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chromatic (983)

chromatic
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Journal of chromatic (983)

Wednesday April 09, 2003
12:45 PM

News is Pr0n

[ #11551 ]

For people who grew up watching war, it's time to live out the fantasy.

  -- News Producer

Was it Pat Cadigan's Synners that had the passage that described hundreds of television channels as one form of pornography or another? Some channels had disaster porn, with hurricanes, train wrecks, and car crashes. Others had food porn, with recipes, slow, lingering shots of bundt cake, and the ubiquitous miracle knife.

I once saw a TV documentary that asked, "Why are American children so fascinated with guns?" Of course, they had slow, lingering shots of smooth, glossy black revolvers on softly-lit silk display stands. Ooh, sexy. Aah, forbidden. Why indeed?

To describe war -- and participating in war -- as a "fantasy" alternately frightens and angers me.

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  • Agreed. What I find disturbing is that it seems we will soon (if not already) be waging war by remote control; so that our troops are actually just good video game players in a fantasy world which really is no fantasy at all, and real lives are at stake. For example the Predator Spy Plane [bbc.co.uk] which is operated by a team of 50 people from the comfort of HQ. If both sides had access to this technology I guess it would be ok. But when only one side does it kind of seems cowardly, and unfair.
    • Any technological advantage seems unfair, whether it is having stone edges that are better than the opponent's wooden edges, or anything that has happened since.

      However, there is a difference between war and a sporting event - keeping things fair is important when there is an audience to be enticed, but not when winning the conflict is the final end.

      • You're taking sides. Why are guerrilla tactics tought of as so unfair? Why does only one side — the other side — have to obey the rules?
        • I contend that terrorism is a form of warfare, just a very diffuse form.

          "Normal" warfare has a large army. Lots of rules to follow when you have thousands if not millions of people to order about.

          Guerrilla warfare is much more diffuse. Less people and less rules.

          Terrorism is even more diffuse than guerrilla, it can be just one person waging their personal war against pies.

          Just because we don't like the tactics used doesn't mean we can consider it illegal.

          Of course, I'm just raving lunie.
          • Well, we can consider it illegal.

            It's also generally considered a breach of the peace anyway.

            The thing is, if it's illegal, how are you going to stop them? =)
            --
              ---ict / Spoon
        • There is nothing against the rules about waging war by remote control.
        • Actually, I'd say that making war in any form is inherently unfair.

          War means that the concept of fairness has broken down, or at least the participants have concepts of fairness that are so divergent that no mutually fair course can be agreed upon. So, the participants resort to using force to have their own idea of fairness prevail.

          One side may have the bigger better funded army and the other side may have the smaller dirty-trickier army. That has nothing to do with whether one's view of "fair" is ri

  • Yep, that is in deed Cadigan's Synners. It's a fantastic book, and while today much of what she wrote about seems to be actual reality, it's amazing to realize that it was published in 1991, before the Net, 100+ cable channel services, and the like. Great book.