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Mother Reacts to Daughter’s Headless Torso

“Madame, I understand your daughter was one of the children who was playing inside the cannon when it went off. As the wife of a military hero, would you say your enthusiasm for the 21-gun salute has increased or decreased now that you’ve lost two family members to artillery accidents?”

If photographers were required to conduct interviews instead of gutlessly snapping photos and making a run for it, the above is more or less what we’d see.

Instead, we have access to the world’s largest sadist wallpaper collection. Just search Google images for “grieves mining accident”. If you only get off on seeing Chinese women weeping over dead husbands or, say, Colombian women holding back tears because rescue crews haven’t yet reached the mutilated bodies, then be sure to specify the object of your fetish. Or if searching Google images seems too extreme, just try to become knowledgeable about any latest accident by simply reading about it. In nearly any random article, your “knowledge” will be supplemented with intellectual content consisting of “Oh, so that’s the expression I’d have if junior fell into the wood chipper.”

This is how low the media, and the world’s tolerance of it, have fallen. In order to purportedly show support for a cause, a photojournalist is willing to snap and distribute the permanent depiction of fellow human beings experiencing their most tragic moments. After all, they’ve captured “real” and “human” emotions. These words seem to justify any well-acted, scriptless piece of shit, so they’re sure hell going to be used to justify real-life human emotional disasters.

But these artistes are on a level so low they could snap upskirt pics of Hollywood paparazzi. We’re talking TauTona low. I hear that Reuters and AP award bonuses if their photographers actually capture the act of penetration, meaning stalactite through skull.

Comparatively speaking, a paparazzi’s curb-view celebrity crotch shot exhibits far more taste than a reputable news organization’s misery-as-infotainment. Two reasons. First, families of disaster victims never plan on their private tragedies taking place in full view of a camera lens. When Paris Hilton, on the other hand, wants her crotch on the front page of the New York Times, she lets you know it: she leaves her house. (She may not actually give permission orally, but if you look carefully, you can read her lips.) Second, a shot of Paris Hilton’s vagina never ruined anybody’s work day. Unless, of course, you happened to have your monitor facing your office hallway and no one ever told you about Windows-D or proxy servers.

Which brings me to the second offensive thing about close-ups of the grieving. These photos act like reality TV spoilers, except that instead of Joan Rivers or Bret Michaels winning Celebrity Apprentice, it’s John Q. Asshole losing Extreme Makeover: Cave Edition. You get the golden opportunity to share in someone’s private emotional tragedy, either making you feel like plain, old shit in the conventional sense, or else like some kind of armchair Mother Teresa, delighting in the sorrows of others because it makes you feel lucky. And/or still capable of experiencing any old sort of honest emotion.

And yes, I’m talking about “privacy” in the sense of “don’t invade my fucking privacy”. I have a strong suspicion that, were we not living in a lunatic asylum of a culture, a rational case might be made for images of a personal nature being the private property of those being photographed. But for now, I’ll just stick to the premise that these photographers, news organizations, and media of all breeds are simply scumbags of truly majestic proportions.

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