I’m sure you knew what I was gonna say before you even opened the email, but that shit is in poor taste.These gifs provide a very cheap shock, and it’s the cheapness and casualness that I believe underscores both of our points. I understand that you are trying to put a shocking face on violence in Philadelphia because you think it’s being ignored to a certain extent. However, it comes off as childish and unthinking because of its comic nature and the ease and frequency with which you put up those types of graphics. Your motives are unclear and it comes off as a gimmick. Furthermore, this sort of thing lessens the impact you can have with any sort of shock when the effect would be valuable and necessary. This just comes off as insulting to anybody who has ever been affected by violence, myself included.
Thought I might hear from you. Please understand that I put a lot of thought into where the line is and how to get as close as possible without going over. I’m not just looking for cheap shock value. The Zapruder Film GIF was over the line — and I’m glad you pointed that out to me. (Hell, the whole goddamn assassination was over the line, but that’s another discussion) However, while I hear what you are saying — and realize you are especially raw about this right now — I don’t think that this one crosses the line. If it were bloody — even fake bloody — or somebody really being killed, I would agree with you. But I happen to think this GIF perfectly illustrates the revolving door/conveyor belt nature of these crimes. If people feel something other than complacency when they read the latest homicide statistic, then I feel like I did my job. I think that discomfort is actually people’s conscience reminding them that they are human and this is obscene.
*Michael Fichman writes the POP IN TAPE column for Phawker, and blogs at Just Sayin’.