[-empyre-] images hard to watch

John Hopkins jhopkins at neoscenes.net
Sun Nov 9 16:11:53 EST 2014

> Akram Al Halabi writes: "Harsh images and videos of massacres published in the
> media. Images hard to watch. During the last three years, I was writing on these
> images what I see in the image itself.

"hard to watch" is a crucial phrase. but what does it really mean? Is it because 
we recognize that the action watched is a contravention of life, that 
4-billion-year-old phenomena that has been continuously ongoing for that entire 
period? Or is it that, as social and individuated animals, we see in such 
actions our own death?

All the discussion raises what has seemed a bit absent -- the fact of the 
technology, the techno-social system that bring these images & sounds to us, 
that we consume, that changes us. Not to mention the effect of the media eyes 
'on site' -- given the quantum adage that 'the observer changes that which is 

What is terror that is not seen except by perpetrator and victim? that is not 
discovered and written, talked about. Is it still terror?

The media 'observer' changes things profoundly, but how?

And then there is us, another layer of observers, remote, detached, seeing 
attenuated signals from far away. Change occurs in us, change that is forever. 
We are different for watching any of these tele-images. Does one need to see to 
know the essence of terror, and to even understand it as far as it can be 
understood? Do we need to bath ourselves in this endless shimmering Light, 
rather than simply looking into the eyes of the most proximal and give our 
attention there instead.

We are animals, perhaps nothing more than Life expending energy to maintain Life 
on the planet. Optimization of life-energy projecting itself into the future is 
not about the life of particular species, nor about the particular individual 
within a species. Life optimizes Life's projection into the future. This, more 
often than not, will be at the expense of one species or another and will 
definitely come at the expense of individuals of many species. Ours is no 
different. When food, water, space, is scarce, mating opportunities complex, the 
weapons come out, the teeth, the claws, the iron, the steel. Those able to 
project power will do so, violently if necessary, to eliminate competition.

Are we witnessing anything more than this?


Dr. John Hopkins, BSc, MFA, PhD
grounded on a granite batholith
twitter: @neoscenes

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