The necessity of gore
Tbogg links to another weak-minded justification of the violence in The Passion.
Sometimes gore is the story. And we have to understand the gore to understand the evil that precipitated the gore. We need to put the gore in perspective. That's why I think we need to see more gore from the folks who love to dish it out.
We need to understand the reality of that gore, and we need to understand it again and again. That's why I differ from my colleagues in the media, even the fine organization with whom I'm associated, FOX News, when I say, show me those beheadings of innocents like Paul Johnson and 33-year-old South Korean humanitarian worker Kim Sun-il.
I concur completely! People need to have their noses rubbed in gore sometimes. They particularly need to see it when it is violence caused by the actions of their government, elected democratically, at least in theory. I'm glad the right is all over the idea of bringing the war home to people, by showing beheadings by terrorist insurgents. I'm sure they also want to be honest and show the caskets of teenage American soliders coming home. I'm sure that they want to show the bodies of murdered or mutilated Iraqi civilians who were standing in the wrong place at the wrong time. That's why we got vigorous protest from the right against BushCo's "no photos of coffins" policy. And I'm sure that's why they are first in line to see Michael Moore's new movie, because they want to make sure that they understand how awful it is to blow off the limbs of children because they just happen to be Iraqi.
Oh, I'm sorry. I was just informed that the right doesn't actually defend showing the cost of this war unless it can be directed into racism and nationalism. Hard to believe, considering this passage:
Show me the senselessness of their killings. Show me the evil behind their killings. Show me it. Show me all of it. And don't sanitize it. Don't blur it, mask it, color it or frame it. Don't gloss over it and try to make us not see it or be appalled by it. You see, I want us appalled. I want us angry. I want us outraged. I want us sickened.
Again, agreed! Show us Iraqis who were shot up for attending weddings, going to school, just standing there. Show us soliders who died fighting for no explicable reasons. If we are going to commit to war, show us what that means! Oh wait, apparently he means that the only violence that we should show is that of terrorists against us. How that is a good way to show people the totality of the situation is beyond me. I try, but it's hard for me to think that someone's death is somehow less important because it can't be harnessed to get votes for Bush.
Actually, The Passion does have some bearing on this whole attitude. During the controversy around that movie, I was dutifully informed by a rather alarming number of people that Christ suffered more in death than anyone else in history. Apparently, if he didn't, then their whole faith falls apart for some reason. Whenever I hear this, I always point out that crucifying people was the standard punishment in Roman times. Hell, the Bible says that there were two others killed with him that day! It's not a contest, but it really is ridiculous to claim that Christ was delivered a suffering beyond that which any other human has ever had to deal with.
But that reasonable point falls on deaf ears. Christ suffered more because he's important to believers. Others are not loved so their suffering is irrelevant. That logic is employed here--suffering only counts if it's an American suffering. And even then, it only counts if it's politically advantageous.