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Human Life... What Are We Worth???

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Dallas Boyd
Dallas Boyd

Now I know I’ve already written about violence. But in the newspaper the other day I saw a picture which almost made me vomit.

Uncensored, printed in full colour, and blown up to almost A4 size was a picture of emergency workers carrying away the body of a man who had been tortured and burnt alive. He was not on a stretcher, but being lifted by his ankles and wrists. Although his arms and legs were reasonably intact, half his face and torso had been burnt away. His intestines and pelvic bones were graphically exposed.

Disturbingly, I’ve become rather accustomed to seeing gore like this splashed across the tabloids, but there’s no way I’d ever reproduce the picture for this blog. I won’t even look at it again. It’s just too much. And it concerns me that people could actually bring this paper home for their children to see - I know people who were scared by the “Wizard of Oz” when they were kids… Pee Wee Herman still frightens me… and I’ve seen horror movies less graphic than these newspapers.

Surprisingly though, he didn’t make the front page - that honour went to a youth, collapsed on the ground and covered in blood. And he shared the cover with the usual weekly bimbo, half naked, bending over in a G-string and smiling out at us for all she’s worth. And how much is she worth? How much are any of us worth? Because if the deaths of men and the bodies of women are reduced to nothing more than today’s entertainment and tomorrow’s garbage, then maybe we should all consider re-evaluating ourselves. Because hey, you may be priceless to your family and friends, but to everybody else, your nudity, dignity, life and death may be nothing more than a pay-check waiting to happen.

So let’s see - this particular newspaper sells for ¢200, which is less than $1 NZ. There’s roughly four million people in Costa Rica (which is where I am). If we can completely make up some statistics, lets imagine that 1 in 20 people buy this paper. Multiply the cost of the paper by the amount of issues sold, and we’re making about $72,500 NZ a week. Obviously this is not all profit, as it has to cover general running costs and expenses - blood money for the photographers, coffee for the staffroom, marijuana for the journalists etc. But you have to admit, they’re not doing too badly out of other peoples tits, arse, pain, misery and guts.

So what’s my point? Apart from the selfish therapeutic value I get from venting my frustration and disgust, why share this story? Because I want to talk about the world and make people care... but I don’t know how to do it.The assumption that people will see terrible events on the news or in the paper and want to help is wrong. Instead people just note how tragic or sad it is, and go back to eating their dinner. Or they say “thank God that isn’t happening here!”

If any of the murdered people from these sick headlines have any worth, than let it be that their story becomes more than tomorrow’s shitpaper. Support the betterment of the society where you are. Because as exciting as naked females and mutilated corpses undoubtedly are, I think the mind, body and soul deserve a little more respect.

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