id like to think that im a pretty good person, but

It was just brought up to me by someone that I happen to like quite a bit that my use of those photos from Abu Ghraib last night was disappointing. She said, or implied, that making light of such things must require a certain amount of detachment, even if I didnt necessarily approve of the actions being shown in the images.

I tried to defend myself. I tried to convince her that my poor attempt at humor was merely meant to draw people in so that theyd follow the links and read about the abuse taking place at the hands of American soldiers and contractors. She said that the fact I could even consider using those images, even if it was to draw attention to our monumental mishandling of the Iraq situation, was evidence of my dead heart. (Those werent her exact words, but thats what it felt like she was saying.) I talked of the history of satire and the place for humor in political debate. I talked about the need for unconventional approaches in these seriously fucked up times. I tried to make the case that I was merely trying to raise awareness during a time when our president is still running dead even with his Democratic challenger, in spite of all the shit hes done to make our nation less safe, less liked, less trusted, less prosperous and less free. The desperate times call for desperate measures argument didnt seem to appease her either though. I tried to convincer her that if I just pointed out that the abuse of Iraqi prisoners was horrible that no one would read my site. In short, I wasted a lot of time defending the indefensible. I shouldnt have used those images of torture and abuse to further my comedic cause regardless of how noble my goals may have been.

Maybe, if what I had written had been funny, I think, I could have gotten away with it.

But, its not about that. Its about me feeling detached and distant from world events even as I consume all the details about them. I watch these things not like an active participant, but like an academic watching reality television. I think about causes, affects and trends, but not about the people themselves. I dont think about the families of the dead, or the dead themselves, but of the way their deaths will be marketed and leveraged. Its sick.

Back to the issue of abuse of prisoners in Iraq, Seymour Hersh just said on Fox News that its going to get worse. Heres a quote:

First of all, it’s going to get much worse. This kind of stuff was much more widespread. I can tell you just from the phone calls I’ve had in the last 24 hours, even more, there are other photos out there. There are many more photos even inside that unit. There are videotapes of stuff that you wouldn’t want to mention on national television that was done. There was a lot of problems.

There was a special women’s section. There were young boys in there. There were things done to young boys that were videotaped. It’s much worse. And the Maj. Gen. Taguba was very tough about it. He said this place was riddled with violent, awful actions against prisoners.

Anyway, Im sorry if I offended anyone by my use of those photos yesterday. I certainly wasnt condoning the actions of the US military, and Id like think that I also wasnt using someone elses pain to sell a cheap laugh. I may be deluding myself, but Id like to think that my use of those images can be defended What cant, however, be defended is the criticism that Im detached. I am. I grew up just inches from a TV.

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