27 May 2012

When is a photo "too much"?

I don't really know how to explain myself with this dilemma.  All I know is that I want to write it down.  The way I am feeling.  Today I awoke to hear the distressing news of the massacre in Houla involving the murder of 90 Syrians, 32 of them children.  This news in itself is just appalling and the violence in Syria just has to be stopped.  It's completely outrageous that the president of the country, Bashar al-Assad, can kill his own people.  And who IS that man or woman who can so brutally kill their own countrymen - and CHILDREN - in the name of the government?  I just can not understand how that happens, how a person can be rendered so heartless that they can murder like this. I know it has been happening for a millenia, more recently in Rwanda, the Balkans, Libya etc. and I have yet to understand the brutality of man - and probably never will.  But - and here is my question - is it not enough to hear this news and read the details?  What does the gruesome, confronting, heart-breaking colour photograph of dead children on the front page of "The Observer" add?  (please think carefully before clicking on this link).  How will showing that photograph add more to the story?  Yes, I know you are asking, "why provide a link to the photo if you are so outraged by it?" but, in the interest of balance, I believe I need to include that photo to enable you readers to develop your own opinion.  I am seriously interested to know. I thought about emailing my ethics teacher.  I feel so confused about my feelings.  I do not want to see this photo and I don't believe putting it on the front page of a newspaper is a good thing to do BUT....  will the sight of the dead children prompt action to stop this carnage?  What is the power of the photograph?  It is it powerful enough to drive action?  Or, does is dull us down and make us immune to the tragedy?  I really feel torn.  Maybe it is something I will learn with experience.  Is it wrong for me to be outraged  by the photo?  Or am I outraged because it is offending my own belief of "good taste"?  Anyway, I just wanted to have a rant.  You know, we have no idea how lucky we are in Australia.  No Idea, really.  We may all squeal and complain and bitch about our current government (or future government) but at least we know we have the right to express our feelings freely and without fear of being murdered.  Let's all think about that.  

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