Recently, a video appeared on YouTube that reportedly shows several U.S. troops urinating on some corpses of Taliban fighters killed by U.S. forces. Not unexpectedly, this video became a big deal and was reported by many media outlets.
This thread has nothing whatsoever to do with the apparent actions of the troops in the video or the reactions this clip received all over the world. This thread is about one specific version of the video that was displayed by the Huffington Post (and perhaps other media outlets–I don’t know).
I first saw the video on the HuffPost. There were at least two warnings on the webpage stating that the clip contained graphic images. And it did. It clearly showed several dead men lying on the ground, some with blood all over them. It also clearly showed several soldiers/Marines standing over the bodies. Well, it* partially* showed them.
What it did not clearly show (I can only guess because it was deemed entirely* too* graphic–even though the disclaimer was run before the story) was the area running from just above the waist down to the lower legs of the (living) troops standing and reportedly urinating on corpses. This area was digitally blurred out. (Incidentally, making it impossible for a viewer to see whether any urination on corpses was taking place or not)
I later watched the original, unblurred video on the Guardian website (home page only due to the nature of the video). In that version you can partially see some bits of flaccid, pissing, penises–but not very well.
How did we get to the point where it’s deemed reasonable to show the bloody bodies of people who had clearly met a violent death, while at the very same time, barely recognizable human genitalia (of living people) is deemed to be too graphic EVEN FOR A VIDEO THAT VIEWERS ARE WARNED UP FRONT… IS A GRAPHIC VIDEO!!!
This general phenomenon has been remarked upon and puzzled over before. But usually it is expressed as: “Why is it OK to let our children watch violent TV and movies, and play gory video games, but it’s not OK for them to view naked people?”
Usually, whenever that issue has been hashed over, it’s involved fictional portrayals of “sex” and violence. Now we have the quintessential example of what is, IMO, the hypocritical and/or insanely mixed-up nature of some people’s (mainly Americans, which I happen to be) morals. Quintessential because within one single shot we see clearly before us what is considered (by at least one American media outlet)* to be graphic, but publicly presentable,* and what is considered *too graphic to be shown at all unless heavily obscured. *
BTW–I don’t really hold HuffPost or any other outlet that ran this particular clip primarily responsible for this outrageousness because I know they are only jumping through the hoops they have to in order to avoid a shitstorm of hypocritical, illogical, tears-and-bedwetting from (mostly) Conservatives and the Religious Right.
A link to the HuffPost version is below.
** WARNING: Even though it “only” shows brown-skinned peoples’ corpses and does not show any sinful peckers, per Board sensibilities, I am marking this as NSFW and breaking the link with @@@@.**
[noparse]HuffPost - Breaking News, U.S. and World News | HuffPost