There is something seriously wrong with our culture when Asia Argento posts pictures from people actually on the ground in Istanbul right now only to be told that she should no be posting the pictures because they are so terrible…
- Yes! It is terrible that they are using Agent Orange against the protesting youth.
- Yes! It is terrible that there are several pictures of upwards of five men beating a single protester into the ground (I seem to remember that causing riots here in the US)
- Yes! It is terrible that a protester had his eyes gauged out.
- Yes! It is terrible that we are all so desensitized and apathetic that we would rather just not have to see these atrocities. In fact, I think that is worse than any of it – because in truth, the conflict in Istanbul is one that will end and one that will come again in an endless cycle of violence that marks history. But at the point that we just don’t want to see it… that rather than being enraged at Turkey for blocking news media and trying to hide their crimes against civil rights, people are enraged that such crimes are being shoved under their noses.
I have made no secret about the fact that I have a love/hate relationship with the digital revolution that I find myself living in. I have cautioned that we have too much access… our flood of unqualified and unedited information creates a situation where people have the illusion of transparency while knowing nothing. Maybe I am wrong – maybe we should have been forced to see every body in Tienanmen Square. Maybe we should see all of the rights violations in China, the attacks against the people of Tibet – Maybe we should see all of the bodies in Sierra Leon. Perhaps a magnifying glass put on such behavior would limit it…
Or maybe Eddie Izzard is right – and we don’t care how many people you kill so long as you keep to killing your own people… so Turkey can kill its youth, genocide can continue to be ignored in Africa, the ICC can use laws written in 400 c.e. to determine whether war crimes were committed between Bosnia and Kosovo. As long as we, as Americans, don’t have to see it… as long as you aren’t trying to invade someone who has anything we want… then we don’t want to know.