Curious Satisfaction

A teacher in Montreal has been fired for showing a class of grade 10 students the video of the murder and desecration of Jun Lin. That same video was filmed just weeks before in the same city that has been the focus of much discussion in the weeks since. Discussion of the killer’s whereabouts, his capture in Germany and what the video itself has contained. Since the video was made, it has been uploaded to the Internet where it is apparently not too difficult to find for someone curious enough to seek it out. The same curiosity that, if satisfied, I think crosses the boundaries of morality.

When the mysterious events of May took place in Canada where a human hand and foot showed up in the mail at the nation’s capitol, I was as shocked as many. As soon as a face was connected to these body parts, suddenly it all became more real. More human. A real person with a real job and a real family who was also a student was at the heart of a grisly event in which someone was trying to make some sort of a statement. A victim in perhaps the purest sense. What made it worse is that soon after, news traveled that there existed a video of his last moments alive as well as what happened immediately after.

I admit, I was initially curious as to what the video contained. Not so much the actual how but how much it showed. How detailed was it? How long? And how much of the actual deed was recorded? Upon hearing a very brief description of what it apparently contained, I was horrified but realistically not surprised, based on the level of the crime itself. If someone was willing to send body parts across the country, are there any limits to how far he’d go?

I was no longer curious. I felt guilty that I was initially curious in the first place. It took reading a news piece about Jun as a living person to make me realize that for every view of that video was his death being replayed over and over again. Suddenly, all I could think about were the people that knew him, knowing that such a video even exists. Yet so many people allow their curiosity to get the better of them, “just to see”. To satisfy a curiosity. Getting a level of satisfaction, even if not a surface level of it, out of the details depicted in the video of his death.

Child pornography is illegal. So is sex with children. Both are also considered, in our society, to be morally wrong. And for good reason. Murder is illegal and definitely immoral. Yet so many people are willing to watch this video to satisfy a curiosity. Why wouldn’t that be considered immoral? In both instances, someone is being victimized at the hands of someone else for their own sick game. A defense of watching the murder tape? He’s already dead so what’s the harm? Pedophiles can use that defense too. Does that make it right?

I definitely agree with the actions taken against this teacher in Montreal. To not even take into account the fact that such a video, if it were a staged film, wouldn’t be allowed to be shown to anyone under 18 anyway. But having it be a real life event, still fresh in the minds of most of us, makes it disgusting in itself. I’m not normally one to spout my own moralistic views but for the life of me, I can’t understand why someone would want to view such a video while also calling themselves morally sound, let alone agree to show it to a class of high school students. To get any level enjoyment out of it is beyond my comprehension.

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