Is Abu Ghraib The Military Version Of Reality TV?

Is Abu Ghraib The Military Version Of Reality TV? Mick Hume Pre-reading 1 Vocabulary. a. Match word and explanation. Write the matching word above th...
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Is Abu Ghraib The Military Version Of Reality TV? Mick Hume Pre-reading

1 Vocabulary. a. Match word and explanation. Write the matching word above the definition. de´generate

a´buse (vb)

´voyeur

´outrage a´trocity

´trophy exhi´bitionist

amoral

contro´versial

de´grade

word: to treat a person or an animal in a cruel and violent way, especially sexually word: a person who gets excitement from witnessing other people´s suffering and distress word: an object that you keep to show that you were successful in something, especially hunting or war word: not following any moral rules word: causing a lot of angry public discussion and disagreement word: a strong feeling of shock and anger word: a person who likes to make other people notice him or her word: having moral standards that have fallen to a level that is very low and unacceptable to most people word: to show or treat somebody in a way that makes them seem not worthy of any respect word: a cruel or violent act, especially in a war

© Gyldendal, 2012

LEARNING CHECK

In pairs: student A reads out the definitions to student B, and student B, without looking at the task, has to come up with the matching words. Student B then reads out the words to student A, and student A, without looking at the task, has to come up with the definition of the words.

b. Word classes Noun outrage voyeur abuse atrocity

Adjective

controversial humiliation degradation horror fascinated LEARNING CHECK

In pairs: student A reads out the adjectives to student B, and student B, without looking at the task, has to come up with the corresponding nouns. Student B then reads out the nouns to student A, and student A, without looking at the task, has to come up with the corresponding adjectives.

© Gyldendal, 2012

While-reading Comprehension Read the text and check your understanding. Decide whether the following statements are true or false. If the statement is false, change it so that it becomes true. According to the writer: P. 60 - 61, l. 44 People were both horrified and fascinated by the Abu Ghraib photographs. The Abu Ghraib pictures cannot be compared to reality TV. The writer distinguishes between purposeful military torture and demoralized military torture. The My Lai massacre is an example of purposeful military torture. What happened in Abu Ghraib is an example of purposeful torture. The photos were meant to be seen by others. It was easy to understand why the soldiers had taken the photos. In our culture there is a clear distinction between the private and the public. Our culture is a reveal-all culture and we are all expected to be emotional exhibitionists. Susan Sontag argued that there is no difference between the Abu Ghraib photos and the photos of groups of smiling Americans next to the bodies of black lynching victims. Second part from p. 61, l. 45 – p. 63, l. 17 The guards were responsible. Our social and cultural elites are responsible. The television executives are responsible. The media seemed to treat the Abu Ghraib pictures like prison porn. People´s shock at seeing the pictures altered their attitude to the bigger issues of the war. Reality television has turned people into passive voyeurs. The author calls Big Brother “the carnival of degradation”. There is nothing surprising about the Abu Ghraib pictures. There is now a show called “Celebrity Atrocities”.

True

False

© Gyldendal, 2012

Post-reading LEARNING CHECK

No study aids. 1. Vocabulary and text: walk/sit and quiz Walk and Quiz Each student gets a slip of paper with a word or phrase from the text. If there is more than one word, the student should explain the word in italics. The students walk around and ask a fellow student to explain the word/s on their slip of paper by referring to the text. If the student asked gets into difficulties, the one asking the question can help. If they get into difficulties, they should then consult the teacher. When they have asked each other and answered their questions, they swop the slips of paper and move on. Sit and Quiz If the task is done in groups or in pairs, the students place the slips of paper in the centre of the table and take turns drawing, reading, answering and commenting on the answer. If there is more than one word, the student should explain the word in italics. They should put the questions they cannot answer in a separate pile and consult the teacher when the time is up.

© Gyldendal, 2012

Cut into slips of paper. infamous photographs

purposeful military torture

the soldiers were revelling in the degradation the blurring of the line between private and public ´white trailer trash´

demoralized military torture

mutilated bodies

My Lai massacre

Susan Sontag

the promotion of emotional incontinence

primary movers

a relativist worldview

amoral

everybody from crooks to cooks

degrading spectacles

a controversial video

a salacious documentary

our degenerate culture

British television executives

they seek to shock and titillate their audience

People’s apathetic attitude to bigger issues

the carnival of degradation

the nadir of reality TV culture

people’s most personal emotions are dissected in the papers

American soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners

we are voyeurs into other people’s private lives to pose for pictures

In a warzone, all restraints are off

the only comparable pictures

they are reluctant to say that anything is unacceptable

atrocity

to stage the degradation for the camera

© Gyldendal, 2012

LEARNING CHECK

2. The rhetorical pentagon No study aids. a. Draw the rhetorical pentagon and write the five keywords – one at each corner. b. What are the three modes of persuasion? ______________________________ ______________________________ ______________________________ c. Name four rhetorical devices used by the writer of the article: _________________________________ _________________________________ _________________________________ WIDER CONTEXTS

1. Historical context: photos from the Afghan war. Read for example: “US Army apology for photos of soldiers with Afghan body”, BBC News South Asia, 21 March, 2011 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12803148? “US Army apologises over new Afghanistan abuse images”, BBC News US & Canada, 29 March, 2011 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12889102? 2. Literary context: other texts by different writers: “Why not everyone is a torturer”, p. 188 and Salman Rushdie, “Reality TV: a dearth of talent and the death of morality”. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2001/jun/09/salmanrushdie. Choose one of the articles and compare the views and rhetorical devices in this article with those in “Is Abu Ghraib the military version of reality TV?” You may do this task as a written assignment.

© Gyldendal, 2012

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