I hope you guys appreciate sarcasm; cos I’m going to town.
I was pleased to see television news ethics had reached a new low at the weekend. At the Winter Olympics a 21-year-old Georgian luger took the last turn at about 140kph, flew off the track and hit a steel pole, dying pretty much instantly.
Television news took great delight in showing the fatal accident not once, but several times, from different angles. Sadly, I missed it. And some odd sense of decency tragically prevents me from seeking it out.
Why did the TV channels choose to show this clip? Simply because they had the footage? Certainly a death on the luge track has news merit but should viewers be entitled to see another person’s last moments of life?
In England there was a controversial documentary which followed the last days of a man dying of cancer and included, with his approval, his death. This sparked a huge outcry and the question was asked: should a television station be allowed to use real human death to improve its ratings? Essentially, should the TV station be allowed to profit from human death?
Last year I watched a documentary about a large American airshow and the vintage planes involved in it. One of the pilots interviewed early in the show was then shown completely fucking up his landing and his plane exploded, killing him instantly.
However, when Al Qaeda was chopping people's heads off in Iraq, that was off limits. Because that would have pissed off the military and certain black-ops chaps would visit the news directors and ensure they met with interesting but painful "accidents".
Yet, I know there have also been clips of fatal race car crashes shown on TV.
So, it seems that if you’re playing sport and it’s televised and you suffer a fatal injury, then it’s OK for broadcast. Because that's the risk you take in playing the game. But if somebody runs across the field naked, that’s not suitable for television. That's in poor taste.
My proposal is this: We introduce Snuff TV. Now that the lines of taste have been pushed far enough back, I don’t see why we can’t just start killing people for entertainment on television at least once a week.
There will be a variety of games. It will be a bit like that Gladiators show, but with explosions, hangings and disembowellings. There could even be a sniper section where we choose three members of the public and viewers can text vote on which one should die. Then we shoot them on the way to work.
The options are endless.
“Now Rob, you chose the ancient Japanese practice of hari-kari for cash. You've now been disembowelled; how do you feel?”
“Yeah, Max, I gotta say it’s pretty painful at the moment.”
“Rob, did you expect the smell to be this bad?”
“Ha, no. I think this explains why my farts always smelt so awful.”
“Good one, Rob. Now you’re in for $10,000 an hour at the moment, but if you survive the full day you’ll take the $100,000 bonus and receive potentially life-saving medical assistance.”
“That’d be great, Max. Hey watch what you’re stepping on there!”
“Haha. Always like to see a victim with a sense of humour. Now, Marianne, how are things going at the gallows?”