Even Worse than Seeing Neda’s Death . . .

June 22, 2009 at 11:46 pm (By Amba)

. . . is seeing what it destroyed:




  1. Rod said,

    I couldn’t bring myself to watch the video of her death. It’s not that I’m squeamish, just something inside that made the thought of watching, comfortable in my blue leather executive chair in my computer room, seem voyeuristic and unseemly. This is not a judgment on anyone else; just a personal reaction to suffering, half way around the world, and the unlikelihood of any relief for the victims of an insane regime.

  2. amba12 said,

    Would I have chosen to watch it? I don’t know. It caught me by surprise. I didn’t know about it, or know what I was about to see.

  3. Ennui said,

    “… something inside that made the thought of watching, comfortable in my blue leather executive chair in my computer room, seem voyeuristic and unseemly.”

    I did watch the video. And you’re right (at least for me). It felt like I was seeing something I shouldn’t see (along with the shock of it). I believe I’ll stick to reading the reports, in the future.

    As I described in the other thread (as though anyone needs me to point this out), it’s astonishing how much wallop a thing like that packs.

  4. amba12 said,

    Death is very private and intimate, isn’t it? And sort of … what’s the word? Numinous.

    I remember during OJ’s trial, I couldn’t understand how the people in the courtroom and the media could get so inured to the story that they could sit there and scratch themselves, think about lunch, and crack jokes while talking about the moment the killer let the lives out of two people. It seemed to me eerie and sacred. I was haunted by the accounts of Nicole’s dog howling like a psychopomp.

  5. Rod said,

    In a criminal case involving mayhem and death, getting the jury inured is part of the defense strategy. At this point, I can see videos of the planes hitting the twin towers without experiencing the same wrenching, stomach dropping feeling. Those videos have been on in the background and I have seen them out of the corner of my eye while having a beer in a bar.

    The moment of death fascinates, terrifies, and sickens us at various times, and sometimes all at once.

  6. PatHMV said,

    When you work in the courthouse, as a prosecutor, defense attorney, clerk, whatever, you are exposed to so much misery that psychologically, you have to adopt coping mechanisms. Tragically, brutal murders and rapes are not so rare that those working in the system can afford to give in to the emotions we ought to have in response to such brutality for every single case; we wouldn’t be able to function.

    Still, if nothing ever touches you in that environment, that’s a bad sign. Even with the required detachment, you should occasionally find yourself horrified at something. There are things I read in pardon files several years back that I can’t bring myself to talk about.

  7. amba12 said,

    And that’s how you know you’re still OK.

  8. Rod said,

    It is similar to the way medical professionals compartmentalize death. They use callous phrases to describe the ways we die (“Circling the drain”) because they cannot allow themselves to experience each death as a complete tragedy

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