Oh wait! It is the video where the pig got its head cut off with a chainsaw.
No trick, it really is that bad.
Which is to say, it’s not all that bad at all. I think I’ve touched on this before, but the funny thing about the internet is that it has a way of desensitizing the individual to at least visual violence and otherwise disturbing things. I imagine if I had to smell something rotting, I’d have a problem, but for example, a picture of the shores several days after the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 showing dozens of bloated human bodies, not a big problem for me. Standing there, I don’t think I’d be overcome by the visual tragedy or horror of it, but rotting flesh would probably cause me to give up my lunch to the earth.
In the case of the pig, and I understand the difference between a pig and a human being, watching it violently die produced very little effect. At first I was incredulous that what I thought was going to happen actually would, then I was silent as the chainsaw went in, a raised eyebrow at the still kicking decapitated body, then laughter and a verbal, profane-laden expressions of disbelief as I watched the perpetrator chortle maniacally. No real shock or disgust.
*Various soldiers getting sniped in Iraq*
That produced a bit of hate. I mean, it’s Islamic propaganda and American servicemen are getting killed or wounded on camera without any provocation, meanwhile Islamic-style music plays in the background. It’s real people and if not as dramatic as a chainsaw execution, still violently destructive. But am I shocked? Was I unable to watch all of it? No, although after several minutes I grew bored and skipped through it, finding it all to be very much the same. Boredom.
Certainly all of this could have come about in other ways. Hunting profusely could quite possibly lead one to find it easier to pull the trigger on another human being. Video games haven’t monopolized simulated homicide, whatever Jack Thompson would like you to believe. And in the past, I helped a lady with several pigs hold them down and castrate them (pigs whose testicles lie inside them and must be cut into, dug out, and finally severed). That was certainly no less violent or torturous, even if it was supposed to be done for their benefit, done with relative concern for them, and not fatal. I felt something then, more due to my kinship as a male animal than anything else. Now, I feel sorry for the pig, but in a much more detached way.
Hey, it’s just a short clip, and a tiny one on a screen mere inches from my face. It’s not real, so it’s not surprising that these unreal things start to lose their weight after a while. Law of Diminishing Returns and all that.
But even a virtual diminishment has an effect on the reality that constitutes our lives.