Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Weird Duck.

One of the things that once bothered me took place in 8th grade history; I had for some reason not been able to eat lunch at the normal time and was eating my turkey sandwich. Only when I was halfway through did I realize that the footage of a german WWII death camp that was playing on the TV featured humans whose flesh looked about as colorful as the turkey I was eating. I wasn't disturbed by this as much as the realization that I could eat while watching emancipated bodies being pushed into mass graves.

To this day, I can still watch footage of war's aftermath without revulsion. I should clarify that; the results are certainly revolting, but it does not turn my stomach or make me feel ill. On the other hand, it is also not something I enjoy; it is just an acknowledgment of war's brutality and horror.

So I find myself bothered tonight, watching The History Channel's WWII in HD, that they've blurred out *some* of the carnage. While describing the Japanese civilian suicides at Saipan, there were areas where the viewer can see dead bodies and bits smashed against the rocks, there are areas that are blurred out. One clip shows a woman's bloody, disfigured face, but most of her body is blurred out.

I believe this does a disservice to history, thus increasing the odds it will repeat itself.

We don't have a weapon that wins wars by making the enemy neatly and cleanly lie down. We are still hacking and rending bodies apart, just with fancier and more expensive weapons. A guided missile still explodes into tiny pieces that seek to smash and tear an airplane enough that it cannot function.

We still, even in this "modern" day and age, smash, tear, and destroy when we fight each other. If you don't show the FULL horror of war, people will forget how horrible it is and it will be less likely that there will be restraint and efforts to avoid it in the future.