zenpundit.com » media

Archive for the ‘media’ Category

Islamic State, the thrill [ ?? !! ]

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — the violence, the sheer cruelty, is stupefying, true, and frequently misunderstood ]
.

Example:

**

What I’d like to do is to reverse the idea that saying IS does horrific things will dissuade those vulnerable to its messaging from joining..

SPEC DQ thrill of IS

Or as JM Berger puts it:

**

Roger Griffin of Oxford Brookes University notes that on the way in, video imagery of violence may be attractive:

They have actually succeeded in creating an image for themselves, which to a generation of people who spend a lot of their time in virtual reality can actually make it quite sort of acceptable to enjoy the spectacle of slaughter and bloodshed and crass heroism”

Attempts to “counter” the violence in IS tweets by commenting on how violent IS is may backfire — an idea that State’s counter-narrative mavens [see example above] may want to take on board.

On the way out, however, the violence may have been all too real, and no way glamorous in viscerally experienced reality. Prof. Griffin again:

Some of the Muslims coming back from fighting in Syria aren’t going to be more jihadist than the jihadi and trying to blow things up, but would have actually seen slaughter, cruelty, and the nauseating aspect of violence. They could be wonderfully used, if used sensitively, as part of a counter narrative

**

Sources for DoubleQuote:

  • Simon Cottee: Why would anyone join ISIL?
  • Samar Yazbek: Syria has been hung, drawn and quartered
  • Woohoo, Form strikes again!

    Saturday, June 20th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — a wager on the impact of form in media ]
    .

    It’s a moment in the unfurling of an event: the moment when our war correspondents, photographers, whoever, manage to bring style to their reporting, not simply fact.

    Take a look at the symmetries here — the photographer wasn’t just able to get a shot, but to get what we might call a shot with form — an artist’s shot:

    Atlantic boy Named Jihad image 602

  • Photo credit: Hosam Katan / Reuters
  • From The Atlantic, The Boy Named Jihad: From the Ashes of the Arab Spring to the Battlefields of Syria
  • **

    Great artists, how can I say this, bring this quality with them. It’s in their eyes for vision, their ears for language. Gregory Johnsen is one of those..

    My wager would be that images and or texts infused with this quality go deeper, communicate more memorably, than texts or images that lack it. FWIW.

    Those demned Sunni Shiites

    Friday, April 17th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — for those unused to the word, and potentially troubled by it, demned is a cussword much favored by The Scarlet Pimpernel ]
    .

    The Prophet said “War is deceit” according to Sahih al-Bukhari, the most highly respected collection of ahadith — as did Sun Tzu before him, writing “All warfare is based on deception” according to one translator. I shouldn’t have been surprised, therefore, by this reversal of understanding reported by journo Richard Engel, captured, then released, then very surprised himself by what he later discovered about his captors:

    SPEC DQ the Sunni Shiites

    Source:

  • Both quotes, which we can call “before” (upper panel) and “after” (lower panel) are drawn from Richard Engel’s New Details on 2012 Kidnapping of NBC News Team in Syria
  • Buddhism and Islam: please note disclaimers

    Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — on monk Wirathu, also the trickiness of images-with-quotes on social media ]
    .

    SPEC Wirathu

    The quote from Wirathu (upper panel, above) is a direct quote from a NYT interview with him:

    You can be full of kindness and love, but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog,” Ashin Wirathu said, referring to Muslims.

    The image was posted on a FaceBook page which is either his or named for him, but appears to have been taken from a National Geographic contest. The photographer’s note reads:

    At the annual Ananda Harvest Festival in Bagan, Myanmar, thousands of monks from all over Myanmar came to receive alms. While walking around the vast temple grounds, I chanced upon this boy monk who was playing with his toy gun. Even though it was only a toy gun, I found this image a disturbing juxtaposition of the peace that Buddhism embodies and the violence that guns symbolise.

    So the gun is a toy gun, and the monk a boy monk, not Wirathu.

    FWIW, I searched for “wirathu hoax” and didn’t find this image listed, but did find a hoax photo attributed to a Wirathu FB page: Fake image being circulated by monk Wirathu to incite anti-Muslim violence in Burma (Warning: Graphic Content).

    Figuring out what’s genuine, what’s propaganda. and what’s fake or a hoax is getting harder and harder these days, and we need more and more skeptical spectacles when taking in both texts and images.

    The text from the Parajika (lower panel, above) is genuine.

    **

    Edited to add:

    Lion’s Roard, the Buddhist site, had a great piece which intro’d me to the Wirathu quote with image, Facebook using Buddhist tools to fight hate speech in Burma. Extract:

    As Burma is emerging from fifty years of military dictatorship, its citizens are thronging to social media, particularly Facebook, and anti-Muslim extremists are too. Facebook is addressing the problem of Buddhist anti-Muslim activists promoting violence on Facebook with a new set of features.

    When Facebook users flag content they “don’t like,” a box pops up asking “Why don’t you want to see this?” The user can select options like “it’s annoying” or “it promotes violence.” In Burma, Facebook now also includes the options “it’s a rumor or has false information,” and “it disturbs social harmony.” According to readwrite.com, the second option was chosen specifically for its resonance with Buddhist precepts.

    “We wouldn’t normally use this language in the U.S.,” Said Kelly Winters, whose Facebook’s title is “Product Manager for Compassion.” Facebook employs language that resonates with the local market, which, in Burma’s case, is largely Buddhist-influenced.

    Mosul Museum: then the good news, perhaps

    Saturday, February 28th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — second of three posts, this one more hopeful ]
    .

    Does ISIS really have SEVEN-FOOT tall executioners? Parts of grisly film showing beheading of 21 Christians were faked, claim experts

    Veryan Khan, of the Florida-based Terrorism Research and Analysis Consortium, told Fox News that there are several technical mistakes in the video that show it was manipulated.

    She said that in the shot of the terrorists marching their prisoners along the beach, the jihadis appear to be 7ft tall – towering as much as two feet above their victims.

    This observation was supported by Hollywood director Mary Lambert who described it as the shot with the ‘really tall Jihadists and the dwarf Christians.’

    **

    Analysis: Mosul Museum video from Islamic State could be a staged drama

    Britain’s Channel 4 television gave the Islamic State propaganda video to archaeologists to examine. Mark Altaweel, an American scholar at the Institute of Archaeology at University College London, noted the modern iron rebar protruding from inside some of the smashed statues. It disproves their authenticity.

    Nonetheless, the vandalism’s cultural insult strikes deep. The Iraqi people, Altaweel said, “are taking the destruction of their cultural heritage – their identity, essentially – just as seriously as the beheadings.”

    **

    The above ties in with the notion expressed in the LA Times article — where else? — Islamic State and its increasingly sophisticated cinema of terror:

    The cinematography is as crisp and chilling as a horror movie. Men in orange jumpsuits kneel on a beach beneath a sky of broken clouds. Executioners hover over them, dressed in black, knives aglint. A masked militant reads the death sentence. The camera pans across praying faces. Knives are raised, and 21 men are beheaded, blood spilling into the sand and mixing with the waves.

    This and other recent execution videos released by Islamic State are slickly produced narratives of multiple camera angles, eerie tension and polished editing that suggest the filmmakers are versed in Hollywood aesthetics. Brutal and perverse, the clips, some infused with music and subtitles, carry a primeval message stylized for a world wired to social media and hypnotized by an endless pulse of competing images.

    The beheadings and other killings, including the burning alive of a captured Jordanian fighter pilot, represent an increasingly sophisticated cinema of terror.

    For more on the media side of things, see the third and last post in this series.


    Switch to our mobile site