Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Friday, November 26, 2004

We Are Shocked, Shocked!

On November 22, 2004, most media outlets couldn't get enough of the basketball brawl story, but since the yearly anniversary of the assassination of JFK is always conducive to an easy story, extensive coverage was also given to the release of the video game JFK Reloaded, which is a first-person shooter that allows the player to assume the role of Oswald and see if they can duplicate his shooting. I saw stories on the CBS Evening News and Newsnight With Aaron Brown and they both assumed the same tone of moral outrage at the same time they advertised this game to millions of potential players. What bloody hypocrisy. On the weekend preceding this story, there was yet another documentary about the JFK asassination which worked itself up to an attempt to test the plausibility of the single-bullet theory with artificial human torsos, gelatin blocks, animal bones and such like gruesomeness. Of course, none of these documentaries are complete without endless repetitions of the Zapruder film, where we aren't viewing what is obviously computer animation but the actual visual record of a man's last moments of life. Not to mention Ruby killing Oswald, autopsy photos and X-rays of Kennedy's head, etc. But that's OK because it's "educational." It's also OK because the channels that run these programs happen to be owned by the same media conglomerates that put on the news, whereas JFK Reloaded comes from a Scottish company no one ever heard of before and most likely, will never hear from again.

As "littlelawyergirl" wrote on Slate's message forum, "If you get offended at the simulation of the assasination of a beloved president, you should be offended at the simulation of the murder of ANYONE, even a fictional character.

Either you accept the premise that the simulation of violence is in fact wrong and dangerous, or it isn't.

The sentimental value of the the object of the simulation should be irrelevant."

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