Thursday, April 26, 2018

Morbid curiosity...

There's a guy I know from my hometown who has a habit of occasionally sharing gruesome videos on Facebook.  Most of the videos he shares are of people being injured in a violent way.  A few weeks ago, he shared a very graphic video of a guy taking a fall and breaking his leg.  The video was on autoplay, so I couldn't help but see it as an unfortunate man's lower leg suddenly went into a ninety degree angle below the knee.  It was shocking and sickening to watch, so I hid it from my timeline.

A couple of days ago, this same guy shared a video of a man being attacked by a small shark.  The shark had a hold of the man's arm and was tearing it to pieces while someone stood by filming.  That video was also shocking and sickening, not to mention scary.  I hid that one, too.

I haven't seen this guy from my hometown probably since 1990 or so.  He now lives on the other side of Virginia and works as a firefighter.  He has two daughters, one of whom is a very successful scholar/athlete.  I believe she now attends Brown University.  He occasionally brags on her, which I can't blame him for doing.  Other than that, most of his posts indicate that he might, perhaps, have a morbid curiosity about some things.  I think maybe he assumes the rest of us share that curiosity and want to see graphic videos on autoplay that show people getting hurt.

I guess if you're a firefighter/EMT, it's probably a good thing to be fascinated by gore.  I find healthcare very interesting, but I don't think I could stand to work as a nurse or a doctor.  I'm way too squeamish.  But this guy probably enjoys watching horror movies and must figure the rest of us enjoy them too.  He probably sees all kinds of gross things in his line of work.  For some reason, it hasn't occurred to him that the rest of us are not as morbidly curious.  Or maybe he just doesn't care.

That shark video was especially distressing.  It didn't seem to end.   It was bloody and distressing, but I take heart realizing that perhaps it wasn't real.  I guess if the guy had someone filming it instead of helping him, maybe it was staged.  On the other hand, maybe more and more people in our society would rather video things and take pictures than offer assistance.  

I just visited my old friend's page and I see the shark video is still up there, along with a new video about a family who gets caught on their security camera as one by one, they each slip and fall on black ice.  What kind of a person enjoys watching this stuff?  I'd rather watch porn.

Ditto to people who post pictures of their injuries...  I don't mind them as much as I do violent videos.  Like, I have a couple of friends who have had surgery and they have no qualms posting photos of their wounds for all to see.  I don't get as creeped out about those pictures, since I know the wounds were made in an effort to heal.  Surgical wounds are also usually neat and tidy instead of torn open.  Still, I know some people who really get upset when people post graphic photographs of their bloody injuries or surgical wounds.  They probably cringe like I do when I see a pissed off shark obliterating some guy's forearm.

I guess I should be grateful that at least this dude hasn't posted any videos of people being beheaded.  I'd probably have to draw the line at that.  I remember back in the early 00s, when beheadings were kind of a weekly occurrence, there were some people who got off on watching them.  I don't think I could stand to watch something like that.  Not only would I find it completely revolting, but it seems like it would be disrespectful to the person being executed.  Thank God Facebook wasn't a thing in those days, because that's the kind of thing I really don't want to see... and can't unsee.  It would probably give me nightmares.

All of this makes it seem especially crazy that I once sent an application to the Central Intelligence Agency and they actually called me for a phone interview.  I only sent in the application because Bill thought I'd be good at "intel".  I never expected that they'd actually call me.  But sure enough, they did... it was on April Fool's Day, too, which made it seem especially crazy.

Fortunately, I failed the interview, especially since they seemed to want to consider me for "operations" work.  That would have meant I would have traveled to other countries, trying to convince locals to spy on their country for the United States.  I think I'd have a hard time doing that.  You have to be kind of fake in order to pull that off.  A lot of people have no trouble being fake, but I am what I am and what you see is mostly what you get.  Moreover, it seems immoral to me to try to convince people to commit treason.  I wouldn't want someone to do that to me.

My guess is that a lot of people who work for the CIA are probably not people I would enjoy hanging around with, although I do have a friend whose dad worked for the Agency.  His dad was an interesting guy who wrote books and moved his family around the world, under the guise of working for different consulates.  He did the same work that State Department employees do, but was actually a CIA officer.  I like my friend's dad fine, but I also realize that in order to do that kind of work, there's got to be a side of you that lies with ease.

Having read up on what CIA officers do, I also don't think I would enjoy the work very much.  It's true that I am very good at research and finding out about people and things, but I like to share what I know.  If you work for the CIA, you aren't allowed to share things.  You have to keep secrets.  And I would hate having every single person in my life scrutinized by the Agency.  I'm sure that had I worked for them, I'd also end up watching videos of people being beheaded, among other things.  No thanks.  I don't want to do that; not even for money.

Still, it was a hoot that they actually called me...  It was also probably the only job interview I was ever greatly relieved to have failed.  I wonder if my old friend would enjoy that kind of work... looking at disturbing, violence, or gruesome videos for America.  Somehow, I have a feeling he just might.  Unfortunately, he might also be a poor fit for the CIA, because he evidently likes to share those videos with others.  As they say, loose lips sink ships.