January 25, 2008

Megaman Update

The video that I blogged about earlier called "Megaman vs. Polish Immigrant" has been offline for some time now. I recently spoke with greenRiverThriller, the artist, and he told me that his decision to pull his art came after speaking to Dziekanski's family. He felt that his work had caused them some pain, which was not his intention. I understand the sentiment, but I think that the his criticism of police brutality is very important and deserves to be shared with a wider audience.

greenRiverThriller's story made me think of one of the revelations of Project Censored, an academic study of the dynamics of censorship in Canada and the US. In 1996, authors of the project wrote that by far the most common form of censorship is the kind that journalists impose on themselves based on what they think their editors or publishers expect. You might think that seems quite reasonable, but the study revealved that journalists would often self-censor to a degree much higher than what their editors or publishers would have imposed. Most people have a great deal of important things to say, but spend too much energy holding it back for fear of bumping up against the boundaries of others, be they real or imagined.

W moim punkt widzenia ten film jest bardzo ważne dla publiczny konwersacje o charakter policji kanadejski. Dziekanski jest symbol o wiele rozne rzeczy o które ten kraj musze myszlić, i się zmieńić. To nie są łatwie "issues". Sztrasznie potszenbne jest publiczny i wolny (wolne?) rozmony.

I've blogged about this before, but I'll summarize my position here again: I personally feel that given a choice between using a tazer and a gun, a police officer that chooses to use a tazer is looking out for the well being of a suspect. With that in mind, tazers should not be banned. Given the choice between physically violent suppression and tazer-use, police that use physical means to subdue someone are putting themselves at risk, a risk that society asks them to take in return for the power we grant them. The use of physical force not only reduces the mortality risk to a suspect, but I imagine puts police in a closer communicative position to their suspect. That proximity was missing at the Vancouver Airport and it is that lack of proximity that greenRiverThriller's video critiques. In an airport, police should use physical restraining methods, in the field they should opt for tasers before guns.


Arkadiusz said...

...sometimes artist's intentions are hard to comprehend by general public

iwoj said...

That may be true, but I don't put a lot of stock in intentions when it comes to art. What is important is the quality of the conversations that art enables. If art in a democracy can provoke spontaneous debate, education and reduce apathy, then it is working well.