Censorship ➔ Ambivalence
Photo: Stefan Zaklin/European Pressphoto Agency

Something has been bothering me for a long time about my generation (1980-1999~ish): we're ambivalent.

Let me take a moment to explain: I'm not talking about coffee vs. tea, or McDonald's vs. Burger King. It's not even an issue of Obama vs. McCain – we're just as clueless as the rest of the country when it comes to politics.

Our parents we're one of the greatest generation(pun intended) of upstarts the US ever saw – they were responsible for protesting the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and Watergate. The Baby Boomers, they knew how to protest. We, just don't seem to care.

There are tons of issues that the youth of this country could get riled up about. My top three: We've got a president that's blatantly broken the law with a do-nothing congress to boot. We're involved in not one, but two, failing wars that kill more of our generation every week. We've broken the prison system with more inmates than it can handle – largely due to the failed War on Drugs.

And what do we do? Do we write petitions? Vote out our congress? March on the Capitol? Riot? Demand that the troops come home? Do we do anything even remotely radical?

Bring back the 70s.

At least the hippies, blacks, and press knew when they were getting screwed. They stood up and did something about it. They marched, protested, investigated, demanded, pursued, and were otherwise activists!

So, all that's been on my mind for about a year. Obviously, I'm perturbed by what I see to be a failing of my peers. Which is why when I read an article about the lack of true war photography in the New York Times, I felt both more perturbed and a little relieved.

Obviously, preventing pictures of dead soldiers from appearing in the press is yet another example of the Bush Administration's efforts at censorship.

…military commanders worry about security in publishing images of the American dead as well as an affront to the dignity of fallen comrades. Most newspapers refuse to publish such pictures as a matter of policy.

4,000 U.S. Deaths, and a Handful of Images - NYTimes.com

Yet, as the article points out, during the Vietnam War, the press published photos of dead soldiers, civilians, and whatever else they please. This, in part, got the folks back home disgusted with the war. It got them out in the streets protesting the war. Perhaps this dumbing down of our media coverage has caused the American people to forget these wars. To forget their responsibility to tell the government when it has strayed down the wrong path.

I'm satisfied that I've found part of the explanation, but I'm more troubled by what the slow decay of the media is causing.

Censorship ➔ Ambivalence

Joey Baker

By

I write code most days. Prevously: photojournalist, EMT. Somewhat obsessed with jouralism.