Commentary :: General

The Linguistics of “Riot Porn”

The Linguistics of “Riot Porn”
When I shoot video at protests, it is as a witness, to document the reality unfolding. If it is riot, all the better, as we have something far more interesting to document. Also, one is on the lookout for police aggression. You're not a tourist, because your purpose is not simply voyeuristic. One must always take care to obscure the identity of rioters as it is irresponsible to put someone at risk by videoing their face.

I’m not sure the word “porn” is appropriate to describe the video/document of a riot. I am told it is because people tend to “fetishize” and “get off” in a vicarious mediated way on the excitement of others.

Riot and porno however, are not the same thing. In
porno you watch people have sex vicariously and
perhaps have your own mediated sexual response. Sad isn’t it? I think that is where the comparison ends. Most people go to action/adventure/romance films to live vicariously, and have a mediated emotional experience. Video footage of riots may be a cinematic and mediated experience like other films, but that is the nature of the technology. We tolerate it, because the spirit of the Riot itself is what counts most, be it a mediated experience.

Furthermore, unlike porno which is a multi-billion
dollar industry, riots are not staged, even if they may have a theatrical feel at times. It’s like a movie, but better because it is real. You’re the main character and you write your own script.

Secondly, Riots are not like porno because sexual
pornography is the Capitalist commodification of human sexual desire. Sexuality like everything else under Capitalism is to be exploited and profited from. Most advertising pimps the female form everywhere you look. It would make sense that porno is an extension of that trend. It’s also true that most porno is made by men for men, and have a predictable and dominating view of
women. Porno is a fitting representation of the
intersection between Capitalism and Patriarchy. Porno may be so popular because it is a sexual outlet in the repressed and alienating modern civilization where technology “satisfies our desires.”

Riots on the other hand are the liberation of desire, and not a Capitalist product. They can be, considered a reaction to Capitalism maybe. Thus riots are healthy, unlike porno. Besides, porno is different from riots cause jerking off what the Left is known for, whereas Riots thankfully, are different, they are the celebration of non-repressed desire.

If you are going to bother using language, try to be accurate in the meaning you create. “Riot porn” are two words with separate meanings and combining those two meanings doesn’t make sense to me. Having said that, I got some killer stuff from Greece. I’m going to pull out the good shots and make a tiny film and put it on the internet. I think to put Buddy Holly’s “It’s so easy to fall in love” on the soundtrack. It’s not riot porn. It’s avante garde cinema verite!!!

Account Login

Media Centers


An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)

This site made manifest by dadaIMC software