Yak Attack

A place to unwind and spend some time yakking.

Monday, October 23, 2006


I've been pondering for quite some time the apathy we have, as a country, about the evidence leaked out concerning torture perpetuated by the U.S.. Besides the photographic evidence at Abu Ghraib, the stories of people being tortured by agents of our government have gone largely unnoticed.

How many people have heard of Ashraf Abdullah Ahs? Or read about Bagram Collection Point, in Afghanistan? I spotted news stories, for a brief period, about Khalid El-Masri, but hadn't ever heard of the name the Salt Pit, or about El-Masri's fellow detainee, Laid Saidi, until I read about them in the wikipedia.

Add to the mix the recent passing of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, barely heralded by ho-hums and anemic, ruffling newspapers. Is it really true that the American public doesn' t possess much of an opinion concerning people that are being roughed up by Uncle Sam, and that Habeas Corpus is now deceased?

I halfway wonder if Hollywood is helping brew apathy, with a sort of psychological Wag the Dog effect curried by the gore and violence dripping off the silver screen. It appears to me that the expansive catalogue of mainstream movies being produced include a growing pool that are comprised of prolonged scenes of torture. Movies like Hostel, the Saw trilogy, Seven and Rob Zombie's flicks ooze horrific torture scenes; their plots serve up suffering and torment with a side of barbarity. When bombarded with such images as entertainment, plus daily doses of the latest, local crime featuring blood, broadcast as news, does the human brain say, "Enough," and shut the rest out?

Are we so inundated with extraordinary movie makeup, fx and premium sound effects, that the hint of the real thing doesn't resonate with us anymore? Are we so pelted from every side-- entertainment, news, internet and print media-- that premeditated violence is the expected norm, rather than the sorrowful, putrid exception

Or, is it because nobody cares?


At 2:04 PM, Blogger Gospazha said...

I'd be careful suggesting people just don't care. On a forum I frequent, someone was accusing women who do nothing for men's rights other than verbally support couldn't really care, and hinted that such women secretly WANTED to harm men. So the forum owner asked this man if he personally had done anything to stop the spread of AIDS in Africa. When the man said no, the forum owner pointed out that by his logic, then he must not care about Africans, or secretly wants them all to die of AIDS.

We all pick and choose our issues. While I find torture to be abhorrent in all ways, I have only so much energy I can devote to things that make me angry or disgusted. And torture aside, our present government is giving us plenty to vent our spleen upon. Which is the worst attrocity? Each of us can only decide for ourselves.

At 4:13 PM, Blogger lewlew said...

Obviously you do care, though, because it's more than a blip on the radar in your sphere of influence.

I was asking rhetorical questions-- why is there as much fanfare about the turn of events in our country as there is for a bakesale? Most people don't want to discuss it, or are simply unawares because it isn't covered well by the press.

We do have much we can pop a button about, but the major leap forward for a police state where people can disappear into rendition networks and never be seen again, plus endure horrific conditions, deserves some discussion.


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