightous thing.


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