Ethics Final paper

Ethics Final paper - Bixler Catherine Bixler Sidney...

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Bixler Catherine Bixler Sidney Littlefield Ethics and Society 4 December 2007 Virilio- Disaster Film In chapter three of his book The Original Accident, Paul Virilio discusses the multimedia footage of disasters that is increasingly aired on televisions all over the world. Virilio talks about how our obsession with viewing this footage has overcome us and turned us into a nation obsessed with violence and suffering. The media in our nation has become so grotesque- so crude and so violent- that as viewers at home, we are becoming more and more accustomed to and more and more dependent on seeing this violence and this disaster day after day. Movies with no plot but that of violence and torture such as the Saw series and Hostel are socially acceptable movies- they are shown in movie theatres all over town, and middle schoolers sneak into these movies unchaperoned to get their fix of violence, blood, and guts. The way our nation approaches violence can be compared to driving past a horrible car accident on the side of the road. The driver of any passing car can always be found slowing way down to look- hoping to see a dead body, but not really wanting to. Traffic always bottlenecks in the roads around these car accidents because everyone passing by has to try to catch a glimpse of the gore- a glimpse of the pain. Perhaps seeing this constant pain- this constant suffering on T.V. and in the news 1
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Bixler helps people appreciate their own personal lack of suffering. If a person sees on the news that a husband has shot and killed his neighbor’s family, he will not feel so bad about losing his job that day and will be thankful to be safe at home with a living family. Perhaps seeing live footage of people jumping out of their office windows on September 11 th , 2001 made families hug each other a little tighter and count their blessings more often. But why, then, is it necessary for the footage to be repeated? Why is our nation’s dependency on violence and gruesome events so acceptable now? Virilio says that “since 11 September 2001, as we’ve all been able to observe, media coverage of acts of violence has everywhere expanded”(Virilio 20). In saying this, Virilio is saying that in a way, the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11 th and the media coverage that followed it was the gateway- the excuse- that all other news networks and Hollywood film companies needed to release their most gory, grotesque footage and have it be accepted and viewed regularly. Much like the Zizek example of the portrayal of the
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Ethics Final paper - Bixler Catherine Bixler Sidney...

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