WarTube

In light of the wikileaks.org incident this week, I thought I’d go back to an article I read a couple months ago, “The Pleasure of Flinching.”

I passed on posting it because it was serious, dense and I didn’t agree with it 100%, the opposite of most of the junk I put on here. There’s no doubt it brings up some interesting issues, though.

[Iraqi Short Films] instead appropriates and consolidates images that have found a second life on the Internet as short and seemingly unfiltered acts of violence. Such footage—YouTube slideshows, passionate pro- and anti-war pleas, insurgent recruitment videos, crudely satirical musical mash-ups, amateur documentaries by soldiers themselves—has become an increasingly popular sub-genre in the viral video phenomenon, ranking somewhere behind pornography, the drunken exploits of celebrities, police videos, and shark attacks in online popularity. Images both mundane (soldiers goofing off) and obscene (dead children) have found a second life within a digital landscape that has spawned no shortage of academic theorization, much of which is devoted to the idea that digital media has rendered the world unknowable. Digital atrocity footage, it seems, has created a new blindness toward the war through which aesthetic shock has replaced critical understanding.

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