English 300 - Fall 2004

This is my class journal for Professor Sexson's Critical Theory class.

7.12.04

Response to Zak

The following is my response to Zak concerning the pictures on his website, which I did take the time to view.

So here we come to the issue of censorship versus ethics or propriety. Personally, I think you have not transgressed in posting those pictures and should not be obligated to remove them. What these pictures portray is reality. It may not be a part of reality that we like, or encounter often, but that does not change the fact that it is real.
Hiding all portrayals of this reality does not make it go away. Taking away the pictures changes nothing but your website--the reality remains even if people choose to ignore it. I think coming to terms with even the most grotesque of reality is important, even if it makes one uncomfortable. Sheltering oneself forever from everything one does not approve of puts one in Plato's allegorical Cave--a false, dark, but secure reality.

One of the more dangerous things in the world is to become comfortable.

People die every day because those around them refuse to leave their comfort zone to help.

My advice to you: do not allow yourself to be censored. I do not mean to offend anyone. But censoring out the horror of life only hides the problem, and lessens its chances of being addressed.

2 Comments:

Blogger Cindy Kasner said...

Jamie,
I understand what you are saying, however just because people choose not to look at certain things or desire or request a choice does not mean that they are sheltering themselves or keeping themselves in a "comfort zone". Perhaps, as you get older and have more life experiences you will begin to understand why people make choices and request that they have the right to. Zak did not need to remove his picture, but the question that arose was whether or not it is appropriate to have not put up a warning.
I think that you want choices and desire to have the right to make them. I think that you and others may be to absolutist and idealist in your thoughts and opinions. I have noticed that you seem to have no problem stating your feelings and opinions, do not others have the choice as well? Sometimes after people have experienced too much they decide that they need to make choices and have the right to make choices in order to protect themselves for very many reasons. In fact, I believe that you probably have made choices to protect yourself in your life, others need to be able to have that opportunity as well. Cindy

9 December 2004 at 12:24  
Blogger jaimie hensley said...

Cindy,

First of all, thanks for commenting, and I hope that I have not offended you! Everything I said was, of course, only my opinion and by no means do I consider it more valid than anyone else's, and I did not mean to come across as saying that other people do not or should not have the choice to protect themselves.

At my age, of course I am naive and idealistic. But ideals are merely a basis by which to begin to interpret life--and by no means stand always as valid. All I have are these ideals (whih I know do not match reality) and my experiences, which continue to shape each other, and if I come across as harsh or cynical, this has been shaped by these ideals and experiences as well.

Though (at this age and because of my past) I prefer to subject myself to reality--no matter how terrible--as much as I can, I do not deny making decisions to protect myself. However, my problem is drawing the line between having the right to do so as easily as possible and others' rights to express themselves freely. A warning could well have been appropriate, but ultimately, it was and remains Zak's choice.

And expressing your disgust with the situation is, of course, something you have the right to do; other have the right to agree or disagree for whatever reasons. And while I may disagree with you on this matter, please know that it in no way is an attack against you. My life has brought me to a different conclusion about a situation, that's all. I have nothing against you personally :)

9 December 2004 at 17:56  

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