Matthew Smith on Sun, 25 Apr 1999 04:13:04 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> a little thought on media & war.

after reading some of Friedrich Kittlers piece for the "Zeit" i started
wondering what happend to the "handy-cam revolution" everybody in the
media-art-business was talking about, even as late as the first N5M
conference in Amsterdam.

What happend to all the independent media activity that was prognosed for
the turn of the century? it doesnt seem to be happening. the people who so
vigorously stated the necessity of developing the possibilties of
accessible broadcast media (handycams, cheap audio recorders) are
strangely silent and helpless now.

nobody coming from kosova has a precious Hi8 tape or even photographs to
show, nobody in belgrade seems to digitizing their footage of
demonstrations and putting it on the web 4 distribution....why? obviously
there is great risk involved, but that hasnt stopped the occasional tape
from surfacing, not even in bosnia. the other side is: what happend to all
the gung-ho war journalists, the ones who were making the pictures of
stray dogs eating bodies of dead russian soldiers in chetchenya. it is
hard to believe that this imagery is not being captured in some form or
another, so it must be censored later in the command chain....obviously
the evil serbian government can exercise total control over state media,
especially in a war situation - but how come the mechanisms in the Free
World are being so effectivly censored? what happend?

has the Marshal Plan worked down to its last little detail? have ALL
people been brainwashed/sedated into inactivity, comfortable ignorance of
the world around them?

have the people in the West/NATO been successfully led to believe that
this is
for the common good?

the most depressing thing is that the West actually believes that their
armies are doing a good & just thing, and that there is no demand for the
Truth, not even the bloody truth of the battle field. In previous wars
involving Forces of the Free World against the bad guys there always was
the urge of at least watching dead bodies on TV and giving them names.
These days the over-saturation and inflation of imagery (also thru
computer technology and its subsequient progress in image manipulation)
has done its share to make such "proof" obsolete. These days its enough
for NATO to only verbally communicate that "there have been mass-graves
identified" or "we are only bombing miltary targets" to comfort the
guilt-ridden European souls and the righteous NorthAmerican ones.

Before the second world war not even the US citizens believed that there
was "no better place" than the US. After the pictures aka "proof" of
destroyed europe came back with the victorous, righteous GI-Joes,
everybody was sure that the US was the "Number One Country in the World".
50 years later the European Community has succeeded to believe the same
thing, has established its own set of righteous values (conviniently
enough, they kinda match the US ones...) which allows it to use force once
again, in order to establish "a stable new world order". 
The best example MUST be Joshka Fischer, germanys foreign minister.
looking from the outside, this is one of the biggest poltical tragedies of
the war - this man has carried the values of peace-marches, anti-war
activism from the streets of 1968 into the german government, only to shed
them in favour of some moral rhetoric, worthy of the sleaziest populist at
the first available oppurtunity.

The new, united europe lost its virginity together with the first
government of germany after the war that represented the innocent children
of the scarciest motherf*ckers this planet has seen to date. now these
children wasted their chance to make a change.

Shame on all of us to have let this happen - on all of us who sat on their
well-fed asses watching documentaries about the Second World War while
chanting "Niemals Vergessen" (never forget) and similiar hollow phrases of
the New Europe - on all of us who, like myself, thought that they would
never witness another war in the enlightend, free and wealthy europe.

we should have all known better, i guess, since the history of europe and
all its culture (including NorthAmerica) is written in blood. It was the
Golden Age for Europe, the longest peace-period in known history was
between WWII and the one that tore yugoslavia apart, and now its over.

so? who cares, just flip the channel.


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