I like to watch...
January 13, 2002 10:40 PM   Subscribe

I like to watch... A disturbing video combining September 11th scenes, professional sports, and pornography. NOT SAFE FOR WORK. I won't post this otherwise, but maybe they have something to say about voyeurism brought on by mass media exposure...
posted by Samizdata (53 comments total)

I know I'm missing something here... one of the dumbest things I've ever seen on the internet.
posted by msposner at 10:52 PM on January 13, 2002

I agree with msponser. This has no place on the internet. Some asshole decided to see how many places he could get a video. Idiots. whoever made this is an idiot. won't be long before metafilter is showing new snuff videos that people submit. they must have some kind of social value like the crap in the post, right?
posted by tayknight at 11:07 PM on January 13, 2002

it's not shocking.
it's not challenging.

it's irrelevant.

seems like they were going for some lame ass dada-esque, "real and in your face" tip.

they failed.

oh, and not enough variety in the porn...
posted by rhizome23 at 11:17 PM on January 13, 2002

I cannot believe I spent four minutes of my life watching this.
posted by SisterHavana at 11:19 PM on January 13, 2002

I guess the point of this was to say that americans are too self-interested to develop a serious perspective on the september eleventh terrorist attacks. which is not true.

I realize everyone is entitled to their opinion, butt...
posted by mcsweetie at 11:30 PM on January 13, 2002

Well, at least I can cancel out what I just saw with all the other horrible images clouding my mind.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:35 PM on January 13, 2002

Great concept, very poorly executed.
posted by mlinksva at 11:39 PM on January 13, 2002

I muted opera on channel 13 for that (though I only lasted 1/2way, as it didn't seem to be coming up with anything new). I only have the opera on because I can't sleep, but still.

Also, I have watched pornos before, but those shots over and over really made me feel disgusted & depressed. Just my visceral reaction was, oh yuuuuck how saaad. Perhaps i've misjudged my place on the kinsey scale (somewhere in the middle) but it just made me feel like nature's a bitch for making that so appealing to men.
posted by mdn at 11:40 PM on January 13, 2002

I dunno, the whole sex and violence thing just doesn't do it for me.
posted by insomnyuk at 11:43 PM on January 13, 2002

[this is bad]
posted by riffola at 11:54 PM on January 13, 2002


I generally think the links to videos people on metafilter with phrases like "this will change your outlook on [whatever] forever" are usually pretty lame and stupid, but usually not laughably so as is the case with this one.

I don't know what this guy's point is, but he sure comes across as a retard expressing it.
posted by delmoi at 11:55 PM on January 13, 2002

Please -- the quick cut violence/sex thing is really, really overdone... there are two shows on public access here in manhatten that do nothing but this every week ...and they actually do it with some artistry (timing cuts with the music, quotes, and using a pretty incredible range of clips).

But even that is years and years old old. This? Not disturbing, not thought provoking, just a weak attempt to shock for shocks sake.
posted by malphigian at 12:01 AM on January 14, 2002

I think the initial idea behind this probably started off as pretty good...you know, a satire on the idea that September 11th was a sort of sick peak of American television, or the culmination of voyerism in the modern age. However, this was really poorly done. I guess I understand the idea of putting pornography and sports in the video, but again, it was done in poor taste. Why the constant money shots? Was this done to insinuate sexist attitudes as well? I would like to say that this video attempted to portray exploitation and/or subsequent American apathy to it, but I think that this would be giving the clip a bit too much credit. It simply isn't worth the analysis.
posted by tiger yang at 12:11 AM on January 14, 2002

I never imagined that I could be so disgusted by stale, faceless underwhelming content over the Internet. That is the kid pouring coca-cola on your car on mischief night taken to the millionth degree.
posted by Modem Ovary at 12:16 AM on January 14, 2002

I guess the artist evoked the intended emotion. I'm so embarrassed.
posted by Modem Ovary at 12:19 AM on January 14, 2002


Complete and utter crap, devoid of any artistic merit. Mabye I am getting old. but if someone is going to put up something this offensive, they better have something to say.
posted by phatboy at 12:32 AM on January 14, 2002

I guess the artist evoked the intended emotion. I'm so embarrassed.

