Monday, December 3, 2007

Comments on the three texts

The text about the Falling Man is an incredibly powerful story. It's hard to stay focused and think critically while reading it. A couple of things comes to mind right away though. One, no we really don't need to know who the man is. It's like the Tomb of the Unknown soldier. He represents all the people that died that day, not only from jumping, and he reminds us about the horror that affects us still. Secondly, as I'm reading the examples of other people in history who've been shown to the public in horrible condition, such as Robert Kennedy or the Vietnamese girl after the napalm attack, it occurs to me that maybe people reacted so horrified about these pictures, or the sculpture of the tumbling woman, because it was too close to us. If you lived in NY then, as I did, you knew people who were affected. Even if you lived elsewhere. 9/11 killed common people and at least I felt it could have been me. I assume that wasn't the case with Robert Kennedy or the girl in Vietnam.

Here we're talking about censor from officials, not from the public, because the photographs are deemed to have a negative impact on the war in general. How can you argue with what Susan Sontag says. Of course the problem is not in the pictures. The problem is what allowed the situation to evolve to a point where these pictures could be taken.

The text by Slavoj Zizek obviously has a direct connection to Susan Sontag's text on torture as he's pointing out that reality also exist outside the U.S. and what happens here is a direct derivative on what happens elsewhere. The Iraq would by any account have increased rather than decreased the chance that we will see something similar to 9/11 happening on U.S. soil.

It also goes back to the pictures that from 9/11 and why it's deemed unacceptable to publish pictures of the jumpers. The picture of the Falling Man makes it too real to bear.

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