Monday, May 17, 2010

WAR PORN

Remember this picture? Someone took it, before the men in black cut off the head of the man sitting on the ground. It could be called "War Porn."

War Porn is pictures, films of carnage. And people are buying it, and watching it.

Is it just part of the "new freedom"-- people shouting, saying whatever they want to say, no matter how vile, no matter where they are and who is present? Nowadays, you can spit, hiss, fart, thumb your nose, or piss on it -- anything -- whatever makes you feel better.

Do War Porn lovers get kicks, goose-bumps, shivers, genital response from looking at death?

Yes.

Is it something beyond "dirty" pictures, visions of Abu Ghraib orgies?

Yes.

It is an illness, a fever in the mind, brought on by seeing, hearing, participating in killing?

When I was creating dramatic ballets for my Dance Drama Company, the theater of blood inspired me. So, I staged rape, lynching, murder, used fake blood, sexy acrobatics, realistic looking weapons. It shocked and excited our audience, but wow -- times have changed. The realities of now are overwhelming. Aside from the wars, we've got ravaging weather, and an incredibly huge, devastating oil spill.

What do you see in a War Porn film? Reality -- a soldier killing a group of enemies -- bang-bang -- blood exploding on a chest -- bang-bang-- a head exploding -- more bangs -- a guy's guts falling out as he falls to the ground.

There are Websites like GotWarPorn.com, and You Tube videos (thousands of them), made by soldiers who've uploaded their own film clips. With video-game knowledge and some inexpensive video equipment, soldiers can create fetish films, splicing together the most horrifying, brutal parts of what they've got on film, and even add sound tracks.

The videos have been viewed millions of times. You can see a building exploding, men killing the enemy in a battle, or watch an execution -- an Iraqi taking a bullet to the head, or the actual moment-- ax being wended, blood spurting, a still-living head without a torso, a torso without a head.

Professor Bryant Paul, Dept of Telecommunication, Indiana University, an expert on the psychological and sexual effects of media, commenting on a video of American soldiers making fun of a dog eating a dead Iraqi, said --"The behavior may be a coping mechanism for war because they (the soldiers) might have to normalize what is not normal in order to survive."

Watching Warn Porn is a way of coping, and perhaps it helps soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. But I think War Porn is addictive.

Is it in our DNA -- a need for violence? I'm thinking of the days when Christians were fed to the lions in the coliseum, and people cheered -- the days when popular entertainment was watching Gladiators bashing each other's brains out -- I'm remembering the pictures in books I've read, and gorgeous, gruesome, suspenseful scenes in the award-winning movies I've seen.

With war news, suicide bombers, our daily fare of shows, ads, blockbuster movie previews, Internet Websites glorifying horror -- our need for violence has intensified.

How do we stop it? Can we stop it? There's talk about prevention, but we haven't stopped it.

I don't think passing laws will stop War Porn. Stopping our wars -- wars we can't lose, but I THINK WE ARE LOSING, may help.

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