I’m sorry to subject you to the above video, but it illustrates a point; it’s a rare case where pro-Ukrainian propaganda is really bad. The fact is that “atrocity propaganda” only works to a certain extent—to show people the abattoir will make them hate you, not the enemy. In this case, the reporter, being a transsexual, has no interest in the actual body—their only interest is how they appear, so that they parody female narcissism and make it more extreme and distasteful than it actually is (a woman would be revolted and distressed by the body and could never be this flagrant). Take a look at the clip below from Herzog’s Grizzly Man (2005)—Timothy Treadwell, a failed actor who lived with Alaskan bears (until they ate him), behaved in exactly the same way; and, indeed, if Treadwell were alive today, being very narcissistic in LA, he would be trans.
Mystery attracts, even in atrocity propaganda—so no need to show us the whole corpse, it puts us right off our dinner. It makes us hate you, not the Russians—we hate you because you showed us the chopping block. Just show us a glimpse of thigh, love—no need to put all the giblets on display. Lingerie is erotic but nudism is ugly (just look at the people who practice nudism—even beach-bound bodybuilders wear Bermuda shorts at least, and that makes them erotic). The reason the journalist in question—really not even a journalist, just a trans trading on his transness (the only trans reporter in the Ukraine) for $$$s—cannot produce mystery is because he is so wrapped up in himself he has no idea what he is up to. No idea that others don’t want to look at a corpse, no sense it revolts them, no notion as to human dignity.
You can tell he is totally wrapped up in his self-image because amidst the mayhem and death he pedantically redoes the pronunciation of his locality. Obviously, the most important thing amid the carnage…whether I pronounced the city’s name as a local does—wouldn’t want not to be special…actually, it’s pronounced Lifff’off…yah, that’s the correct local pronunciation actually. Hence he was easily turned into this meme that mocks soy narcissism.
All this belies his breathless delivery, as if he is “under assault” from Putler’s wunderwaffe at this very moment—he is not. Equally, he is wrapped up in some cartoon narrative: “Russian savagery…totalitarianism unveiled…a new Guernica…the sorrow and the pity…the pathos.” Notice that he tells you what you should feel, since he is quasi-autistic; yet images speak for themselves—or should do, except to show this image does not exemplify “Russian savagery” it exemplifies your own savagery, only a savage would narcissistically gabble to their camera before such a scene. The healthy reaction is revulsion, to turn away. “Fuck Putin,” says his patch—no censorship, no gravity.
This is an effective propaganda image from the same attack. It’s effective because it’s restrained: you see old women covered in blood, not just a Francis Bacon dab of meat on a pavement; people naturally feel protective of children, animals, and old women (not of slabs of flesh on the street)—and this provokes questions, “Is it her blood? Is she okay? Or was it someone else’s blood? Her husband’s? Her grandchild’s? She’s leaving somewhere—what? A building? A bus? How bad is it if a survivor looks like this?”. It leaves a lot to the imagination and so it’s effective propaganda; we feel pathos for these old women, possibly injured or bereaved by Putin’s bombs—by that newly appointed skinhead general. Nobody needs to tell us what we should feel—just as they tell us they are a woman when they are not. We have not seen too much; and while the image is not sexual, it works on the same principle as eroticism—just a bit of ankle to get the imagination going, not the full gynaecological exam (of a pseudo-vagina).