If that guy's an artist then I'm Rembrandt, Monet, and Manet all rolled into one.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:34 AM on January 14, 2002

Offending you is "saying" it.

It got me off my seat.

That's art.

Anybody who can pull off a juxtaposition.

Anybody listening?

They asked you, "What is Gross?"
posted by crasspastor at 12:36 AM on January 14, 2002

I have no problem with art that asks disturbing questions. I'm also a fan of obscene juxtaposition. But this is just crap. It's a juvenile video hack job masquerading as social satire.
posted by varmint at 12:57 AM on January 14, 2002

I would think that metafilter would have more comments along the lines of "tiger yang's" above. I think he's right on the mark. Why not apply literary criticism to this garbage? We do so for everything else.
posted by wantwit at 12:59 AM on January 14, 2002

Offending you is "saying" it.

Maybe their intended reaction is one of genially disgusted indifference... Quick, PomoMan, to the Deconstruction-Mobile!

What am I saying?
posted by j.edwards at 1:01 AM on January 14, 2002

Even more offensive then the 700 Club.
posted by Mark at 1:05 AM on January 14, 2002

I feel my tower coming down.....

I feel my dinner coming up.
posted by IXOYE at 1:41 AM on January 14, 2002

Listen you fuckers. You pretend to be liberal and open minded but betray yourselves with utterly conservative and prejudiced comments. The stock MetaFilter response to something you find unsavoury is: "it's boring, it's irrelevant, it's juvenile, it's not shocking, it's not art." Of course it's fucking shocking. Of course it deserves a place on the Internet, if only to remind ourselves of where our boundaries lie. And therefore... of course it's art (maybe not great art, but art nonetheless).

At least IXOYE had the guts to say what s/he really means: it made you feel sick. I agree with Skallas: if you don't like it, go somewhere else. But don't dress up your disgust with mock-liberal self-justification.
posted by skylar at 1:59 AM on January 14, 2002

no, it doesn't make me feel sick. there's nothing novel, shocking, or insightful about it.

it's simply banal.

an effective implementation of that same basic artistic concept can be found here.
posted by rhizome23 at 2:12 AM on January 14, 2002

They all said *it* at the beginning of Fight Club too.

For a corporate movie it certainly got everybody's goat.
posted by crasspastor at 2:14 AM on January 14, 2002

An "acceptable" goat, at that too!

I say this "film" was well done. It did as intended and provoked discussion.
Would you rather have been left out?
posted by crasspastor at 2:18 AM on January 14, 2002

Rhizome23 - if the "I Like To Watch" video is banal (meaning "drearily commonplace") then America's more fucked up than I - or the video itself - could ever have suggested.

No, it's not banal, it's unusually offensive, hence why we are all commenting on it... and that GuerrilaNews video is not an implementation of the same basic concept, mostly because it's far more cerebral and few people would be shocked or disgusted by it.
posted by skylar at 2:21 AM on January 14, 2002


notice how we're not talking about the message of the piece?

ergo it fails as art.

the reason the gnn piece works is because it fosters dialogue.
posted by rhizome23 at 2:22 AM on January 14, 2002

Uhhh. . . That was the message of the peice! The fact that you're so up in arms about it! Y

ergo: you're simultaneously the actor and the audience.
posted by crasspastor at 2:27 AM on January 14, 2002

sorry: "peese", I meant as the correct spelling.
posted by crasspastor at 2:29 AM on January 14, 2002

posted by pracowity at 2:49 AM on January 14, 2002

It reminded me of those pulp magazines in the 50's that pretended to be serious moral investigations of sin and sexual decadence, when they were really just soft-core porn. I object to it because it revels in the same mind-numbing voyeurism it trys to criticize. Like a snake eating it's own tail. Or an Oliver Stone movie.
posted by varmint at 2:54 AM on January 14, 2002

Maybe this guy didn't intend on making art. Maybe he just likes porn, sports, and things that blow up, and wanted to put them all together for his own edification and that of his friends. Admittedly, I'm the kinda person who thinks a man pissing his name into the snow is art; not art I'd want to see or pay for, but it is self-expression. Did I like the video? I don't know. After reading everyone's opinions here in MeFi, I opted not to bother downloading it. Sounds stupid, but it does have a place on the 'Net for those who want what I think is stupid.

