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Maybe a word of warning first?

October 20, 2011 - Taste Buds
Shock value.

It's a phrase we're all familiar with. TV, internet, movies -- all of these things provide the public with lyrics, statements and photos that can be considered offensive, violent or obscene. But it seems lately, the more shocking, the better. For instance, during the war on terror various media outlets have published photos of dead terrorists. More and more, movies are more graphic and more profanity-laden than ever. Even television shows are pushing the boundaries of good taste.

The Buds were most recently disturbed by two images. The first was a photo of dozens of dead, exotic animals in the aftermath of the Zanesville exotic animal farm story. Some news outlets had the large photo plastered across the main page of their web sites. And just this morning, a web site posted a large photo of a bloody Muammar Gaddafi -- who is presumably dead although as of now it's not been confirmed. Again, it was the first thing you saw when you clicked on the web site.

The Buds wondered why there couldn't have at least been a warning? Maybe the web sites could have posted a link to the shocking images with a disclaimer that the photos could be disturbing to some people. We should not be forced to look at dead animals and dead bodies if we don't want to. But we realize that doing so would diminish the shock value, and therefore these web sites aren't going to change.

One Bud remembers many years ago when a news station chose to show the shooting of a public official. The video was played on air with no prior warning that it was violent or graphic. They later apologized, but the damage had already been done. And nowadays, America is more desensitized than ever. Images such as this that were controversial a decade ago are standard fare today.

Yes, we Buds often wax philosophic about when we were kids, when things were simpler, but that's because those were great times. We suppose that complaining isn't going to help much, so the next time we see or hear images that disturb us or attempt to desensitize us to violence, we'll just close our eyes and go to our happy place -- feeding our Barbies treats from our Easy Bake Ovens.


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