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Where should the media or cameramen draw the line? Options
kisholoy mukherjee
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 11:00:14 AM

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We have seen many instances where a video of a dying man or a man extremely injured was shot by a cameraman. I remember many such cases, the more recent one being, shooting a student protesting by setting himself on fire on camera.


The most surprising thing is, this student above had later died, even though from this picture it is clear he could have been saved. Just look at the men around him hardly doing anything to douse the flames. And how could the cameraman just stand there and shoot this thing while it happened? Every single hand helps.
For field reporters or journalists, there must come moments when they are caught in two minds as to whether drop the camera and lend a helping hand or just keep shooting, because that is their job after all??
Can there be a way to keep a balance between the two?

Or may be the media today (most of them) are so mechanical and competitive that they cannot afford to really help people? They are just so damn obsessed with recording these footages that they actually forget that there is a real person dying in front of them.


Gotcha, bud, again
Cat
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 11:15:22 AM

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I think we, humans, have a dark side to our nature. Most of us keep it securely caged. I could not have been on the scene of this picture and have stopped myself from trying to help him. Only if someone forcefully restrained me, could I have not interfered.

The Stanford Prison Experiment exemplifies this. Very sad stuff.

Seize the day; think of all those women on the Titanic who waved away dessert. – Erma Bombeck
Cat
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 11:20:23 AM

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km: my son just pointed out that the "water" is being "held" by the right hand and the left hand is holding what looks like a nozzle but has no hose attached.

Seize the day; think of all those women on the Titanic who waved away dessert. – Erma Bombeck
kisholoy mukherjee
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 11:44:18 AM

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Cat wrote:
km: my son just pointed out that the "water" is being "held" by the right hand and the left hand is holding what looks like a nozzle but has no hose attached.


Indeed! I had spotted the 'holding water' part too, but now that you mention it, it really does seem that there is no hose!!Think

Gotcha, bud, again
marylamb
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 11:52:30 AM

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If you right click the photo and go to properties you will find these words in the URL: "media, commercial appeal, creating." Does that mean it's photo cropped? What on earth is the man holding in his right hand? Water, air, a Star Wars Light Sabre?

Come on kisholoy, dis!



"Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it." -- Mahatma Gandhi

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Expressing anger is a public form of littering." -- Willard Gaylin

TL Hobs
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 11:57:22 AM

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Why are most of the men wearing khaki uniforms? Are they policemen, military, or just all shop at the same clothing store? The photo is odd and difficult to understand taken out of context. Did the burning man notify the Press and ask them to bring all those cameras to film his stupid act?

I have never felt so strongly about anything that would cause me to set myself on fire. That wouldn't be an option for me. So, it is difficult for me to empathize with this. I am sorry someone died, but it appears that he did it to himself. I find that odd. I wonder if at some point he changed his mind?

"When you don't know where you are going, you have to stick together just in case someone gets there." - Ken Kesey
Cat
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 12:12:24 PM

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The person on fire is wearing a similar khaki shirt but jeans instead of khaki slacks. Regardless of whether or not the picture is real or not, km's question has validity.

Seize the day; think of all those women on the Titanic who waved away dessert. – Erma Bombeck
Christine
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 12:37:32 PM

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I remember that people freezing in a tent (one old woman and a baby)in Iran. The camera showed them. It was in the news. This was years ago but it still haunts.

I am carrying my heart~I am carrying my rhythm~I am carrying my prayers~But you can't kill my spirit~It's soaring and strong (Paula Cole's Me Lyrics)***We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We ARE spirtual beings having a human experience.(T.deChardin)***There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. (Albert Einstein)



Isaac Samuel
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 1:25:11 PM

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Mr. Mukherjee,

Showing a staged picture with your grandstanding comments underneath makes me wonder if your
intention is honorable other than wanting to be popular among the forum members, as someone
who cares.

Too bad Cat and marylamb blew your cover and are being nice about it.

If you stop to think that there are people who could be smarter than you,you would never post anything that might end up dead on arrival (DOA).
abcxyz
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 1:40:10 PM

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I don't think the picture is staged, or at least KM staged it. It's on the zee news site.
http://www.zeenews.com/news605836.html

In this world there is no literate population that is poor and no illiterate population that is other than poor. - J.K.Galbraith
Cat
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 1:42:03 PM

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Isaac Samuel, I'll be nice to you also and gently point out that km noted after my post:

Indeed! I had spotted the 'holding water' part too, but now that you mention it, it really does seem that there is no hose!!