Anyone who says anything on the Internet doesn't belong on the Internet should really re-examine their opinion of the Internet. Do you honestly want censorship in this medium? As if we don't have enough already. Please don't start enforcing your subjectivity on that guy, cuz I don't want you enforcing your subjectivity on me, and I doubt you'd like me forcing my subjectivity on you. Live and let live. No harm done.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:57 AM on January 14, 2002

it was just immature and obvious. ive seen this sort of thing done so much better. but you need talent for that. a fifteen year old would be embarrased at how shockingly poor the video was
posted by quarsan at 3:52 AM on January 14, 2002

"Listen you fuckers", indeed. Tagline candidates aplenty, this evening!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:29 AM on January 14, 2002

[I couldn't watch more than 30 seconds of this. It was too upsetting. Even so:]
I'm amazed at how everybody here is charging around trying to label this thing as wrong or not. I'm amazed that anyone would think the question whether it's art or not has anything to do with how it should be evaluated. I'm amazed that the reason people stop watching it is that they find the porn boring--and watching thousands of people die would by contrast be pretty much nothing to feel very strongly about? I'm amazed that nobody has yet said anything about the iconography of this: all the stuff going into other stuff (plane into tower, ball into goal, cock into cunt), all the eruptions (sportscrowds, WTC falling down, flames shooting out, cumshots) all the masculine totems (planes, broadshouldered footballers, phallic towers, remote controls, dicks). And the guy sweetly singing about wanting to watch over it. And I thought: those are indeed things very very many people will watch for many many times with abandon and obsession and without any doubt as to why they want to watch it. Again & again & again. The short piece I managed to view before becoming too disgusted and sick about seeing people fall from the burning WTC didn't tell me anything about what the maker of the movie thinks about the fact people will watch (over & over again) anyway. There may have been a payoff later on in the movie, I'm not going to look for it. But I do guess that being shown what it is we're looking at day in day out, without any easy judgments about whether it's really okay & important to watch, or really reprehensible & disgusting, is precisely what's making so many people so mad about it.
posted by disso at 5:01 AM on January 14, 2002

Boring? Not totally. Banal? Not totally. Disgusting? Not totally. Silly? Yes. A good concept, poorly done, but what can you do in four minutes? Maybe someone around here could come up with something better.
posted by bjgeiger at 5:30 AM on January 14, 2002

Russell Smith in the Globe and Mail on "Self-serve art in a cut-and-paste world."
posted by Carol Anne at 5:57 AM on January 14, 2002

I have no problem with art that asks disturbing questions. I'm also a fan of obscene juxtaposition. But this is just crap. It's a juvenile video hack job masquerading as social satire.

Totally agreed. Fight Club also happens to be one of my favorite movies, but that is because it was done well. Artistic juxtaposition is nothing new, but that doesn't mean that everything that juxtaposes is great art. This was crap on the Pile and this is crap now.

Being totally shocking and offensive is a very poor standard for something to be artistic.
posted by adampsyche at 6:06 AM on January 14, 2002

I'm not saying it's right or wrong. I'm saying it upsets me and it's analogous to, say, abortion; it upsets some and not others.
posted by Modem Ovary at 7:01 AM on January 14, 2002

Well, even if being shocking and offensive were a standard for art, this would still fair poorly. Unless this guy meant this is a sort of satire of post-modernity humor piece he failed miserably. I didn't find it 'shocking' or 'offensive' in any other aspect then it's over all lameness. I was laughing the whole way through, although I was surprised to see the whole wiping up cum with an American flag.

