"Oh it's opening time, down on Fascination Street..."

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To get you up to speed, read this. Tragically, not only did the attempt fail, but it also cost extreme diver Dave Shaw his life. Then this happened. And last night on Third Degree, a local current affairs program, they aired the footage from the video camera. I did not intend to watch, but happened upon the footage while switching channels and found myself morbidly transfixed. When it finished, I wondered what had been the point? I can understand his fellow divers and analysts watching the footage to decipher what went wrong, but why should the rest of us see? How many times have I been stuck in traffic because everyone is rubber-necking an accident? They could probably run a 24hr channel exclusively showing near-death encounters, miraculous escapes. The point is this; I know these morbid fascinations exist and the debate rages on....it makes us appreciate life, it's because we're obsessed with life after death - the differing arguments are endless. Yet knowing all of this, I still watched...and an hour later I had forgotten, chuckling to myself as Whose Line is it Anyway flickered across the screen (yes Colin, it was another bald joke). It reminds me of a story a friend of mine once wrote in high school. A man stares at his television screen. A hideous, mis-shapen creature glares back. The longer the man stares at the creature, the more he succumbs to it. It's as if the thing is tearing through his mind. But a closer look reveals that the tv is off....

7 Responses to “"Oh it's opening time, down on Fascination Street..."”

  1. Blogger Prone Ranger 

    I agree with your sentiments exactly, however, it is precisely this that attracts many to some blogger diaries. My 7 year old daughter saw an advert for reality TV the other day: It shows a toy dog savaging a man, and then has the punch line "You'd rather see the real thing - Reality TV". The next add was of Cops using their fingures as guns, shooting the crooks, followed by the same buy-line. My daughter's comment was " Who would want to see someone really die? Who wants to see a man eaten by a dog or shot dead - are they sick or what, don't they know that that person has a family?"

    Where do we go wrong on the path to adulthood? PS great blog, many shared interests regarding films and music.

  2. Blogger the wheel 

    What is it with people and rubber-necking? Most of the time people slow down when passing an accident scene and there isn't even anything to see.

    I have an example that is much worse than what you saw. Last year I stumbled upon a site with an innocuous sounding link that went to a video of a hostage in Iraq being beheaded (I think it was Nic Berg). Oh man, did that fuck my head up for a while. I didn't want to watch it, but I couldn't look away once it started. I had nightmares for several nights in a row after that. I had to try very hard just to block it out of my mind.

  3. Blogger Lohans 

    wow. that was a very powerful and captivating story. and the other comments were very good as well. it is interesting how we are caught by the image of death. whether it's on tv, in real life, or even in a magazine. it has this ability to capture us and awe us, even though the images we're seeing are horric. and yes, traffic on the freeway due to an accident that has been entirely moved and has nothing to show for anymore is SO bloody annoying.

  4. Blogger Hans the Destroyer 

    Humans are fascinated with their own mortality. End of story, it's always been that way- despite what they say.

  5. Blogger forgottenmachine 

    Hi Skrambled, I had exactly the same experience with the Nick Berg video as you did, and even though it was a pretty warm day, I felt so cold for a good part of it....even just writing about it.....

    Thanks Lohans, I had my suspicions that I was far from the only one who found rubber-necking highly annoying, I'm just glad that my suspicions were confirmed AFTER my post, otherwise you would all have been subjected to a far lengthier diatribe!

    I take your point Hansy, but how do we prevent ourselves from becoming desensitized? Can I afford to continually question my own motives?

  6. Blogger Fence 

    I'll admit to viewing the Nick Berg video too, but half way through or less and I couldn't watch anymore. But I found it was the that really got to me.

    Maybe the big deal with death is that it is the ultimate unknown. We have so much information about almost anything these days that there is less and less mystery, or what we don't know is too complex, or in the case of religion devalued.

    Death is something that we all will experience, guess it makes us wonder. As for the rubber-necking, well it always reminds me of cows staring as you walk through (or sometimes by) their field.

  7. Blogger Hans the Destroyer 

    You know, I don't know how one avoids becoming desensitized. I myself cannot comment on this because I'm sure I've become hardened and numb to pretty much everything- and I don't know that there's a way to get back that "innocence" of mind that I possessed before. I would say that one's best bet would be to severe the constant flow of images from the media- but it would seem to be quite an impossible task, given the world in which we live.

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