the murder of James Foley

Travis Mushett made me paaaauuuussssse when I came across Thirteen Ways of (Not) Looking at a Crime Scene… so of course I place a little pointer here on KP (my usual little effort) out to the thing… to the little glint that made me shade my eyes and go closer to look.

From his piece:


Remember the Iraq War? Remember the pictures of dead soldiers? The blood and flesh and busted bone? The cost of war? Me neither. We never looked. A survey conducted at the height of the war showed “that over a six-month period, no images of dead American troops appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Time or Newsweek.” When you’re trying to end a war, it’s better to wield a blunt instrument than show up empty handed.


Show a severed limb. Show a woman’s nipple. Show the word “shit.” A gang of Helen Lovejoys will rise up, gnashing teeth and barking to the heavens: “Won’t somebody please think of the children?!” They demand that we conduct discussions of the adult world’s adult problems in terms that won’t frighten a toddler. Baby might look, so no one can look.


Images are better at capturing specific instances than complex systems and shifting climates. After decades of global warming activism, we’re still recycling the same clips of polar bears on ice drifts. 400,000 people take to the streets of Manhattan, and it’s powerful, but the images are interchangeable with any other big protest march. The nation barely looks. We’ve seen this one before. The Sunday talk shows talk about other things. Everyone is too busy opining on videos of women beaten, on pictures of women without clothes, on how best to annihilate the purveyors of desert snuff films.


Read it here


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