Monday, February 18, 2008
Our society is sick
I grabbed this picture from an AP News story on the recent shootings at Northern Illinois University. I blurred the face of the victim in the photograph, not only because it was bloody, but simply out of respect for their privacy.
No such qualms for everyone else in the picture. As you can plainly see the three persons in front are all happily taking pictures of the victim with a cell phone or portable device of some sort.
I know much of what I do on this blog is ask questions, but good grief, for what awful reason would you be standing there snapping photos of the dead and wounded as they are loaded into emergency vehicles? Pictures for your college scrapbook? Something to reminisce about with the guys at your 20-year reunion? Recollections about "the good ole' days" with your grandkids? Perhaps it's just a way to inject some form of excitement into your mundane life?
I may not know the exact reasons, but I do know at the bottom of it is a sick enslavement to the voyeuristic video culture. I understand we all have "train wreck" mentality to some extent - we all take a look at the car crash as we drive by. But should I really want a permanent memo of someone else's suffering for my own gratification later? The inability to not video everything, no matter how disrespectful or grotesque, is a form of insanity, pure and simple.
I feel like I should type more, but words fail me.