Friday, October 21, 2011

Death of a Despot... but do we really need to see it?

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!

6 comments:

Sarah said...

I quite agree, WG and so we didn't have the news on last night. I didn't want to see his dead body over my dinner and neither did anyone else.

Same about that video of the Chinese toddler being run over - it was shown on French prime time news! How shocking is that. The story itself is totally horrendous, and then to show the video of it happening when families are watching just shocks me all over again. We didn't have it on (again). At this rate we'll need a suitable viewing guide!

Steve said...

I agree. I am only just catching up with the news today and thankfully missed the horrible carnival of death that did the rounds last night. The premature death of anybody is a failure and nothing to celebrate.

Macy said...

No. No we don't need to see anyone being killed by a mob - because that's what I saw from behind my fingers last night.

the fly in the web said...

Voyeurism, that's what it is.

About Last Weekend said...

Didn't watch it but sounds like a very American coverage of a dead dictator, Halloween-esque. And to think in one of my first journalism jobs they stopped me from reporting any details of a guy who was cut in half by an oncoming train....

mrwriteon said...

I agree. I think such voyeuristic behavior towards morbid scenes lowers us.

Post a Comment

It's always nice to have comments but don't forget to play nicely!