Monday, June 21, 2010

War porn: The in-thing?

This story began 8 years ago with an enterprising American, Christopher Wilson. In 2002, Wilson ran an amateur porn site called nowthatsfuckedup.com (now known in short as NTFU). This was a time when many U.S soldiers overseas were not in a position to use their credit cards. Reasons varied. Anyway, Wilson, the true American that he was, decided he would do his part for his nation’s soldiers. Therefore, NTFU’s contents were made free to anyone who could prove they were in uniform. The first proofs that came in were innocent photos of gregarious soldiers. Photos like these:




Slowly, they evolved or devolved, depending on perspective as chummy pics gradually gave way to videos and snaps of corpses and brutality. (The pics given below are exceedingly graphic in nature and viewer discretion is advised.Only two shown and rest in links)


A soldier with a burnt Iraqi arm


http://img2.scoop.co.nz/stories/images/0509/9b857004cea9441bc7c9.jpeg



http://miami.media.indypgh.org/uploads/2006/01/graphic_death.jpg
http://www.bilerico.com/uploaded_images/Lynndie_England_naked_PW-795754.jpg
http://www.sunflower.com/~420/aug/ntfu.jpg

Personally, I am not very religious. However, I will still remark at this point that I doubt if there was a single god-fearing bone in the people who sent these photos when all that was asked was a frugal proof of the uniform.
Wilson, entrepreneur that he was, tried to cash in with a special ‘bodies for porn’ section. DING DONG. Death bells rang for NTFU when in 2004 the state of Florida stepped in filing obscenity charges, ending Wilson’s chicken count. A 5 year ban was stamped on Christopher Wilson (NTFU now has the Polk County Sheriff’s pic on the homepage, which the female readers may check out for a turn-on….lol!!). However, the ban failed to clog the flow of such media into the World Wide Web.
Move over NTFU, hello gotwarporn.com. GWP fills itself with videos from sites like Liveleak and Wikileaks. With a tagline that reads ‘Combating cyber-jihad one video at a time’, GWP leaves no doubts about where its loyalties are. A fact reinforced by a count of Islamic terror acts on the top left of its homepage. GWP is, undoubtedly, the place to be for war porn on the Internet. Along with separate sections based on the type of weapons used in the video, GWP also has a section named ‘Bodies’ which feature compiled footage of civilians(supposedly ‘insurgents’) set to the tune of numbers like ‘Bodies’ by Drowning River and "Bulls on Parade" by Rage Against the Machine. ‘Bodies’ has, incidentally become the unofficial anthem for such saucy, savage works.
In the words of a California Prof., the 1st YouTube war is descending on us and the weapons seem almost as inhuman as the mines and grenades that took the lives of thousands in the past century. The artillery dept. for this war is the G.I Joes plunked in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bloody, gory and sadistic images of mangled bodies and tortured souls plus videos that inimitably showcase the U.S soldier’s conscience (or lack of it) pervade the World Wide Web today.
War Porn! There couldn’t be a more fitting name. The conventional porn video typically ends in orgasmic bliss. Some ‘War Porn’ videos end with a different sort of orgasm- a visually denting one where men flitting on a camera frame turn corpses.
The trend, fueled by more than just a few ‘bad apple’ soldiers, however, is not an unheard of sacrilege on human life. Au contraire, it is a modern-day analogue of what history has witnessed time and again. The aborigine hangs his rival tribe’s heads on poles. He adorns his face with more and more stripes as his kills go up. Ancient kings and even the British Raj let rebel bodies hang from peepal trees. There is an all too obvious thread that ties all these together-the underlying emotions. A proud, or in cases an arrogant display of power. Gone are skulls and the peepal tree stories of yore. What remains can aptly be titled a vestige of our ancestor’s inherent bestiality. However, in a smaller world, these vestiges have a far more protracted and widespread effect than ever before.
The more relevant question perhaps, has to be about the psyche of the audience. Take for instance, the notable video ‘Collateral Murder’ from Wikileaks. With over 6 million views on YouTube, such videos show the world how life is treated in the face of war. It shows how jarringly disturbing the events that make up a war is. However, such videos are few and far apart. Most videos are plain disgusting from the normal standards of humanity. The global junta continues to lap up the fare with a multitude of reasons. Maybe, people are so bored of watching those never-ending soaps whose reels, if placed end to end, might build a bridge to the moon. Maybe, they yearn for a truly ‘authentic’ viewing experience………… Be it entertainment, information, a celebration of technology, a rebellious expression, a firm punch at global ‘jihadi terror’ or a plain graphic, gory treat, the viewer can never run out of reasons. The fact is, it is all that at different levels. Moreover, it is a novelty and everybody likes novelties, right? The blogger would like to use a clich├ęd word - schadenfreude. It is to be observed that amusement shouldn't come at the cost of emotions like empathy and compassion, which set us apart from the beast.

Comments are always welcome

4 comments:

  1. Bloody disturbing...It was Bush, the mindset. Interesting read. And disturbing..

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  2. @infinitelySANE: You said it.
    @Sushant: Thanks a lot for dropping by.

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  3. I had read about it..Seriously what's wrong with us!!!!

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