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Land surveyor, you said: whereas merely dead bodies or broken lives, devoid as they are of any “what happened next” cliff-hanging tension are merely quiet statistics to a public not willing to endure seeing these tragedies close up every day

I hadn't thought of that. Good point. It has to do with the tension and drama the media can set up with possible beheadings.

A narrative thread about the dead just doesn't have that.

You comment about the media setting the agenda are important as well. Of course here in the US the agenda is set by how much money they can make. The news organizations have to make money, and if making money involved showing dead bodies ripped to pieces they would do it. In fact they do, but only when it is "fictional".

I wonder what the recent spat of Zombie films says about the times we are living in.

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