What’s Wrong With This Picture?


There are several reasons this picture from Haiti is disturbing.
1. There’s a dead guy in it. That’s never good. Pictures of dead people are like pornography: you sit there and wonder what choices the subjects made in their life that led them to this. I don’t know what the circumstances were that resulted in this gentleman being made dead, but I’ll assume he had assumed a pro- or anti- Aristide stance in front of people who thought differently and had an inclination towards resolving disputes by discharging firearms.
2. He was killed in front of a kindergarten. That’s absolutely tasteless. Nothing good can come from killing people in front of a kindergarten. It’s hard enough choosing the right school for your child. When you’ve finally made such a monumental decision, you’d like to think that folks wouldn’t be getting killed in front of the school you finally chose.
3. There’s a guy casually walking by with soda. Coca Cola, to be exact. Personally, if I were walking down the street with soda, in any quantity, and I saw a man dead in front of the kindergarten, casual behavior would be out the door. I’d drop the soda and I’d run. I’m certainly not going to stick around and find out what led to someone being dead in front of a kindergarten. Obviously such people are uncivil. What if they’re still in the area? What if they prefer Pepsi?
4. It makes an absolute mockery of the Coke Adds Life advertising campaign.
5. From the dead guy’s perspective, I’d be upset that my demise was being handled so casually. If any one of us were unlucky enough to wind up deceased in front of a kindergarten, Ray’s Pizza, or wherever, we all deserve a little freaking out. At the very least, we would expect to shock you just a little bit while you’re nurturing your sugar & caffeine fix. This guy seems to be treating it with the same measure of detachment reserved for discarded bike frames chained to parking meters.
6. There’s a horrific irony about happy cartoon characters presiding over your dead body. We’d all like to think that when our time comes we’ll have a little dignity. We hope we won’t be dressed as clowns, in bed with a Bishop, or practicing auto-erotic asphyxiation in our parents’ closet. There’s a reason I stopped wearing boxers with smiley faces on them. This reminds me of a picture of a dead drug dealer I saw; shot dead in his doorway, wearing a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt. Disney’s starting to freak me out.
7. The deceased’s shoes were removed. Again, a little dignity would be nice. You’ve already killed a guy on the street, in front of a kindergarten, under the gaze of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Big Bird and a yellow, bi-pedal elephant with pox; people don’t seem to care and are enjoying soda – can’t you please leave the shoes? And what’s more tasteless, looting a body or wearing a dead guy’s sport sandals?
8. This is a flagrant violation of copyright law. If contempt for trademarks and patents starts at such an early age, it’s no wonder they emigrate here and sell bootleg copies of The Matrix on the sidewalk.