Reading Response—Tangled Memories

Reading response

All the thoughts in Marita Sturken’s head was caused by wars. And we have to recognize how horror the wars are, such as the Vietnam Syndrome. Marita Sturken mentioned the truth of wars, in page 125, he said “The American public experienced the Persian Gulf War though the medium of television, and television’s images are central to its history.” I cannot agree more about that, the stories appeared in mediums contained the story makers’ opinion, so we not only got the information about the wars but also the story makers’ opinion. The result of that is most people believe what mediums said, and the government could control people’s mind easily. Even television, as immediate technology, participated in wars reporting, it produced “instant history”. The ridiculous result showed that CNN coverage did not help citizens formulate informed opinions about the war. In addition, the more television Americans watched, the less they knew. The mediums totally lost their functions. In the era of information explosion, everyone of us should gains the skill that telling the value of the information. There is a true story happened around me, the government of Japan revised the history textbooks, and the new generation don’t know what their fathers’ and grandfathers’ generation did to China, that is huger disrespect to China. I really think mediums have responsibility to tell people truth, but not make stories to make governments happy.

United States is a country think highly of human rights. I remember laws in United States do not allow artificial abortion. And there was a time, United States criticized Family Plan Policy in China, they thought everyone had right to live, and the right should not be taken away. However, just as Marita Sturken mentioned in his article, “the image icons of the Gulf War are of weapons and targets, not of human beings”, the whole country paid attention to technology but not the victims, who can explain where the human rights is? United States judged other countries, but ignored what itself did. In my mind, a person who can judges others because he or she do good enough, then I doubt whether United Stated has the power to lead the whole world about human rights in the future.

Marita Sturken also talked about yellow ribbon. And it has come to symbolize a means of remembering someone who is away, possibly in danger. There is a similar story in China, it is about a poor and loving couple, who lived on farm life. However, because of the war, the husband was asked to fight for the war. And the wife looked forward her husband coming back everyday. Year after year, because she looked at the same direction for her husband for a long time, she became a stone – “Amah Rock”. I want to say wars are the root of all evil. It makes people painful with infinite missing and wait. The thing I don’t want to see most is that the husband promised his wife, he would back in safe, and then the wife looked forward her husband back everyday, but at the end, the government told the wife, her husband died in battlefield. I cannot image how painful the woman will be, but every time I think about this, I feel uncomfortable whole day.

I really hope the world can be peaceful, no wars, no conflict, then we don’t have to tell whether mediums report the truth about the war, and we also don’t need to tie yellow ribbon on the tree.

1.Do you think technology is more important than human beings? But why the US media presented images of a war of machines instead of human beings?

2.How the national memory about Persian Gulf War formed? And is the memory can reflect the truth of the war?

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3 Responses to Reading Response—Tangled Memories

  1. Responding to your first discussion question. I do not think that technology is more important than human beings’ lives and I hope no one thinks that the technology is more important. I think there could be 2 reasons for presenting images of a war of machines instead of human beings. First, the Gulf War was the first big war after the Cold War, it reflects the changes of the features of the war due to the development of social productivity especially the development of technology. The Gulf War is recognized as one of the “high-tech wars”, so it is really normal for the US to show in the media that how the technology has been developed and they are used in the war perfectly. Second, the Gulf War is also recognized as a “Media war”, it was the first time that people all over the world were able to watch the “live” war. Comparing to Vietnam War, in the Gulf War the U.S. was more strict about the report and images showed in the media. I think it is because that in Vietnam War, those report and images made the public in the U.S. was fighting an immoral war and if they show those similar pictures like the bodies and injured people, there would be public opposition again in the U.S., which would be unfavorable on politics.

  2. whlam2013 says:

    I must say I am moved by your words, and I can’t agree more with you that war does bring a lot of separation and pain and I also hope that there will be no war anymore.
    I also like the idea that “the more TV American watch, the less they knew” [about the war] a lot. because it is impossible for all reporters on the battling field to feel the same way as they present the facts, their presentation will carry some personal interpretation. When Americans watch all these reports of different interpretations, they only get more confused because it is virtually a story told by many people who don’t how the story is going to end.
    In response to your first question, I believe that between the gulf war and the Vietnam War, the US has gone through a period of technological advance and economic boom. With such abundant resources and comparably technology, it is reasonable to see the US military make good use of it in the war. And because there were any wars that toke place along the tech advances, there naturally comes a focus on use of technology when comparing the two wars. I believe the lack of human in the gulf war was not intentional, but was media’s failure to find the balance of what to present after the tech advance.

  3. zepeda3000 says:

    Responding to the first question, I don’t think machines are more important but I do think that machines are beginning to replace foot soldiers in many of our wars. For example, if you see photography of the Civil War you obviously wont see any machines but photography of WWII clearly shows machines. The Gulf War was also the first war that used precision weapons that minimized the amount of civilian casualties and also had mounted cameras to show where the missile impacted. In the past, this wouldn’t have been possible to do without the use of foot soldiers going in and physically killing these people. I also think that images of people is a little too personal for our taste. it is a lot easier to see a missile striking another person than to see a man shooting another person in the head.

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