Tuesday, March 24, 2009

These chemicals won't be used in a bomb.

I made this. It's a very rough mash-up of Jared's RSS feed of Flickr interestingness and the message from this Police campaign urging you to be afraid of everyone and everything. This Register article is good reading.

Why did I create it? Where did it come from?

Desperation, perhaps. The thought that rational debate in the political sphere is long dead, and has been replaced by an impostor wearing a crown of surrealist thorns.

Amusement, maybe. The fact that mockery and ridicule is the best way to attract attention to a point, because the only thing politicians listen to is their reputation.

Technology, alternatively. We do, because we can. We do, because we want to. "Have your say" is dead. "Take your action" is alive.

Because overt surrealism is key to unraveling this whole bizarre mess we keep getting dragged into. Juxtaposition shines lights when all the lights have gone out. Contrast is a tool to remember what we've chucked into the bin of assumption.



Oli said...

May I suggest another disturbing juxtaposition to juxtapose your juxtaposition: imagine replacing the underlying ad campaign from being a hotline for raising concerns about terrorism to being a hotline for raising concerns about child abuse.

I've found it interesting to ponder on the many reasons why my reactions to these two different juxtapositions are different.

Scribe said...

Verrry interesting thought experiment, Oli. At heart, this is about what we're afraid of and - more importantly - why. I had a quick look for child abuse statistics, but could only find percentages for now. But I suspect child abuse, like domestic violence, is rather more commonplace than terrorist factions. The other difference is that it tends not happen *in public*. There are probably more reasons why reactions to the 2 differ so much then.

However, I'd say they were united through the idea of "Stranger Danger" - and the idea that it's the unknown that will get you. There are a lot of interesting paths this could go. Should you trust a celebrity whom you've never met? Is it OK to only raise concerns that appear in public space? What does that mean for private spaces if not?

For a society that prides itself on being logical, scientific and rational, there are certainly plenty of opportunities to highlight inconsistencies and absurdities in the workings of the machine.

Scribe said...

Have updated this with a CCTV mode, as an experiment. Not sure it has the same impact though. Thoughts?