I don't think he intended to grandstand. Indeed, as I said, my 14yo son saw the discrepancy, not me. I was too involved in the emotional aspect of the photo. We learn more from our mistakes than perfection and I will never look at such a photo again without a more critical eye. However, I do not want to become a cynic so I'll have to find a balance.

Seize the day; think of all those women on the Titanic who waved away dessert. – Erma Bombeck
Susie
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 2:10:10 PM

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Even with the picture being on the news site, there is no credit to the person taking the picture as with most news pictures.

Now for the answer to the question: I think there is a point we should all say enough of what ever is happening and put the camera down to stop it. But I think there is such an urgency to show the world what is happening that we get too caught up to stop the maddness.
There are two points I'd like to share about this. There is a such thing called "crowd" mentality. When something occurs in a crowd, most members of the crowd go along with it. It's similar to mob action. I learned this with the bullying studies I've done. We all know the activity is wrong, but somehow we don't want to step outside the crowd to fix it. BUT... if one person does try to stop the wrong-doing, 9 times out of 10, more will follow in stopping it.
Second, we are saddly in a day and age that things have to be seen to be believed (even with the change the images can be alterd). YOUTUBE is a fine example of this craze. Some how people need to see what is being talked about, very few read about things anymore, they want to see it with their own two eyes. This is why we have so many "camera" people filming through an entire event (good and bad) and not once stepping in. And as long as others desire the viewing of events, then there will always be "camera" people ready to record. Sad as it is- it's realityEh?
Cat
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 2:41:37 PM

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Good point about "crowd mentality" which I've also heard as "herd mentality". Well expressed, also, Susie. It would have taken me half a day to formulate those ideas into type.

Seize the day; think of all those women on the Titanic who waved away dessert. – Erma Bombeck
Susie
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 3:33:41 PM

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Cat wrote:
Good point about "crowd mentality" which I've also heard as "herd mentality". Well expressed, also, Susie. It would have taken me half a day to formulate those ideas into type.


Thanks, I could have gone on a bit more as well, but I am at work and couldn't. Whistle
AnthA1G
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 4:12:33 PM

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Susie wrote:
Cat wrote:
Good point about "crowd mentality" which I've also heard as "herd mentality". Well expressed, also, Susie. It would have taken me half a day to formulate those ideas into type.


Thanks, I could have gone on a bit more as well, but I am at work and couldn't. Whistle


"Diffusion of Responsibility".

I think this is fake. Nevertheless, like TL Hobs pointed out, why would you set yourself on fire? Those cameramen are doing their job, recording/photo shooting; is not their job to 'put people-on-fire out'd'oh! .


Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet. - Plato
uuaschbaer
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 5:13:25 PM

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If you have the ability to stop someone from dying but you refrain from using that ability you better be saving your own life or one of someone very dear to you by doing so otherwise you are a gigantic arsehole. "It's not my responsibility, I'm just a cameraman." Could you imagine a more reproachable argument?

*
Cat
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 5:23:53 PM

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I've often heard the ideology that stupid people deserve what happens to them. I'm sorry, no one deserves bad things happening. (Very poor phrase "bad things happening" but I can't think any better right now. Maybe I need more coffee.)

uuaschbaer: great response, I agree with you, entirely. (entirely, gees, get yourself more coffee Cat).

Seize the day; think of all those women on the Titanic who waved away dessert. – Erma Bombeck
JayJay
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 5:33:17 PM

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I don't think either arguement I am reading is clearly right. Whether the cameramen could or should intervene would depend on the circumstances, and he should not risk his own life in my opinion.
abcxyz
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 6:18:50 PM

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uuaschbaer wrote:
If you have the ability to stop someone from dying but you refrain from using that ability you better be saving your own life or one of someone very dear to you by doing so otherwise you are a gigantic arsehole. "It's not my responsibility, I'm just a cameraman." Could you imagine a more reproachable argument?


Completely agree with you (do I need more coffee either?Anxious ). As a human being it IS their job to save a person from dying if they can. Gee, I need to be much more careful on the road because in case I have an accident, nobody will call an ambulance or get me to a hospital because they're not paid to do it.
The cameramen could have taken the photos later, when he had been hospitalised or on the way. Just to snap some sensational photos they let a man die. This photo, along with many other and some videos were all over the news a few weeks ago. I guess they really had a field day with it.
It is not so uncommon in India for demonstrators to set themselves ablaze in order to show that they refuse to live under 'govt oppression'. The moment fire touches their flesh their survival instincts rise up and they scream and run around. However stupid the idea of self-immolation be, I'm strongly against the opinion that they should be left to die.
This photo, given its authenticity, was taken during a protest in Andhra, so naturally there were media and police gathered. The khaki clothed men are all policemen.


