20.7.06

And one more...Reality in Lebanon

7 comments:

Anna Nym said...

Now, I realize that this is classic dead baby propaganda, but first of all, I feel that dead babies should never be considered ploys for sympathy or trick photography. Any situation in which truly innocent people die in large numbers is atrocious. It's that simple.

But the reason I really wanted to get this up here...

When you watch this on youtube, recommendations come up for further viewing. One of these recommended videos was another photovid called "Exit Hezbollah!" They begin with many pictures of children playing soccer, mourning the fact that they, for some reason, can no longer participate in sports. Then they reveal a series of pictures meant to vilify Hezbollah. These consist of military parades and some pictures of kids holding up guns. And some murals. Watch out.

I've got pictures of Zakk holding up unloaded guns. He's 4. See, my sister's ex was a hunter-outdoorsman type, and he got a real kick out of snapping pictures like that.

Back on track: And then comes the amazing conclusion...the majesty and might of the Israeli military. It goes through shot after shot of fighter jets and well-equipped soldiers, and a few saintly images of Ehud Olmert.

At this point, I was very confused. I had just watched a series of dead babies in Lebanon, very arousing as far as sympathy-generation goes. Then I watch this video, meant to have me weeping for Israel and her soccer moms. But instead of dead babies, they show me the superior weapons and technology they are throwing at...children holding guns and ceremonial parades?

Was this, in fact, supposed to inspire me to call my various plenipotentiaries to say, weepingly, "Let those Israeli kids play soccer again! Destroy those Jew-hating sonsabitches!"? Because, just narrowly, it missed its mark, as do so many of their explosives. Or was it some particularly untalented propagandist reminding Hezbollah that they have no fucking chance? "We'll destroy all your gun toting brats!"

Maybe the babies blown apart in video one were the gun toters from video two?

Things are looking a little imbalanced.

Turning Lebanese, I think I'm turning Lebanese, I really think so.

madam tyrant said...

You're funny

Anna Nym said...

No, I'm not. I'm realy quite serious. The situation infuriates me; Israel infuriates me; the propaganda infuriates me; if Hezbollah weren't building hospitals and providing food to their people, they would infuriate me much more than they already do.

The catalyst of this was the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers. Because of two soldiers, still presumed to be alive, CNN estimates 500 dead Lebanese civilians, and I guarantee you that the estimate is VERY conservative. But because we are such ardent supporters of Israel, each time those numbers are announced, they temper them by saying, "Israel has seen their losses as well, and dozens have been injured."

Hospitals, apartment buildings (not bunkers or dorms for Hezbollites), water and electrical facilities, roads and airlines (any mode the fuck out of there). All of these things have been targetted in Lebanon, yet Israel claims that this is not a war against the Lebanese, just a cancer under the skin of Lebanese culture which, I'm sure, spreads with every civilian blown apart by Israel's new leader showing the world how fucking tough he is.

If I seemed a little less than sincere, it was a matter of delivery and not blackness of heart. I was misty watching Reality in Lebanon, then furious when I watched the next film. I may have been a little light-hearted about dead children, maybe, but I assure you I'm extremely bothered the death of any innocent human.

madam tyrant said...

No I meant the 80's reference to Turning Japanese, I had it in my head all day. Sorry.

ETC said...

yeah...
we're all bothered, and in the mid-west.

"Turning Lebanese, I think I'm turning Lebanese, I really think so."

- Your still funny.

Apathy is plague, and incredibly easy.

I cried when I first saw Titanic w/ my mom.

That's atrocity.

Love,
e

Anna Nym said...

I also cried during Titanic. Convulsed and heaved, perhaps, is more like it. And not just that...when I went to see it for the second and last time, as the music piped on with the opening credits, I started crying. I knew what was coming. I knew it would be sad and horrendous, I knew that woman was going to tell Winkin, Blinkin, and Nod to those dead children. And my heart could not go on.

It was a preemptive cry.

But you're right; apathy is a plague carried on the wings of the media. They play play play play play play the same footage again again again again again. Before long, the couple gripping hands as they leap from the burning tower just...loses its edge. Children standing on train tracks, rummaging for garbage without shoes as white-bearded men ask for our money starts to actually piss us off. They drain us of our compassion, and this is so prevalent that there is an official name for it.

Compassion fatigue. Also known as secondary traumatic stress disorder. Blocking our ability to care about atrocities because we are powerless to do anything other than feel bad. The same images bombard us like habits, bad cultural habits, and we have no choice but to tune out, log off, shut down.

Most of us are compassion fatigued. In three weeks, maybe I'll be sick to death of Lebanon. Maybe I'll come to ignore the issue, much like I came to ignore Iraq. Today, only the most horrendous stories and events from that war blip on my emotional radar.

And this is very bad. Every ounce of compassion lost for your fellow man is a gradual loss of your humanity. You inch closer to becoming more of a machine than a man. The automated cultural responses to events become more and more natural, shutting down from external stress becomes more and more frequent, seeing in the narrow vision of consumer cogs...making money, saving money, spending money, repeat...becomes more and more simple. Simplicity becomes key, so scan for relevance. No immediate relevance detected, then proceed normally.

On the other hand, feeling all the time is also a dangerous, negative characteristic. Who wants to be or know the person who cries constantly, to prove how sensible (in the old sense) they are?

I try to find the place in the middle. To be touched, but not consumed. It's a tricky balancing act; tempering strong emotions with rationality and cynicism.

But Titanic would still make me fucking wail.

ETC said...

I had a dream last night. It was amazing. Everyone was down on this beach. It nice, and we were feeling adventuresome... We wondered into this construction/excavation site. Wooden walls, mine shaft, rusty ladder, down the hole with all of us. Then, dreams working as they do. I realized they we weren't just out having a good time, it turns out the malt liquor was merely preparation for what we (now a fully armed battle squad - equipped with oversized machine guns and flame throwers like Ripply in Aliens) knew what dwelled within these caves. A distant relative of Gollum (LOTR) had been trapped in this subterranean hole for centuries, and an unknowing team of scientists found this out as their heads and limbs were torn from their bodies. Gollum 2 bathed in their fresh blood and gnawed on marrow, having completely lost his taste for fish. All this I realized as we stood in the cave... We came in wearing Hawaiian patterned shorts and died there wearing flak jackets and bloody fatigues.

I watched all of you die, and I was the last to go.

Gollum 2 swung the sharp end of pick axe into the back of my skull and gave a sharp tug back exposing my soft white neck. He finished the whole ordeal up with a hand held power saw - top of the sternum to mid forehead.