The world is rejoicing the death of a despot - or is it just that they now have a better chance of getting their hands on Libyan oil - but is is really necessary to show his dead body on TV and before the watershed to boot.
Yes, he was clearly an evil or possibly just a deranged man but it doesn't make me feel any better to see him with a bullet hole in his head. I'm not sure I even really wanted to see him begging for his life when he was captured. What can be gained from this?
I know some people argue that we need proof of death to escape the rumour and conjecture that, say, surrounded the death of Hitler, with conspiracy theorists arguing for years after 'that Berlin bunker' that he was alive and living in South America/Darkest Africa/Mars and I know that this isn't necessarily something new with pictures of dead despots going back as far as Mussolini probably further, but surely the 'proof' only needs to be shown to heads of state, not the general public. The same media that blames, loudly and often, violent video games for a rise in real-life violence, seems not to show the same calls for restraint when it comes to seeing real-life death played out through their own broadcasts or newspapers. The photos on the Daily Mirror website were particularly disgusting, showing Gaddafi's bloodied body, bullet wounds very evident, laid out in Misrata.
I found the death of Osama bin Laden, played out like some sort of freakish reality show for the US government with cameras on hand to witness their every 'oooh', 'aaaahh' and 'boy that had to hurt' to be slightly distasteful but it does beg the question, where will voyeuristic television take us next? Helmetcam? Bulletcam?Executioner's Chaircam?
To be honest, I find 'The Only Way is Essex' pushes the boundaries of what is decent and acceptable quite far enough, but dead dictators. No thanks!
Guest post by womagwriter Keith Havers
3 days ago