Of course James Foley is not the first person to be brutally murdered in this way, and throughout the history of man's time on this planet there are countless examples of this brutality whether in warfare, or just plain evil.... not that many days ago I reflected upon the image of a child said to be holding a severed head.
Even my favourite artist Caravaggio saw the potence of the image in his painting of David with the head of Goliath in 1610.
If you read E B Sledge With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa you will read one man's sometimes moving but always candid observations on man's brutality to man during warfare..... and I don't mean just firing bullets at each other....and worse still it was not unilateral in it's brutality....
But James Foley wasn't a soldier.... he was just an ordinary bloke trying to find his way through the shit of life... but beyond that ordinariness, with a camera instead of a gun, he took aim and sought to make the world a better place..... sadly he was a man in the wrong place at the wrong time..... in much the same way as the passengers on the malaysia airlines flight MH17 [and sadly they were not the first to ever suffer this fate], but those passengers were in the wrong place at the wrong time.... and all for what ?
What makes James Foley's execution stand out more than any other [do you remember Ken Bigley ?] .......I suppose it is because his seems to be the first YouTube beheading execution....
I wonder if now on the twittersphere we will have the celebrity hashtag selfies holding up their signs pleading for beheadings to be banned ?
What is interesting is the amount of vacuous debate surrounding the video released.... with many of the main news outlets with their feigned protection of our virtues..... oh it is just too shocking for us to show you the video.... seemingly we even have the Metropolitan Police suggesting that anyone who views the video is committing an offence....... what utter crap....
There is no doubt, the video is shocking and it is painful to see.... but it does not actually show the act of killing James Foley, it shows that sad moment but a breath before..... and then the image of the aftermath of such a brutal act......
Viewing the video is not going to change events, it will not turn back time, nor is it supporting or advocating extremism..... but what is interesting is we look at Caravagio's painting without flinching..... we see adverts on the TV for so called entertainment games... we look at the violence it portrays without flinching..... ah but it's not real..... people cry.....
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.