Monday, September 26, 2005
When life hands you corpses ...
What do you do if you have an abundance of corpses but a shortage of cheesecake? Why, you trade them if you can. That's not a barter arrangement that many people would be willing to make, but Chris Wilson of NowThatsFuckedUp.com is the exception. In return for photos of bodies from Iraq and Afghanistan, Wilson offers the serviceman or -woman free access to the pornography section of his website.
Now we're not talking here about bodies in coffins with lilies strewn about; we're talking about some of the most sickening sights you hope you'll never see. The soldiers sending the photos contribute their own captions, many of which make the genocidal nature of the war quite clear. As for the porn, it is freely contributed and consists of pictures of wives and girlfriends, some of whom apparently do not know they're gladdening the lives of the soldiers.
While an article in The Nation was picked up by Yahoo! News, don't expect to read about this in the NY Times. The Pentagon attempted to block the site in February, but the American soldier is proving to be more resourceful, which should surprise no one.
According to Chris Thompson of East Bay Express (via What Really Happened) , the website was first noticed in the media by the NY Post in October of last year because of the nudie pictures of women soldiers. Thompson writes,
Even after [the site owner] began posting photographs of corpses late last year, media inquiries focused exclusively on his nudie pics. It wasn't until reporters from the European press contacted him last week that anyone took notice of Wilson's snuff-for-porn arrangement with American troops.
"The soldiers thing, I think the Italians picked it up first," Wilson says. "I've done interviews with the Italians, the French, Amsterdam. ... They were very critical, saying the US wouldn't pick it up, because it's such a sore spot. ... It raises too many ethical questions. ... I started to laugh, because it's true."
.... in the days since the European press uncovered the gore-for-porn story, not a single US print newspaper other than the Express has touched it.
Representatives from Amnesty International and Human Rights First even refused to comment, although both organizations ostensibly exist to condemn just this kind of practice. Perhaps no one wants to give Chris Wilson more publicity, or daily editors are too sensitive about being viewed as unpatriotic. Or perhaps the story is just too ugly to contemplate.
Thompson's writing is excellent, but it is so graphic that if you would rather avoid the bodies, avoid his article. I share his conclusion—
Americans have thousands of media outlets to choose from. But they still have to visit a porn site to see what this war has done to the bodies of the dead and the souls of the living.
No. Not some troops; all troops (9/25/05)