In this world there is no literate population that is poor and no illiterate population that is other than poor. - J.K.Galbraith
china
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 9:52:40 PM

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I am going to go with the opinion of a doctored photograph. I find it interesting that there is no water spillage on the ground. That is a pretty intense stream of water and surely some of it would have landed on the ground. Also, looking closely at the mob, they seem to be looking a little off of the burning man. Not only is the man holding the water but there is also no evidence of water anywhere on him.
I cannot say for sure the incident didn't happen, but I am pretty confident this is not a true picture capturing the moment.
abcxyz
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 10:47:47 PM

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I'm pretty sure this photo is real. The thing that looks like a jet of water is possibly a cane with a black handle, and the man holding it was probably swinging it when the photo was captured.

In this world there is no literate population that is poor and no illiterate population that is other than poor. - J.K.Galbraith
ponder
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 11:16:25 PM
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Hello.
This photo is not fake. I saw this in TV many times. The burning boy was Siripur Yadaiah who studied in 11 or 12 standard. He lived in a village of Andhra Pradesh. Many students protest because they don't get jobs in Andhra Pradesh. So they want a separate state Telengana and the govt. doesn't want to give them a separate state. So many students attempt to suicide. Yadaiah also did. He has become an iconic person in Telengana movement. Everyone in India knows about it. So it cannot be fake.
In this video the man with the white thing in his hand is trying to fall Yadaiah down.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pyb_pXdccUQ&feature=related
Tovarish
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 11:25:22 PM

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Sorry, but I cannot see the water, can, hose or anything.

He is obviously wearing different clothing to the uniformed men behind him, with jeans and a tie.
I am old enough to remember the monks in Vietnam, self immolation is the strangest form of protest ever imagined.

I have photographed some terrible scenes, but most of the people were already dead. Thankfully.

It is hard to comment on a still photograph, did he advise that he was going to set fire to himself,it appears he did for the amount of media present. If so why wasn't there some preventative measures taken?

No fire blanket, no Ambo, no water
TYSON
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 11:32:22 PM

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I believe it is the camera persons job to record events as they happen. Not to interfere with them.
It would be difficult at times im sure, however in this man's case, the cameraman could only save the "flaming man" from himself.
He simply recorded the man's own actions. If the media spent time saving or helping the disadvantaged people they attempt to document, there would be no time to document anything. Harsh though that may seem.

I think therefore I think I am
ponder
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 11:35:33 PM
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Hello Tovarish.
Please see the video I gave. The men standing behind the boy were policemen, and he was not wearing uniform, he was in civil dress. He poured gasoline on himself and put himself on fire. It all happened so fast that he died soon.
The media was there from before because there was already many students protesting and lot of chaos was on the streets from before only. Suddenly, yadaiah sets himself on fire, so naturally he caught himself on camera. He had come prepared to suicide was found later, with a suicide note in his bag.
By ambo do you mean ambulance? There was ambulance that came after few minutes, and he been taken to hospital, but he later sucumbed to his injury.
Tovarish
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 11:37:48 PM

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Is what other poster are referring to, the pole on the right of the frame?
If so, that looks to me, like a pole for an over head microphone, the ones with the little fluffy sound diffuser on the end.
abcxyz
Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010 11:45:50 PM

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Thanks for the link, ponder. My guess was correct, it is a rod-like thing and not a hose.

In this world there is no literate population that is poor and no illiterate population that is other than poor. - J.K.Galbraith
abcxyz
Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 12:26:52 AM

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TYSON wrote:
I believe it is the camera persons job to record events as they happen. Not to interfere with them.
It would be difficult at times im sure, however in this man's case, the cameraman could only save the "flaming man" from himself.
He simply recorded the man's own actions. If the media spent time saving or helping the disadvantaged people they attempt to document, there would be no time to document anything. Harsh though that may seem.


Gotta disagree with you here. A camera person, like everyone else, has some social duties I believe. Anyway, there were already too many camera-persons recording the event. At least a few could have tried. So it's not really about recording the event, it's about who gets the best footage (perhaps they're not the ones to blame for that).
For a witness of such an event, the instinctive reaction of a normal person would have been to try to extinguish the fire(of course, keeping safe distance).
The boy in the photo/video might have been brainwashed into believing that his death would make him a martyr. So it might not have been his independent decision and hence it might not have been the boy "himself" that the cameramen would have been saving him from.
In any case, it's not a hard task to at least get some water from any of the nearby shops, but it's easier to crowd around the scene taking photos and making it hard for others willing to help to find their way through them.

