Eliciting War Crimes Confessions
You know, when I started using the internet to confess all my thoughts, it was mostly because I wanted to elicit confessions from others. I wanted to know what people were really thinking about, because that’s how you know who they really are. And so in my online persona I presented myself warts and all, just to see what showed up. And I encouraged people to confess too even if I totally disagreed with them, because I wanted people to see who they really were.
And then Sept 11 hit and I withdrew from the internet because people turned really malevolent. And I had no way of dealing with that. I think I talked about My Lai the night it happened, because I wanted to say, “You know you guys, Americans have some heavy duty war crimes in their past and you might not want to agitate for war right now.”
The funny thing about war crimes is the people who do them LOVE souvenirs. And more than that, they love showing them off. And if you can encourage people to confess their real feelings, you can make a safe place for war criminals to reveal themselves. I don’t think that’s what I was intending in this ten year project. I wanted to meet the nice people. But how the hell can you ignore shit like this?
Sometimes I worry we aren’t ashamed that these things happen, we’re only ashamed when people don’t feel like they should hide it.