Monday, November 2, 2009

Of War and 'Reporting'

Saw a really horrible film which raised more than grotesque questions.
But, it wasn't a film..it was unfolding before you- in a conference room.

Remembered Kurtz.
Some thing out of what Coetzee could have written, without the underlying self knowledge.

How do you go and 'report' a horrible inferno of war in Africa and come out and talk about how to get insurance coverage for the equipment.The people you reported about wouldn't be affected any way because they are all dead. How is it to come out of some thing where you are the only few people alive- the television crew.

To parachute into umpteen such situations. The dangerous disney ride to the 'developing world', out of which you will come out with terse sound bites and visuals which incite horror. You take the visuals of the man whose leg is cut off, then attend to him in whatever possible medical way [in that order]. Probably they waited with the wounded man in the van till you arrived so that it could be in the camera.

Is the television journalist the new colonizer? Getting air dropped into countless 'uncivilized' countries where people can be neatly arrayed into a range of dead bodies or can be displayed in grotesque acts of 'barbarism'.After all, what can Africans do in British television news other than killing each other or using human body parts for witchcraft?While the 'crew' explains how they managed to get those awful visuals, you are supposed to sit back and mull how things are in the 'dark' continent.

Meanwhile the ones who are getting initiated into the trade of 'reporting' gets all kicked up about the "adrenalin rush" of war and how s/he really wants to do it. They have solutions for safety issues while you cover disaster in a slum, like a fire. Carry a gun trotting security guard so that no one will try to pinch your dollars or steal the equipment.

Take a bow before the insanity. Next time while picking up a Television remote control, use hand sanitizer.

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