But really, if whoever made this is 'serious' about his 'message' then he's utterly failed as an artist. If he meant it as a joke, then it's minorly funny.
posted by delmoi at 7:20 AM on January 14, 2002


Budding Video Art types check out this grovvy software.
posted by Niahmas at 8:26 AM on January 14, 2002

Of course it's fucking shocking. Of course it deserves a place on the Internet, if only to remind ourselves of where our boundaries lie. And therefore... of course it's art (maybe not great art, but art nonetheless).

I'm not sure what's shocking about the tired "skyscrapers = penises" statement, nor equating sports with mindless violence, nor penetration as violation. These are boring, cliched statements that this video hardly sheds any new light on.

As to whether or not it "deserves" to be on the net, frankly, I don't care; I've seen worse. And I've certainly seen better. But if this is the sort of thing that tests someone's "boundaries," I worry that they don't get out enough. It's about as shocking and iconoclastic as addressing a whole group of people as "fuckers," for instance.
posted by Skot at 8:54 AM on January 14, 2002

I liked it. I'm fascinated by the wtc/america's phallus symbology. I can't decide what wiping cum up with the flag is supposed to symbolize.
posted by tcobretti at 9:07 AM on January 14, 2002

> I only have the opera on because I can't sleep, but still.

Try Meyerbeer. You'll be catatonic in seconds. (Note for the non-opera-buffs, Meyerbeer is not a form of beer. More's the pity.)
posted by jfuller at 9:20 AM on January 14, 2002

if this isn't that good, then can someone point me in the direction of something similar that is? I'm unsure how it can be done tastefully. The closest thing I can think of is J.G. Ballard's "Crash" for a juxtaposition of erotic and modern industrial imagery.
posted by mb01 at 9:28 AM on January 14, 2002

skyscrapers = penises?
posted by Niahmas at 10:35 AM on January 14, 2002

mb01: the eroticization of technology is a major theme for Ballard (though the movie was boring and reductive, IMHO.) Try RE/Search's edition of The Atrocity Exhibition for a start (the illustrations are especially effective, and it includes a number of excellent shorter pieces and annotations by the author.)

Ballard's work is also an excellent demonstration of the difference between doing this sort of thing as 'art', and doing it purely to be shocking. Simply juxtaposing shots of violence with shots of porn, skyscrapers with penises, etc is an embarassingly obvious and overused trick, and isn't really all that shocking anymore. It's the sort of thing that appeals to a certain breed of first-year art students, who usually don't get much beyond"hey, penises and skyscrapers are sort of the same shape" in exploring the idea. Ballard, obviously, goes much further -- he actually has something to say about the "nonsexual roots of sexuality" (quoting Burroughs' introduction to the Atrocity Exhibition) and how the twin drives for sex and power overlap and mingle... To me the difference is pretty simple: if the art is disturbing only because the source material is inherently disturbing, it's not good art, it's just a clip show.
posted by ook at 10:44 AM on January 14, 2002

Well, at least my task was successful. I saw some wonderfully cogent and lucid opinions expressed. Yes, I'll admit the film had some trite points and dealt with things in a rather heavy-handed manner, but, not all of us can be Eisenstein...
posted by Samizdata at 11:18 AM on January 14, 2002

Oh, shocking, shocking. How dare someone raise a mirror that suggests such unity.

The medium, the technique...we can go there, though. Let's not look too far into the message here. Scary, that.

For we are different than they, and we will come to a different end. We are apart. Violence and greed and hatred must not reside within each of us. It cannot be so, for what is left for us if it is?
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 2:38 PM on January 14, 2002

"Shock" is so spectacularly trite.
posted by aramaic at 8:32 PM on January 14, 2002

SisterHavana - I cannot believe I spent four minutes of my life watching this.
How many minutes of your life have you spent watching/listening to any form of advertisement?
posted by asok at 4:45 AM on January 15, 2002

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