I’ve been spending time watching a few of the documentaries on 911 on You Tube. Not the conspiracy type ones, I hasten to add.
I wasn’t in New York that day, thank goodness, but I, like everyone else it seems, was watching intently as the horror unfolded. I saw the raw footage as it went out live. I saw people standing with fire at their backs and a lethal fall ahead of them, images that never made it to the later bulletins, and I was left confused, wondering if I had imagined those images.
Having grown up in the UK where we were very accustomed to extremely graphic, uncensored images going out on the news and in newspapers throughout my childhood, from IRA atrocities, Black September, Baader-Meinhoff and from Vietnam etc, it puzzled me that the later news about 911, specifically the footage shown, seemed to be missing that human element. This wasn’t about buildings after all, surely? It was about people; thousands of people who had been murdered and yet the things I was seeing were all telling me to condemn an “attack on America, on the WTC, on the Pentagon” not on these innocent people who seemed to be portrayed as somehow just unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Real Estate, and an unreal situation.
Have we become so frightened of the truth that we prefer our news media to shovel sand over the blood so that we do not have to deal with it? What is the point of news if it doesn’t address the core of the event? I appreciate that victim’s families are a consideration, but is it really true to say that the contents of the later bulletin is going to significantly add to what they’re going through or is that the news media seeing themselves and how they are perceived as more important than what has actually happened?
People who say that a thing is too horrible to watch again are actually shrugging off the horror and putting their own discomfort ahead of the truth.
We need to see the truth, and we need to see and deal with it often. I ask myself if the Kennedy assassination were to occur now, would the Zapruder film have even made it into the public domain?
How about the Hindenburg disaster, or the horror of the German concentration camps? These things now seem to fall into the class of some sort of “horror fetish”, a created thing; the “pornification” of actual events, and not general knowledge, unpleasant but necessary, which we all should be dealing with and assimilating if we ever are going to learn to not make so many mistakes again.
This seems to be the way things are going at the moment. I resent being made to feel a little dirty in that I wish to review what actually happened on 911 or any of those other things, and at the same time I resent the newspapers being filled with detail on the private lives of celebrities and with minor local news where it gives an opportunity to take a lazy swipe at the poor, immigrants, the unemployed and so on. THAT is not what should be in our papers.
Too many people now are jaded by the news and switch off because it does not engage them. Issues are not dealt with. It horrifies me that my own daughter can say negative things about feminism and the feminist movement in a world where reproductive rights and equality are being taken away from women, where rape culture is so prevalent we barely even realize it is all around us, and tacitly condoned by the mass media in a way that would have caused outrage in 1979. Issues that affect human beings are not optional. We need to stop living in a bubble of only nice things. I fully appreciate that many people will turn around and say
“What’s the point of me watching that, or knowing the detail of that? I cannot do a thing about changing it and it makes me feel depressed. I can only concern myself with those things that directly affect me”
Yes, it is a great defence, and perfectly valid… until the day that events suddenly catch up with you and you find yourself floundering in the middle of it all, without the necessary information or understanding to make the best choices to help you survive or to process what is happening to you. We live our lives now like a flock of wildebeest on the plains, a prey animal just hoping not to fall behind the rest, but with no strategy to save ourselves
I read that the family of one man recently murdered chose to watch the video of their son’s death and I have to say that those people have my utmost support in their decision. It must have been an incredibly hard thing to do, and I am sure there will be many times in the future when they wish they had made a different decision, but I hope there are just as many moments when they feel their own strength and use it to go forward
Everyday, it seems, we become more and more apathetic about the quality of information we feed our heads with.
What we hear as “news” is governed by what the people financing the TV station or newspaper want us to hear. It is the choice of advertisers, billionaires, propagandists, consortia and extremists what we, the people, are programmed to consider to be of interest to us.
Perhaps if we got more offended by a news channel devoting time to the opinions of a lunatic fringe, interspersed with celebrity gossip, and demanded facts and truth about what is really going on in the world, we might not find ourselves feeling so hopeless and impotent in the face of world events in the first place and better able to cope with doing our small bit, in whatever way, to try to fix these immense fuck-up situations that we have allowed to get so far out of control
Oh, and by the way, everyone has nipples, get over it.