13 February 2010

In Bad Taste

Regretsy is fantastic for questionable content but I was stopped in my tracks by this particular Valentine card. Wait! Before you click that link you should know it features the Twin Towers, mid-strike, with the text "I'm falling for you."

It's by an artist living in Wisconsin. I wonder if she knows/knew anyone affected by the collapse?

And then there is the issue of the death of Georgian luge athlete, Nodar Kumaritashvili just prior to the opening of the big event on the mainland. The IOC was lighnting fast in getting footage pulled from YouTube but my guess is that it had much more to do with marketing and trademarks than common human decency because the footage* continued to air on CTV and NBC, the big official media partners. Today, even after cries of, "Enough, already!" erupted, the NY Times featured an "interactive" look at the accident: freezing 8 frames of the footage and matching them to the track.

You'll notice I'm not linking to these things.

I'm not that old, but I remember a time when the news didn't show people dying -- outside of war zones, and then the footage was preceded by warnings that it might be graphic or disturbing.

A quick search of Google News finds opinion pieces with titles like "Gravity of News Seems to Escape NBC" and "Is a Georgian Life Worth Less than an American Life?" and "Are we Just Crash Test Dummies?" -- good questions. VANOC seems certain of one thing, though, it was not their fault but they will make changes anyway. Unfortunately, Kumaritashvili's death was not the only incident on the track -- there were complaints that it was far too fast. Will VANOC pay any price for this? Only in salaries and bonuses to their spin doctors.

*Some comments have started referring to the footage as a snuff film but I think, technically, it escapes simply by virtue of being captured in a documentary action, not story-boarded.


Anne said...

Bad taste indeed - it's as if for some people there are no more boundaries.

Nolan had the misfortune of seeing the film of the luger, and he was not happy about it. Michael made the snuff comparison - and pointed out it would be illegal to show it in England.

I have only seen a couple of still photos. Plenty enough. I was thinking that there seems to be no value put on this individual's life - only value on the "newsworthyness" of the story.

Where was the "editorial" staff to put their foot down and say no - no live footage of this tragedy! I suppose with the watering down of journalism to entertainment, that boundary is gone, or too thin to stand.

I'm really glad I don't watch television, and that I could give a rat's ass about the Olympics anymore. There was a time when it was fun and exciting, but I just can't be bothered anymore.

But then, I can't be bothered by much, except for the fact I'll be planting onions this weekend!

I like dirt.

Coffee Expert said...

I heard it called Death Porn...
It shameful and there is no place for it on family television.

And what about that Canadian anthem on the Olympic O.C.?

That was not our anthem...

and all the lip syncing. Whine, whine.
ICO sucks.

Star said...

I was curious as to the age of the artist as well, but when I clicked on the link it no longer existed.
I am appalled every day, on many levels by the lack of boundaries exhibited by people.

Cheryl said...

Star -- there was very little information about the artist, only her location and that she was "obsessively DIY" (seriously, that was her entire profile).

I did take a screenshot of the card itself because I suspected the item would be pulled. However, it looks like the user has also deleted her profile.