I’m trying to draw connections between some different ideas and events and things we’ve read, so bear with me. Maybe the connections aren’t there, I just think they are…this isn’t the preoccupation with connections of the paranoia essay though.
So there are the recent attacks in Mumbai, there is an article by the BBC that comments on the attacks and the age of “celebrity terrorism”, and there is Shooting War – those are the ingredients to the mess. The only thing I want to connect between Mumbai and Shooting War is the appearance of a previously unknown terrorist group – there’s not much more to offer about a graphic novel and a recent tragedy that would be worthwhile at this moment. It is still too recent.
The article and the novel, however, they offer an interesting analysis on the role of celebrity. The article offers the view that perhaps the motive isn’t clear cut at all for this group, that perhaps this was an act of violence for violence’s sake, but the media and the analysts and just about everybody who is interested in the events, disect what went on and assign a motive because they need one for themselves. They act in such a manner to get attention and not because of a large greivence but because of a minor one. They use violence to be noticed as people and not for a cause. It’s much easier to excuse/forgive a cause as a reason, than to look at something so violent and think of it as an attempt for recognition, recognition that is given by the media.
Shooting War, like Trish said, is heavy-handed in its portrayal of soldiers, of the spin media places on a story and the emphasis it lends to certain extremes and the business of getting a good story. Burns doesn’t seem to be on a quest for celebrity nor is that the motivation for Abu Adallah, but Burns is in some ways turned into a celebrity and maybe even wants that role – given the blogs and the willingness to cover Iraq for Global. Adallah uses the media, manipulates it and the celebrity it grants him, and uses the platform it gives him to exspouse his ideas. He is traditional in his use of media, but Burns could be better compared to the ambiguous motivation of celebrity that those acting in Mumbai might possess. It’s not a fully formed idea.