Raw Video from Haiti

Things you won’t see on CNN, FOX, or the other mainstream media.

I’ve always found it an exceedingly strange contradiction that we (Americans especially, but also Canadians) are so prissy and squeamish when it comes to the actuality of death considering that our popular culture has such an apparently indifferent regard for life.

Update: To facilitate your donations to victims of the earthquake in Haiti, the Harper government has set up this page on the Revenue Canada website. Clicking on the link to a searchable list of registered charities in Canada helpfully provides potential donors with the following:

Last modified 2½ months ago and nobody checked the dysfunctional link before directing thousands of people to it. Yikes! Crack efficiency, or what?

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Raw Video from Haiti

  1. Volkov

    I wouldn’t say Western culture has an “indifferent” regard for life, just one that it doesn’t like to accept the reality of so easily. Hence why ideas of Heaven and Hell are so prevalent and calming ideas for so many, even the non-religious – people don’t like to accept the loss of someone, especially with the cushy lives we live.

    Now, go to Haiti and other areas, you’ll find a lot more “indifference” than in the US or Canada. When death is a daily reality, you’d have to become numb to it.

  2. Ti-Guy

    I’m more put off by the forced or compulsory expressions of “my thoughts go out to their family” when it comes to the deaths of people one doesn’t know at all. Unless there’s something particularly tragic about the death, I find that sentiment cheapens life more than anything and really makes death an opportunity to appear concerned, making it all about oneself more than it is about the deceased or their survivors.

    When I was growing up, every funeral had this gaggle of women no one knew who showed up to offer their condolences. My parents called them “the wailing witches.”

  3. Penny N.

    When my time arrives my hubby and family know I want nada – no obit, no ceremony – just to be cremated and my ashes thrown in the ocean. If my family choose to have a wake – fine. I’d hope they’d at least have some Grand Marnier & Courvosier to celebrate my passing :-)

  4. Volkov — What I had in mind when I said “indifferent” was the casual treatment of life in popular culture; e.g., films, TV, video games, and so on where people are routinely blown away or imaginatively terminated for effect.

    We seem to relish in the fantasy, but as you noted, don’t so easily accept the reality associated with death and are even quite averse to confronting it. Unfortunately, as you said, when it becomes part of daily life, it’s only natural to become desensitized to it.

  5. Penny — Quite so. There’s a place here on the Island that now offers “green” funerals. I gather they inter your ruins in a cardboard box and allow you to decompose in some woodsy part of the cemetery. The ultimate carbon exchange program…

    A bit lacking in imagination though. Personally, I’d rather take a more active role in my own death. Perhaps something involving a small boat, a gun, and an inordinate amount of liquor.

  6. De acuerdo, RT. Strange that it easy enough in the evangelical churches to see photos of aborted babies, but no photos of the innocent people killed by bombs, hurricanes or earthquakes. It doesn’t make sense to me, either, that people who purport to be followers of Jesus decry abortion while encouraging war…. but there you are. There’s so much that doesn’t make sense in life… and death.

    As for my own funeral arrangments, it’s good to know that green funerals are now available. Do you suppose the funeral parlours will dispose of the biodegradable coffins in landfills? Even though I haven’t had a drink in 34 years, I’ve always liked the idea of a large bottle of estate Jamaica Rum, a few wedges of lime, some sleeping pills and a relatively remote woodland setting somewhere away from hikers, but accessible to wildlife….

    BTW, switching from Anderson Cooper’s sanitised visit to the hillside grave dump to Newsworld was an eye opener. I had no idea the Americans were so sensitive and that Canadians were so hardened – relativelt speaking!! We should all be made aware of the results of bombings in particular and disasters in general. I was particularly struck by the split second shot in the video of a young woman who was dying…. someone’s mother, girlfriend, co-worker, neighbour, all alone in the hot sun with people rushing past her….

  7. A. Sirrom

    It’s not difficult to understand why North Americans have aversions to death. Most of it has to do with religion, the hidden body…coffins and the attempted sanitation of death. Life is life and death is part of it. That was a realization for me at age nineteen when involved in an auto accident which almost took my life. I didn’t feel much but it changed my life forever. There really isn’t anything one can do about it but to accept it. When one does accept it, life is much more pleasant.

  8. As I mused yesterday:

    Much idle & cliched chit-chat concerning the “dignity” of the dead, specifically in Haiti, but one hears this crap often enough. We have almost no recollection of any goddamn concern for the “dignity” of the living in Haiti, before Gawd punished them for their “pact to the devil.”

    It occurs to me now that the very phrase “dignity of the dead” is media-popular more because of its alliteration than any actual connection to reality.

    Either way, it’s sickening that the media types seem as or perhaps more concerned about corpses than still-living humans.

  9. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally,
    it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.

    You definitely know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on
    just posting videos to your weblog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

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