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Watching The Horror

Security cameras are witnesses of terrorist attacks. Alas, they could not prevent them.

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Terror is closer than ever [on our screen]


In Stockholm or in Egypt, security cameras are providing the Authorities (and the media) with a post-factum coverage of the latest terrorist attacks. This is not their original purpose, though. We have to admit that it is impossible to prevent an attack designed and/or executed by someone who is determined to die and take other lives with him. This conclusion is actually the proof that these horrible attacks are succeeding their goals. That weird feeling of insecurity, no matter where you are, where you live, who do you live or work with, who are you passing by. That sense that you cannot trust anyone. That absurd acceptance that this latin phrase "homo homini lupus" (a man is a wolf for another man) is absolutely right. But there's also another thing. In 1991, during the Gulf War, we had the chance to see the air-strikes against Saddam Hussein's Iraq live on TV. Then, it looked like a video game. Twenty five years after, the blood in our screens looks closer than ever.

The thing is, could we discuss the possibility of getting "acquainted" with these horrible images to some extent? Is there a chance that there's going to be a time when we will see these images of death and despair, as just another video in the news? Action films and video games are providing us with lost of blood, in a way better production. Is there a chance that we are gradually losing our sensitivity to feel the pain of the others, while instead watching this as another tv show? Will our mouse or our touch screen or our remote control remove the horror from our lives in the same easy way that we switch channels or websites? I wonder whether this might be the worst consequence of terror. That we won't be surprised anymore when we hear about another attack. That we're slowly accepting this as a possibility. This is the first step to beginning to resemble what we now fear the most: Those brutal, heartless killers that don't give the damn about the utmost value: The value of human life.

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