In this world there is no literate population that is poor and no illiterate population that is other than poor. - J.K.Galbraith
AnthA1G
Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 1:06:06 AM

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abcxyz wrote:
TYSON wrote:
I believe it is the camera persons job to record events as they happen. Not to interfere with them.
It would be difficult at times im sure, however in this man's case, the cameraman could only save the "flaming man" from himself.
He simply recorded the man's own actions. If the media spent time saving or helping the disadvantaged people they attempt to document, there would be no time to document anything. Harsh though that may seem.


Gotta disagree with you here. A camera person, like everyone else, has some social duties I believe. Anyway, there were already too many camera-persons recording the event. At least a few could have tried. So it's not really about recording the event, it's about who gets the best footage.
For a witness of such an event, the instinctive reaction of a normal person would have been to try to extinguish the fire(of course, keeping safe distance).
The boy in the photo/video might have been brainwashed into believing that his death would make him a martyr. So it might not have been his independent decision and hence it might not have been the boy "himself" that the cameramen would have been saving him from.
In any case, it's not a hard task to at least get some water from any of the nearby shops, but it's easier to crowd around the scene taking photos and making it hard for others willing to help to find their way through them.


I agree with you about how the crowd interrupt the ones who are willing to help. But, Tyson is also right, you wouldn't know about this if the cameramen didn't take this picture.

Let me put it this way: If I'm a journalist who wants to show the world what's really happening in Iraq/Afghanistan/you-name-it, will I be allowed, with the odds of getting killed against me, to be right in the middle of the battlefield? Yes. Surviving it's my priority, not others. If I die, whose responsible for it, my superiors for letting me do it or the soldiers for not protecting me?

If I'm a journalist or cameraman who is trying to cover some protest going on in _____ and I catch someone trying to incinerate himself, and I don't stop my work to prevent this suicide proceed, am I someone to blame?

I know that at some level I'm wrong, but that's how our world works. It's ridiculous to kill oneself, intentionally, for a cause (or for anything). It's true, maybe he was brainwashed to do this; but, who knows, it is also true that he could be brainwashed to be a suicide bomber.


Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet. - Plato
abcxyz
Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 2:10:40 AM

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AnthA1G wrote:


I agree with you about how the crowd interrupt the ones who are willing to help. But, Tyson is also right, you wouldn't know about this if the cameramen didn't take this picture.

A news report or a photo after the boy has been hospitalised would have worked just fine.

Quote:
Let me put it this way: If I'm a journalist who wants to show the world what's really happening in Iraq/Afghanistan/you-name-it, will I be allowed, with the odds of getting killed against me, to be right in the middle of the battlefield? Yes. Surviving it's my priority, not others. If I die, whose responsible for it, my superiors for letting me do it or the soldiers for not protecting me?

A photographer would want to shoot in Afghanistan out of passion for photography, but a 19 year old orphan boy would want to immolate himself out of frustration of life. In the first case photography is life for the photographer, in the latter case death is better than life for the boy. For me that's a huge difference.

Quote:
If I'm a journalist or cameraman who is trying to cover some protest going on in _____ and I catch someone trying to incinerate himself, and I don't stop my work to prevent this suicide proceed, am I someone to blame?

The boy was screaming in pain, people in distress scream when they want help, wouldn't trying to help him be the right thing to do? What if someone accidentally caught fire?
Quote:
I know that at some level I'm wrong, but that's how our world works. It's ridiculous to kill oneself, intentionally, for a cause (or for anything). It's true, maybe he was brainwashed to do this; but, who knows, it is also true that he could be brainwashed to be a suicide bomber.

I agree, that's how the world works. But I don't agree with your last sentence. Many of us are often brainwashed into believing things that are harmful to us. Girls starving themselves to bad health, poor development of brain and body and sometimes death are also brainwashed to believe that they should be size 0. Does that mean those girls could have become suicide bombers too? These girls and the boy - they all want to be admired by the society. For that they can even harm themselves.
This boy, though an orphan himself, used to help other orphans with the little money he earned. So I'd say he was a good person, though I cannot say how likely he was to become a suicide bomber.

In this world there is no literate population that is poor and no illiterate population that is other than poor. - J.K.Galbraith
Tovarish
Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 3:03:23 AM

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Thank you for the link and added information Ponder.
All I can say is what a bloody waste.
Life and causes can never be so bad, to do this to your self.
AnthA1G
Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 3:26:30 AM

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abcxyz wrote:
A news report or a photo after the boy has been hospitalised would have worked just fine.


