News National Open your eyes to the horror
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Open your eyes to the horror

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Have you watched the appalling IS execution videos that have so outraged the civilised world? I have.

What about the Jennifer Lawrence naked pictures – have you peeked at those? No?  I have.

And then there’s the uncut amateur video of American police shooting a young black man in St Louis. Have you looked at that one? I’m guessing you haven’t but, yep, I have.

I am neither a sadist, masochist, deviant nor voyeur, even though I have worked in Hollywood where’s there’s plenty of all four. I just don’t subscribe to the view that it’s wrong to look at these things. That somehow this is not news or newsworthy, that it’s sensationalistic and simply a new kind of pornography and we must look away.

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But how can we know how shocking something is without having the opportunity to judge for ourselves the immense gravity of the event?  How can we pass judgment on a perpetrator of an act when much of the world won’t allow us to even make that judgment ourselves?  Or, conversely, allow into general circulation that which should never, ever, be circulated?

The argument that violent video games and sexual images desensitise children against violence is one that is still open to wide interpretation. Many studies say extensive exposure dulls the ability of children to know the difference between ‘normal’ behaviour and violent behaviour and inappropriate sexual acts.

In this mollycoddled, bubble-wrapped, cotton-wooled, sedated, unrelated, oft-berated, frittered, Twittered and littered landscape the only true feelings we can experience that are ever going to rescue us from hatred and fear are love and respect.

Others claim it is simply an outlet that dampens the propensity for people to potentially act them out in real life and offers a fantasy outlet that ameliorates dangerous behavior.

shutterstock_177652169But you’re not a child, you see. You’re an adult. You’re a person who can choose between right and wrong because you know the difference.  So that evolutionary and educational process is exactly why you should take the opportunity to carefully, privately, peruse these catastrophic acts of humanity like a roadside car wreck when most people are screaming at you to look away.

And you must look closely.

In this mollycoddled, bubble-wrapped, cotton-wooled, sedated, unrelated, oft-berated, frittered, Twittered and littered landscape the only true feelings we can experience that are ever going to rescue us from hatred and fear are love and respect.

And the only way to experience true love and earned respect is to delve deep into the abyss and see what man – or what we dare to call human beings these days – is capable of.

While roughly twenty percent of the Australian adult population has experienced or is currently active on some type of dating site, and easily and conservatively over half the country is on some type of social media, it is obvious we are looking for connectivity with human beings. We feel isolated, alone, and disconnected.

The world is filled with beauty, and it is also filled with hate. If we are not allowed to have experiences or even be goaded into having experiences, then we will lose our ability to make choices based on knowing the difference between what is good and what is bad.

And that is why sitting down and watching someone wearing a hood that hides his face, take a knife and slowly and loudly saw off the head of a young journalist is exactly what you need to see before you jump up and down and complain about whether we send troops and supplies to the Middle East.

The images that will burn into your subconscious will show you what people will do in the name of religion or whatever their Raison d’ etre of the Month might call for.

On the other hand, when you sit back and peruse thousands of naked and extremely compromising photos of “celebrities” and then look around the house and wonder how you would feel if you or your husband or wife’s most intimate moments that you innocently captured days, weeks or years ago on your digital camera were broadcast to the world, maybe you’d think twice about passing them around and saying “well, they are celebrities, it goes with the territory”.

shutterstock_56302264Would you like everyone passing around the internet pictures of your teenage daughter and her boyfriend having sex?  Would you like pictures of your naked self on someone’s tablet or smart phone right next to you on the train tomorrow morning heading into work?

The world is filled with beauty, and it is also filled with hate. If we are not allowed to have experiences or even be goaded into having experiences, then we will lose our ability to make choices based on knowing the difference between what is good and what is bad.  There are, perhaps, far too many things to see with these eyes.

We will be told what is right and what is wrong, and we will pass credit and judgment down to our children and children’s children like a cave painting that has lost its meaning and value in less than a generation rather than a millennium.

The things that we most crave and most dread might be what save us as an intelligent species.

Love comes naturally.  Fear must be earned.

Bobby Galinsky is a Melbourne-based screenwriter and producer whose films include Dreamtime’s Over, Franz Stampfl: A Life Unexpected (filming), and the upcoming Dust and Glory.

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