Morbid curiosity

30 Dec

Saddam Hussein was hanged earlier this morning. Curiously, though described by observers as “submissive”, he refused the blindfold. Naturally, there is film footage available of the leadup to his hanging which has, no doubt, been viewed by millions.

I did click on the footage and, as it started to buffer, I thought: why the fuck am I viewing this? Did I really want to watch his final moments? Did I truly believe I had such right to access what is an incredibly intimate thing? Why, given I refused to watch the terrorist beheadings, would I want to watch his death? Because it was state sanctioned?

I am a curious lass. Some might argue too curious. Add to that my long-standing love affair with the interschminter and media and many days are lost chasing intriguing stories down the rabbit hole. But there are times when I question my love and need for information. Do I really need to see a despot’s death? Or watch some walking venereal disease’s jaunt through some nightclub/ street/ contrived public appearance?

The answer, naturally, is no. I don’t and nor do many others. And yet we flock to this new medium to immediately gratify our urges. And, as the medium becomes more rapid and responsive, I fear our urges become more primal and base. Any search on YouTube or any of it’s ilk can satiate our voyeuristic need to watch and judge, to seek out the mundane, macabre or monomania.

And, as someone who works and profits in the medium, I am aware of the irony.

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