Maybe that would have worked for you, not for the rest of the population. I don't need to see a picture of a person in flames to know how far people would go for their rights (or maybe I do?) but many NEED to look at such shocking pictures to get themselves to even think about the issues some people, like the "boy", face.


abcxyz wrote:
A photographer would want to shoot in Afghanistan out of passion for photography, but a 19 year old orphan boy would want to immolate himself out of frustration of life. In the first case photography is life for the photographer, in the latter case death is better than life for the boy. For me that's a huge difference.


It's different, true. Different scenarios, but that doesn't make the "boy's" life more valuable than the photographer's. You could say the photographer would do it out of passion for photography, which is also highly arguable, so the "boy" would do it out of passion for his community/beliefs (I'm not acquainted with the reasons behind to why he did it). Both of them want some change, both of them would risk their lives for it, both of them know the CONSEQUENCES of doing what they're doing.

abcxyz wrote:
The boy was screaming in pain, people in distress scream when they want help, wouldn't trying to help him be the right thing to do? What if someone accidentally caught fire? I wouldn't risk myself for someone who doesn't even appreciate himself.


Exactly, cause and effect. He was screaming because, obviously, he was on fire. He did what anyone in pain would do. He wanted help after setting himself on fire? What if someone is trying to help him and, like you just stated, caught fire by accident?

abcxyz wrote:
I agree, that's how the world works. But I don't agree with your last sentence. Many of us are often brainwashed into believing things that are harmful to us. Girls starving themselves to bad health, poor development of brain and body and sometimes death are also brainwashed to believe that they should be size 0. Does that mean those girls could have become suicide bombers too? These girls and the boy - they all want to be admired by the society. For that they can even harm themselves.
This boy, though an orphan himself, used to help other orphans with the little money he earned. So I'd say he was a good person, though I cannot say how likely he was to become a suicide bomber.


Though I'm convinced by your argument, about how many of us are often brainwashed [rather easily], there's a difference between harming yourself by not eating properly to obtain a slender body (which is done, I'll venture to say, quite privately) AND harming yourself in public to make some people aware of some 'failure' in your community. The girl wanted to change herself, while the "boy" wanted to change society.

I said he could be brainwashed to be a suicide bomber because he is capable of killing himself to make others change opinion/beliefs/regulations, which is basically what suicide bombers/terrorists are trying to do. Maybe I need to make this clear: I'm not saying the "boy" in this particular case could be brainwashed to be a terrorist. All I'm saying is that "boys" like this one could probably be brainwashed to be terrorist. It doesn't matter if he was an orphan and he helped other orphans, since a lot of terrorists or bad people in general do good acts for their loved ones (if you catch my meaning).


Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet. - Plato
marylamb
Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 4:29:43 AM

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There appears to be a problem with the position of the sun and shadow formation in the photo.

Notice 'lunging man' to the left of 'burning man'. The sun is shining full face and full arm as if the sun is in the late after noon position. Now look at 'white shirt man.' The sun appears to be shining on his back, shoulders and the top of his head as if in high noon position.


"Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it." -- Mahatma Gandhi

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Expressing anger is a public form of littering." -- Willard Gaylin

dingdong
Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 4:59:48 AM
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Neurons: 3,370
Location: Philippines
This is beginning to sound like the "did the Americans really land on the moon" conspiracy.
And while we're at it, why would the 'fireman' try to hold the stream of water? If it was powerful it might hurt. In any case, I believe trying to 'hold' the water would not focus it, but make it spray.
But putting these doubts aside, it is still a valid question.
I think the cameraman is there to record; not to get involved. Who can know the mindset of one who tries to kill him/herself? Does he/she value others' lives? How does a cameraman know that if he tries to help, the 'victim' will not then try to involve him in his/her act of suicide?
In this case the victim could have embraced the cameraman ... a hug of death.
srirr
Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 5:26:29 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 12/29/2009
Posts: 6,841
Neurons: 289,477
Location: Delhi, NCT, India
Its not about just one case. People who are arguing on the hose, water, sun, dresses of spectators, etc. may please ask for more such heart-shaking and gory pictures. I assure you to provide as many links, news articles, pictures as you want. And I also assure none of those pictures will be doctored.

The question is the line drawn by media person. Whether it could had been better if he tried to save life of victim in spite of shooting it for mere business. Why is he more interested in shooting than saving life?
Reason: Because it will sell the news.

It is all done to draw our attention. A news article in text only will be of no use because no one would see it. So, add spice, add blood, make it colorful. Sell the news.

Others' lives have become less important than our personal benefits. We love to see the evil face of ours and love to show the same. We have become inhuman and insensitive.

Its sorrowful and saddening.

We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves. ~ Swami Vivekanand
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