It’s the nature of the Internet today that we surf from site to site, interest to interest with barely any premeditated thought. One minute I was reading a page about rescuing Linux root passwords, the next I was reading a Washington Post article on the reaction to the Sadam Hussein execution video.
A few seconds later I was on the WorldTV Charts looking to see if had shown up there (it hadn’t), and the next I was looking on YouTube to find it. Never at any point during this whole procedure did I stop to think about what I was actually doing or what the result of my efforts might lead to. A simple warning about possibly inappropriate content was all that stood between me and watching DeathTV.
I started watching the footage and all of a sudden a strange feeling came over me. The realization that I was about to watch someone be killed. It’s easy to be apathetic these days, there really isn’t very much left that’s taboo, but for some reason, I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. I didn’t want to watch it. The truth is, at that very moment I realized that despite all his undoubtedly horrific behaviour, the alleged crimes, the wars, the suffering he certainly caused, it was not right to take his life in revenge.
According to the translations, in the seconds before his death and as he was taunted by the spectators around him he is reported to have said “Is this how real men behave?”
It’s an astonishingly valid question.