Jewish World Review June 25, 2004 / 6 Tamuz, 5764
SHOW IT! ALL OF IT!
When Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" came out in theaters, many criticized its violence. The fact that some in Hollywood's film industry leveled this attack absolutely floored me. It just seemed odd that the folks who brought us "Kill Bill" suddenly had a problem with "Kill Jesus."
Mel Gibson rightly countered that Christ's crucifixion wasn't pretty or nice. It was violent, brutal, ugly and gory to the absolute extreme. It was, as the Pope himself later surmised, "as it was."
Sometimes we don't like gore. When it comes to gratuitous, meaningless, repetitive gore, I agree. Again, just look to Hollywood for that. But meaningful, truthful, powerful gore does have a place. As Gibson discovered, there's no nice way to portray Christ's death. Just like Steven Spielberg discovered there's no nice way to cover the brutality of war or the senseless evil of the Holocaust.
Sometimes gore is the story. And we have to understand the gore to understand the evil that precipitated the gore. We need to put the gore in perspective. That's why I think we need to see more gore from the folks who love to dish it out.
We need to understand the reality of that gore, and we need to understand it again and again. That's why I differ from my colleagues in the media, even the fine organization with whom I'm associated, FOX News, when I say, show me those beheadings of innocents like Paul Johnson and 33-year-old South Korean humanitarian worker Kim Sun-il.
Show me the senselessness of their killings. Show me the evil behind their killings. Show me it. Show me all of it. And don't sanitize it. Don't blur it, mask it, color it or frame it. Don't gloss over it and try to make us not see it or be appalled by it. You see, I want us appalled. I want us angry. I want us outraged. I want us sickened.
Again and again, on the hour, every hour, every day. Don't get me wrong, I want there to be some warning, for children especially. But I still want it shown. Just like I want people to see Nick Berg's tragic killing. Just like I want to see repeatedly those planes hitting the World Trade Center on Sept. 11. I want the world to see people jumping out of those towers, brave men and women losing everything that day. I want all of us who survived hell to see hell, to see the tears and know the loss. I want us to relive those days, every day, and not forget for a moment the evil that perpetuated it, condoned it and sanctioned it.
For some, it's heady stuff. But I say, these are heady, sickening days. The war on terror is that kind of war. It is ugly. It is gory. It is stomach-churning. We do ourselves a disservice as victims when we don't show our victims. We do ourselves an injustice when we don't look at the injustice of terrorists.
That's why I say, with some caution, to relax our caution. Nothing rouses a nation's anger in a war more than when we see the victims of a war our victims, our friends and our countrymen. They did not have to die. But they did. Why should we gloss over the fact that they did?
I think it cheapens their sacrifice when we try to sanitize their loss. There's no nice way to say someone was beheaded and butchered. There's only one way to talk about it, and that's to show it.
I want us to get angry, outraged, furious and incensed because this is evil in its purest and simplest form. We must see it for what it is, not cover it up for what it is not.
Civilized people have a very difficult time understanding uncivilized bastards.
We should be less civilized and more like the bastards who want us dead.
So, after giving fair warning to impressionable minds, I want to leave some disturbing impressions of death at its most violent and chilling evil at its most warped.
It's not a pretty sight.
But then again, war never is.
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Neil Cavuto is managing editor of Business News at FOX News
Channel. He is also the host of "Your World with Neil Cavuto" and "Cavuto on
Business." He's the author of "More Than Money : True Stories of People Who Learned Life's Ultimate Lesson". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) Comment by clicking here.
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© 2003, Neil Cavuto