A massive but subtle sociological shift observed through the lens of a conservative mind
Civil War battlefields are my favorite places to go, and I’ve spent an embarrasing amount of time wandering through the proximal artifact shops. What I find most intriguing while moseying around the de facto museums are the cartes de visite behind the glass: I wonder who these men and boys were — there’s something so haunting about their faces and postures — and what tremendous acts of heroism and sacrifice they undoubtedly committed. These two-dimensional photographs, of Americans long-dead, can evoke such emotion for me. Also this, from the American Battlefield Trust:
While photographs of earlier conflicts do exist, the American Civil War is considered the first major conflict to be extensively photographed. Not only did intrepid photographers venture onto the fields of battle, but those very images were then widely displayed and sold in ever larger quantities nationwide.
For the first time in history, the bloody struggle was brought to civilians nowhere near the battlefields or warfronts — all because of photography. With such a fascination for these photographic byproducts, you’d think I’d have more of a interest for the art in general; but I don’t.
Yet, I feel as though I’ve become a firsthand witness to a colossal departure from the traditional to the contemporary, and it has to do with (video) photography. See the video below, and I apologize beforehand:
“Innocent beautiful family-friendly entertainment” pic.twitter.com/pOc0Z8yAQX— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) March 2, 2023
When I have the misfortune of stumbling upon these videos — there are new ones every day — what first comes to mind is: “Why would a mother ever expose her precious child to this?” I have two boys, and I would die before I’d ever willingly expose them to a grown man in women’s lingerie spreading his legs.
I’ve always paid special attention to the adults in the background, almost always exclusively women, and watch them smile as they voyeuristically film child sex abuse in real time (and I confess, I think a good deal of unpublishable thoughts). But today, when I watched the video above, something new occured to me: the likelihood that these women ever go back and watch what they’ve recorded is close to zero, if not completely. But what makes that so profound?
Growing up, my parents had one of those cumbersome video cameras that would sit atop your shoulders. To record anything, you’d insert a small blank tape; to rewatch what the camera captured, you’d take that little tape and put it a larger VHS-size tape contraption, which would then go into a VHS player. At one point, my mom paid a company (probably a grotesque amount of money) to transfer all the footage she and my dad had painstakingly recorded onto DVDs.
One Christmas, my maternal grandmother gifted our family a beautifully done family tree scrapbook; it included a wide range of photographs that had been handed down in our family since they were taken in the 19th and 20th centuries.
I bring these things up because they exhibit a radical shift in how humans view film and photography. These means of documentation were once an art, and they were methods to capture a moment in time that was gone as soon as it happened. The byproducts of this art were family treasures, passed down through generations; they were priceless.
Now? Pictures and videos serve an entirely different purpose: they’ve largely become novelty items to score cheap virtue-signaling points and inflate one’s already exaggerated self-importance.
As you can see in the drag show video above, the original filmer posted it to an Instagram “story” for “CabaBabaRave” — videos posted to Instagram “stories” disappear after 24 hours. (If you’re wondering, CabaBabaRave stands for “Cabaret, Baby Sensory, Rave” which is some sort “entertainment” outfit à la Sodom and Gomorrah as it’s specifically designed for parents and “their babies” who are between the ages of zero and two.)
The women in the audience are no doubt filming for their social media accounts too — they want all their followers to know how inclusive and open-minded they are, not because they’re memorializing a special moment on which they want to later reflect.
How can I be so sure? Well, when families fled the fallout of Dust Bowl, or when they sold off everything they owned to survive the Great Depression — they held on to their family photos. Or, as also noted above, the great and costly lengths to which my mother and grandmother went too.
Modern leftist women, filming acts of depravity like those at CabaBabaRave, aren’t doing any of that. They’re filming, posting, “tagging”...and forgetting.
Image: Free image, Pixabay license, no attribution required.