Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Response to readings

As far as torture and photography go, I believe that Sontag asks an important question, "So, then, is the real issue not the photographs themselves but what the photographs reveal to have happened to ''suspects'' in American custody?" I think that this question can work on many different levels and situations. If you take out: "suspects" in American custody, and fill in your own blank you can see what I mean more clearly. In the situation with the prisoners of Abu Ghrai, I agree with Sontag, that the issue at hand is the photographs and what they reveal. These photographs were not taken for history or honorable documentation. They were taken as "trophies", like Sontag states. They were taken my American soldiers to show their friends and to poke fun at the prisoners. She states "as if the fault or horror lay in the images, not in what they depict" when talking about president Bush's response to these photographs. I feel as if many people feel this way about photographs of terror or horror, but in some cases it is not the photograph that is at fault. The "fault" lie in the real life, the situation that really did happen. That is my take on it anyways.

As informed by the article by Tom Junod, in the image of the Falling Man from 9-11 many people were shocked and appalled that this photograph was released to the public. I feel as this image should not have been sheltered or avoided, it was something that really happened, an aspect from a real life situation. I can see why people would have an issue with it, but just because something is shocking, in my opinion, does not mean it should be kept hidden.

Slavoj Zizek explores theories about the "real" and the "projected real" that I have often thought about. It is sometimes hard to feel real life as a shocking or phenomenal experience when we see these images depicting real life all around us, everywhere we go. In commercials, movies, video games, advertisements etc. It almost seems as if real life is no longer real. I was thinking about this lately with that new Sean Penn film, "Into the Wild" or whatever the name was, I have yet to actually see it. Anyways, I feel as if people no longer need to act on certain desires or impulses because it's so much easier to pay twelve dollars and sit and watch someone else doing the things that you thought of. With bigger and more important issues at hand, I feel as if this thought process works all the same. Take any of Michael Moore's films for instance. People often agree with his politics and concerns, everyone goes to see his films, but they never do anything! I am guilty of it too...I believe we all are. For some reason and for some people the world is easier to understand, easier to think about, just easier when your watching it on a screen.

In the

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