Apparently, some visitors to this blog have found recent entries "highly offensive" specifically the imagery associated with our last two podcasts. To them I'd like to say that, on first glance, I can understand how one might easily be offended. But these images are meant to be viewed within a context. These images are meant as a companion to our podcast. They were created not to offend, but as a response to the highly offensive reality we find ourselves confronting daily. Taken out of the context of our conversation, they stand alone for anyone to add a context that suits them.
At first glance one might think that they are a smug attempt to seize the moment all for the sake of a bad joke. But they are meant to grab the attention and make one think because the times we live in demand it. So I ask that you look beyond the images to the "highly offensive" reality which inspired them.
(The two images under fire can be viewed by scrolling down the page to the entries for Podcast numbers 69 and 70.)
Without going into a blow by blow defence of the images, let me be brief.
The image associated with podcast #69 draws a comparison between Hitler and an image of President Bush and Senator John McCain. One man, a president whose legacy will be one of deceptively leading us into a war while attempting to dismantle our freedoms at home. The other a once respected Senator who now abandons all principle for the opportunity for succesion to the White House. The same man who just this last week joked that we should "Bomb, bomb, bomb. Bomb, bomb, Iran." Talk about poor taste! Hey, we just do a political podcast, he's running for President.
The image of Hitler is meant as a warning about the direction we are heading. Perhaps a little more free speech in Germany in the 30's would have been benificial.
Then there is the image that compares the recent killer on the campus of Virginia Tech to our President. This one admittedly was a tough decision to go ahead with. There was even some disagreement among our podcasting team. In the end I made the decision to post the image. I will certainly respect the wisdom of our group should they wish to remove it.
The tragedy at Virginia tech left us uncharacteristically subdued in our podcast #70. It was only when I heard of our President's decision to attend a memorial at VT and what he had to say that the image began to form for me.
Here was our President flying to attend a memorial for young Americans, why?, for a photo op. I would have respected his decision to attend had he ever attended one single ceremony for any of our young Americans who died in Iraq. But 3500 deaths there never produced a single appearance on the part of our President at an event similar to the one at Virginia Tech. Why? Because it would be politically uncomfortable for him, a bad photo op.
But then I heard what he had to say that day at VT and the "highly offensive" irony of his words compelled me post the image. He said "it's impossible to make sense of such violence and suffering. Those whose lives were taken did nothing to deserve their fate, they were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time."
How dare a man whose policies result in the equivalent of such a tragedy happening daily in Iraq, speak of senseless violence.
The mainstream media, in this case NBC News, which was so quick to put a face on the person responsible for the tragedy at Virginia Tech, is somewhat lacking, as is all the mainstream media, in assigning responsibility for the ongoing murder in Iraq. Justifying that violence while condemming the other.
This is the reason we do our little radio show and podcast. The mainstream media would never make such comparisons. Their definition of what might be termed "highly offensive" is different than ours. And judging from the response by most of our listeners, they too find much to be offensive and express an appreciation for our show.
So listen to what we have to say. Take another look at the images and think about why they would occur to us.
After that, if you find this podcast and blog too offensive, you can always turn on the TV.
In the meantime we'll be here along with a multitude of concerned Americans blogging, narrow casting, and podcasting because we have to.
Wake Up AM