Warning: graphic images.
Made ya look, didn't I?
WTFIGO (is going on)?
I am shocked and saddened by the seemingly insurmountable amount of visual carnage that is being pushed as news. With the advent of the internet and 3G and 4G technology, images and streaming video of gruesome accidents, attacks and yesterday, on this very site, images of a stoning. I hope these gruesome images result in some social change and public outrage but I fear it will be just a spectator sport for so many. In the sequel to A Fish Called Wanda, Fierce Creatures, a New Zealand media tycoon talks of buying the TV rights to executions. That was a parody, a clever social statement and a fiction. Today, it is seems seconds away from becoming a grim reality.
Watch an NFL player have his legged snapped or a horse break his leg during a race or a drunk chick get punched in the face or Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister of Italy, get slammed in the face by a souvenir or fatal car crashes from police vehicle in-car video cameras. Smile, you're on Corporal Camera. After the horrific images of 9/11, planes crashing into balls of flames, bodies jumping from the buildings, we watched and watched, unable to make sense of the imagery and unable to look away. Freeway drive-bys magnified by a million. If there was footage of Princess Diana's crash, on tunnel surveillance video, would we have watched it? Sure we would have. Over and over.
What is wrong with us? Is this really human nature? On November 22, 1963, Abraham Zapruder caught a catastrophic moment and we have examined it frame by frame, so really, is this new? Is this just social and media evolution? Is it okay that my 13-year-old son will be able to access streaming video of real life and death on his Itouch, alternating between the fake World of Warcraft and this ever-so-terrifying real one? It is up to me to try to instill in my son the danger in participating in this type of media voyeurism, and remind him of his ability to boycott such media so that he can make the change I am always talking about here on HuffPost. But if he sees me, every morning, glued to my computer, watching the world from my screen -- what do I really expect?
The question needs to be, am I (are we) willing to change? I am talking about what seems to be the dangerous trail into the abyss that futurists have been writing about for years . With the advent of Flip video and smartphones, every human interaction is recorded and uploaded and we, as a society, can't get enough. An adulterer gets stoned. An athlete has a coronary or is attacked by his angry wife with fists and a club or young celebrities go to clubs and get loaded and angry and have fistfights and upchuck and we are all watching. We are all culpable. Remember the oldest adage there is, generated from the Bible (Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31) but found in every religious text there is: So in everything, do unto others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Are we breaking a moral Law? Are we listening to the Prophets?
Merry Chanukah et al and remember -- Peace on Earth and Health Care for Everyone.