What if prisons let prisoners take their own mug shots?
Hey :) Thank you. This post by stay-human explains it best:
I am so, so, so tired of seeing pictures of mangled children, of parents with faces contorted in grief, of corpses that are charred, with missing limbs, with holes in them. A few days ago they were circulating a picture of a child from Gaza who’s skull had been cracked open and hollowed out. Stop it. Stop circulating these pictures.
There’s a reason you only see these pictures of brown and black bodies from third world countries. Think about it for a second, have you ever seen pictures of the dead from 9/11 or the Boston bombing or any of the hundreds of school shootings that happen in the US?
But see those lives matter so much more, you don’t need a picture of a burned body to care, just the thought of it happening is enough to make you horrified. And the thought of anybody publishing pictures from the events I just mentioned probably repulses you, so why don’t you have the same reaction to the images coming out of Gaza?
I used to think that people needed to see these pictures, to know what’s going on, to be forced to care—but it’s fucking bullshit. It’s bullshit that people should have to make an exposition of their private pain for you to care about atrocities against humanity. Knowing what’s happening there should be enough, pictures of destroyed homes and explosions are more than enough proof if that’s what you’re after.
It’s beyond cruel that people who have just lost those that they love, parents who’ve lost little babies, should then be expected to make a performance of their pain so that maybe just maybe this stupid fucking apathetic world will care for once. People are expected to air their grief so your stupid ass will have something to cry over and be ‘moved’ by. I’m so sick of people’s grief being put on display for the disinterested viewer who can switch it off and walk away at any time, who couldn’t possibly understand what it’s like.
There is a certain respect granted to the dead and to the grief of those from privileged backgrounds. To deny someone that respect is to belittle the greatness of their loss and to reduce their pain to the politics it stems from; it is to say their human experiences are somehow less—and it goes hand in hand with the racist and disgusting idea that those brown and black people who live in strife ridden areas, those who have to fight for their lives, somehow value life less. Only those we dehumanize are denied respect like this.
Enough. Stop making a spectacle of their grief, stop making a spectacle of the dead.
The French have all kinds of worthwhile ideas on larger matters. This occurred to me recently when I was strolling through my museum-like neighborhood in central Paris, and realized there were — I kid you not — seven bookstores within a 10-minute walk of my apartment. Granted, I live in a bookish area. But still: Do the French know something about the book business that we Americans don’t?
France … has just unanimously passed a so-called anti-Amazon law, which says online sellers can’t offer free shipping on discounted books. (“It will be either cheese or dessert, not both at once,” a French commentator explained.) The new measure is part of France’s effort to promote “biblio-diversity” and help independent bookstores compete.
The French secret is deeply un-American: fixed book prices. Its 1981 “Lang law,” named after former Culture Minister Jack Lang, says that no seller can offer more than 5 percent off the cover price of new books. That means a book costs more or less the same wherever you buy it in France, even online. The Lang law was designed to make sure France continues to have lots of different books, publishers and booksellers.
What underlies France’s book laws isn’t just an economic position — it’s also a worldview. Quite simply, the French treat books as special. Some 70 percent of French people said they read at least one book last year; the average among French readers was 15 books. Readers say they trust books far more than any other medium, including newspapers and TV. The French government classifies books as an “essential good,” along with electricity, bread and water.
Amidst America’s Amazon-drama, NYT’s Pamela Druckerman reflects on what the book world can learn from the French.
Still, one has to wonder whether the solution to one monopoly (the commercial) can ever be another (the governmental), and whether that’s truly in the public interest – the “public,” of course, being first and foremost readers themselves. There’s something hypocritical about the proposition that the books are an “essential good” on par with electricity – what government would ever price-fix electricity and deny its citizen the most affordable electricity possible?