Sunday, October 12, 2014

Another Question: Violence on TV

Of course, I'm not talking about the fake kind for entertainment—that seems to have won the day. Rather, I'm talking about the real, newsworthy kind. With ISIS using violence as a means to reach people, and news outlets making cases for not showing much of this, one has to wonder if this censorship (that's what it is, whether or not it has a higher purpose) is right.


This is not to say that all should be shown on TV (for whoever watches the news there), because that tends to be a medium that dictates what you see, but on the internet sites. Shouldn't there be, with ample warning, a link to see what's happening in the world? Or is this something that should be relegated to the darker parts of the internet (or should even that choice be taken away). There are many ways to look at this. I, for one, don't think we should make the judgement call based on what what some people seem to think are videos that would titillate a subsection of the population. If the judgement is made, shouldn't it be made on behalf of those who are normal and are shocked by such images?

This is not to say that I have some rosy view of the world and people's reactions to such videos. Rather that, taking into account that there are various ways power likes to use such images/videos, we need to discuss this and not say that violent images don't serve a purpose. They have been used to point out atrocities in the world, and the horror in them has enacted change (for the better, I would say). 

In fact, I would say that many people who are in the business of doing vile acts, do so and don't want anyone to see the images. This censorship only allows more of the same. So what then of ISIS, who wants people to see these heinous acts which they commit? It's very apparent that they want to be on the news. But how much recruiting are they doing with these videos? And how much have they helped their cause? The biggest thing is that they seem to have used these to goad as many people in the world into a fight.

Update 31AUG2015: In the latest twist, what appears to be a lone gunman killed two people and used social media to release the heinous acts. What then to say to such a thing?

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17 comments:

  1. What is ther to discuss? There are simply put somebthings that are too disgusting. Too horrible to show on tv. To have people at home watch. Why make them suffer? Life is hard enough without it? Sometimes old friend there are places one shouldn't dig this is one and you should stop while you're not too far behind

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    1. There's something about having to read views like this, this puritanical, or even Victorian era sensibility that never seems to want to die out. Why is that? Yes, don't force the violence of the world upon all people, but to live sheltered lives is to say that the world is too much, that you are willing to be docile. And how, just how, is one to survive in (or maybe how is the democracy itself to survive?) a society where people are blind to the consequences of their actions?

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    2. Consequences of their actions? What are you on about? You really think democracy will fail just because people don't watch all the horrible tings everywhere? Instead of conspiracy theories, how about you learn the way the world works. The way people decide to trust others, news people, and learn about the world through them, so that they don't have to (and don't have the time to) go through all that they must?

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    3. It's people with attitudes like this that surprise me. of course being willfully blind doesn't mean that the world will collapse, but it does weaken it. So you want to trust others? People you don't know personally, have no motive to tell you the truth, in fact with their power hungry ways they have all the motive to lie to you, to make sure you're docile? What then, sr/mam? HAve you thought about that? The ones in power are definitely sucking away at the world, at you and your cherished moments. Understand and believe. Trust? No, you should be a cynic and not trust everything they say.

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    4. So all that writing, and you have no reply, do you? Do you really think that news outlets have reasons to lie to us? Yes, they have to sell ads, but that's life. Come on.

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    5. This is precious. There is nothing in the world more annoying than willful ignorance. There is a blanket over your eyes, and you refuse to remove it. you're like a kid hiding under the blanket. What happens when the chickens come home to roost? You cannot claim innocence.

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    6. Okay, but what you just said makes no sense. Don't attack me, tell me why you're right. Your namesake requires it.

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    7. Ok. Don't you think it's funny that when a CNN editor wanted censorship, with regard to ISIS videos, he wanted it only for the video that was spouting anti-WEst words. So you cannot trust them. They who are tied into power.
      Sure, it's hard to do so, and you have to get news from somewhere, but see it with an eye to history. This is always important and you should do it as often as you can.

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    8. Though I agree that life is hard enough without such things (and in light of the Paris attacks, hard enough without the 'offending' of someone's sensibilities, though I am one of those, like Chris Hedges, who doesn't think this to be a matter of freedom of speech) as seeing horrendous photos or videos, one cannot overstate that cleaning one's 'newsfeed' leads to less knowledge. That being said, if it's done in words, it can still convey just as much. Also, all pictures and so forth should be available one click away. That way one can choose what they see in the world.

      But with news media, to say that they are enthrall to the powers that be goes without saying. If they merely need to describe something, they should. But they should do it across the board: therefore drone strikes and all Western State terror should be described without 'cleaning' them as they usually do. When this self censorship doesn't play into the equation of free speech, one cannot talk of a single action in Paris as indicative of some 'assault' on free speech without being a useful tool for those in power who do much more horrendous things.

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  2. Violence leads to more, even seeing it. You know that isn't true, and yet we still believe it at some inner level. That's why we don't want the real world coming into our homes. our kids might emulate it. Then what? I know, I've watched Moore's Columbine and if Japan has violence and doesn't have crime what are we on about? I say just play it safe

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    1. Perhaps for some kinds of violence this is true. And maybe for the young and restless men amongst us, they will see what they want to in any violence and emulate it. For the rest of us, no. And for the news kind of violence, I venture this: I used to watch the tsunami videos. Over and over. Shocking, really, to see the sea push over the land like it's nothing. But it's more than that: I didn't watch it, or didn't just watch it. I, seeing that people were suffering, knew it now, couldn't escape the visceral fact, now a rock in my gut, that humans were suffering, and so I donated money. I think good can come of this. We shouldn't be scared, but accept that other humans out there are suffering, and when we see it, we may shudder, but we end up being better. Because I know I send money to help.

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    2. I won't take that away from you, and if so, then so be it. We should try to help whenever we can. But too much will take an emotional toll. People will stop reacting. It's natural.

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    3. BS. You know what you should be asking? Why it is that there's so much violence out there. It's these religions (religion of peace my ass) that seem to always be in front, aren't they? WE wouldn't be having this discussion if it weren't for them.

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    4. No, no, it's not BS. It's a legitimate question, and one ripe for discussion, IMHO. I would even go so far as to say that your analysis has no bearing on what actually happens. Besides the latest news, do you really believe that if it weren't for religion, or the religion you mentioned (I know that dog whistle), there would be no violence to deal with in the world? Come on.

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    5. No bearing? The violence we speak of is the visceral kind. And that is coming out of only one part of the world. Read some, maybe.

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    6. Perhaps my words were strong. But if a certain kind of violence is your only measure, I'm afraid you're wrong on that count too. We just don't see what we or other 'developed' peoples do. A bomb is just as horrid as other methods, as you said. Perhaps the only thing right now is how they are different is that it's their style of marketing. But that's a matter of language then.

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    7. Are you saying that there's more violence because we see it? I highly doubt it. Certainly ISIS is using violence as spectacle to get a war going, and it appears to be working. But when we show one decapitation (by knife) and don't show how bombs decapitate, we are playing into more than ISIS' hands.

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