all in good taste

Posted on January 12, 2009
Filed Under society | 1 Comment

A few months ago, whilst engaged in the massive consumption of stuff that may or may not be information, like a baleen whale scooping through krill in the frozen Antarctic waters, in the search of tasty tidbits that may amuse my readers, I clicked on a link with a very low brow exhortation about a guy escaping a cop chase in an “extreme” fashion.  What I saw was a infrared video shot from a helicopter of a man running through some alleys being chased by the police.  When he finally realised he was trapped, he turned his gun on himself and committed suicide.  Though it was seen at a distance, through low quality heat seeking footage that rendered everyone as glowing silhouettes, it still didn’t change the fact that I had watched someone, who had, in a final act of desperation, fear and no doubt, agony, kill themselves, and I had done this with the expectation that it would be entertainment.  It was an unnerving experience.  The man’s plight stayed with me for the whole day. In this article from the Times Online, Caitlin Moran writes of a similar situation, though significantly more disturbing.

Four weeks ago I saw a murder on the internet. There isn’t a punchline to this; it is not an intriguing play on words. Four weeks ago someone on a chatboard posted a link, with the exhortation: “See if you can keep your breakfast down after watching this! I couldn’t!”

Since “See if you can keep your breakfast down after watching this!” is, as one poster pointed out later, the kind of comment that, in the 21st century, precedes a link to a very fat woman trying to get out of a very small car or – if the chatboard is really bitchy – that shot where Mischa Barton is mixing Lacroix and Chanel very badly, quite a few of us clicked on the link.

Instead, it took us to some footage shot on a mobile phone, in some bland, murky woodland. It appears to be early summer. Fifteen feet away there’s a man on the ground. It’s immediately clear that a great many terrible things have happened to him quite recently, and that he will die very, very soon.

The point of writing about this is that I have not really felt the same since I saw the murder, so I am not going to describe things in great detail – even though it is the details in watching someone die that are the most awful, and fascinating, and that rattle you the most.

Of the non-gory things, it is the man’s trousers – grey, slightly worn but ironed; the kind that a poor, proud man would wear if he were going to the bank, say, or visiting more well-to-do friends – that were the most upsetting. He had dressed in great calm, and great order. He was now dying in unimaginable disorder and distress.

I do have to tell you that the man was being tortured – and not torture as shown on television dramas or films, which often looks like an aerobics session with a particularly strict personal trainer. One where you just have to “work through the burn” for a few minutes, like Madonna, before effecting an exciting escape. Two similar-looking teenagers were gathered around the man, and their torture was about brutally killing someone very slowly. more

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One Response to “all in good taste”

  1. Lance on July 29th, 2014 12:43 am

    funnel@curtain.muscle” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ çà èíôó….

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