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Our Changing View of Obscenity

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What constitutes an obscenity? Who decides what is obscene? I watched a video of Marilyn Manson and his video “Obscene”. I admit that the words just about escaped me and my middles aged eardrums but I managed to get the point. Obscenity is in the eye of the beholder. What some see as obscene, others might see a beautiful or artistic, just as some who may see something and find it informative, some might find obscene.

What is obscene? I am not a good judge, because I seem to find more and more things in my everyday life as obscene. I find the unnecessary close-ups of ghastly wounds on television obscene. What is the purpose of showing brains being blown out of someone’s head in slow-motion? What is the purpose in the blood and the gore? Is it in humanity’s best interests to inure their fellow human beings to gore? Do young people in their formative years need to see autopsies performed and a chest cavity exposed like flaps of a bedspread? What possible good comes of that? Are we preparing our young people tp deal with dead, dismembered bodies in case they have to deal with some in the future? What’s the point? I am a former EMT and I can't stand the blood and gore.

Another thing that I’ve noticed is that television shows are sinking to the same standards that this actual regime in Washington has lowered itself too. I saw an episode of “The Unit” in which an Army Unit that engages in “Black Ops” for the President, has one of their own threatened by a person that was going to tell his wife of an extra-marital affair. In this particular segment, instead of showing the heartbreak and drama of a spouse cheating on his partner, the “Unit” grabs the would-be informer and threatens him with being “rendered” by the government. Since in the show they are cast as a government unit that “renders” people, they make it seem authentic and drive the would-be informer away. What are we learning from this? What are we teaching our children? Is it OK to lie and cheat to cover up a something that was immoral to begin with? To me it’s obscene.

There are so many things that could be considered obscene. This war in Iraq is obscene. The bodies in the streets of Baghdad every morning are obscene. This Presidents use of “signing statements” are obscene. The recent appointments during the Congressional recess where Bush appointed three people to posts in areas that they are in firm disagreement with is obscene. To put a person in a regulatory commission when she belongs top an anti regulatory group is obscene. To put a man that champions privatization of Social Security into a sensitive Social Security post is obscene. To appoint a man who paid for the “Swift boat Veterans for Truth” ad campaign against Senator Kerry in the last presidential campaign is obscene.

The facts, if you truly want to go over them as far as this entire Bush regime stands, are all obscene. This President’s policies in regard to both Domestic and Foreign policies have been obscene since he has taken office. What could be more obscene that the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi’s? Are they less than human because they live in the Middle East? Are we to decide who gets to live and who has to die? Who gave us this right? Bush has insisted since the beginning of his Presidency that he is the decider, maybe we should take him at his word. Just making that statement however, is obscene, and the longer that we let him get away with running the Armed Services as if he were playing a huge video game is obscene.
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Tim Gatto is Ret. US Army and has been writing against the Duopoly for the last decade. He has two books on Amazon, Kimchee Days or Stoned Colds Warriors and Complicity to Contempt.

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