“Edited for Content”

So, I’m kicking around the idea of doing my own homework and writing a research paper with my composition kids.

I started out last week thinking that I’d research Shackleton’s Endurance expedition, but then I became aware that yesterday would mark the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination.  I’m thinking, now, that I want to do some research into his funeral.  Ritual fascinates me, and State ritual is particularly interesting.  The fact that Kennedy was killed on Friday and buried on Monday is kind of amazing – that something that detailed and orchestrated could be put into place so quickly with no advanced notice is not insignificant – and I’m interested to know about the processes and trappings that went into laying our President to rest.

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In the course of my preliminary reading on the subject, I came across this article, and it got me thinking – again – about the ways in which we “publicize” the violence we do to one another.

Jackie made the deliberate decision to stay in the pink suit until she returned home from Dallas that day, despite several people gently suggesting that she change the bloodstained clothes.  She is quoted in a number of places as having said something to the effect of she wanted “them to see what they’d done,” (and though I find her pronouns a little confusing, I think “them” is the people and “they” are her husband’s killer/s.  I could be wrong about that).

Anyway, that got me thinking about this.  I do think that, despite the ever-increasing violence and gore that can be found in our entertainment – movies, t.v., video games and the like – the fact that we sanitize the real violence we do to one another is, I think, a very serious problem.  I wonder if we were exposed more often to the end results of some of the horrific things we do to each other if we might think twice about doing it.

Maybe, but I’m not sure.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to ““Edited for Content”

  1. nhfalcon

    I’m not sure this is quite where you’re going with part of this post, but I do distinctly remember two moments during my teaching internship regarding real violence vs entertainment violence:

    I showed my class the Normandy landing scene of “Saving Private Ryan” at one point during the year, and then later showed them the Zapruder film. Despite the intensity of the violence in “SPR,” most of them thought it was “cool, Dude!”

    And I shook my head in despair…

    When they saw the back of JFK’s head get blown out for real, though, they were visibly shocked and taken aback.

    And some of my hope for the future was restored…

  2. You don’t think that she wanted the killers/planners of killing to see what they had done so just one target with both pronouns?

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