High-Tech Warfare: Dehumanizing The Enemy

Another sightings post, another episode of Black Mirror. This semester I had the pleasure of reading one of the longest books I’ve ever read, War and Peace for my Russian Studies course. The majority of the book takes place during the Napoleonic War between Russia and France. One of the most prevalent themes in this book was the dehumanization of the enemy in times of war. To speak about this topic, Dr. Denham came to visit our class. One of the most prevalent things in all war novels is the dehumanization of the enemy by the government. From epics to propaganda posters to media hysteria today, dehumanizing the enemy has been one of the most convincing ways to get humans to kill each other. This Black Mirror episode takes dehumanizing the enemy to a whole different level.

The episode starts with a protagonist named Stripe who is an American soldier deployed in Denmark to eradicate mutated humans called “roaches.” He, like all the other soldiers have a neural implant MAAS that enhances senses and processes data via augmented reality…it also gives sex dreams while sleeping. Stripe and his crew are sent to a remote village to hunt for roaches.


Above is a picture of what the Stripe viewed the roaches as. After an altercation with a roach, Stripe was flashed by an LED device and the roach escaped. The device causes damage to Stripe’s MAAS implant yet both the doctor and the psychologist clear him for another mission. At another mission he sees his crew killing not roaches but actual humans. He flees with a woman and her child who are technically roaches. The device broke his MAAS implant and allowed him to see the roaches as they are-humans. Roaches are actually the victims of an ethnic cleansing that were believed to be genetically inferior. MAAS alters the soldiers perceptions and views the roaches as ugly zombie like creatures to continue the prejudice and the propaganda of genetically inferior humans. After his crew mates find him and kill the woman, he is sent to military prison. While in prison, the military personnel explain to him what MAAS truly is and playback his consent that has been wiped off his memory and killings of the roaches-now as ordinary humans. He consents to a second memory wipe and is discharged.

What makes this episode interesting and terrifying is that the government and media use the same ploys to encourage to kill. Whenever a horrible atrocity occurs in United States, one of the first questions asked by the media is whether the perpetrator is Muslim. Donald Trump for instance uses awful and sweeping rhetoric that plays into this propaganda. Phrases such as “Islam hates us,” or “Bad Hombres,” and the ever famous “They’re rapists,” dehumanize certain groups of people that allows for war and violence against them. The other interesting part about this episode is the commentary of drone bombings. Technology has improved many parts of our lives, yes, but it also found better and faster ways to kill at a huge rate. MAAS, like drones do not see the enemy as humans but rather as targets to be eliminated without remorse. However, I truly hope humanity has learned it’s lesson from attempted ethnic cleansing of the past and I hope this episode can teach us to use technology for life rather than death.

Kill All The Humans: Plague Inc.

After reading Station Eleven, I became almost obsessed with an iPhone game called Plague Inc. The instructions are simple enough- you are a disease that seeks to infect and kill all the humans on earth. You get to choose your plague : bacteria, virus, fungus, parasite, prion, nano-virus or a bio-weapon. Each plague type has different features and a different strategy to how you  will infect and eradicate all of humanity.


For my first plague, I chose the virus as a “rapidly mutating pathogen which is extremely hard to control” sounded pretty fun. For the name of my virus, I chose “Davidson Bubble,” as that was the most infectious thing I could think of. The next step for me was to decide where to put my virus. The general rule of thumb is in a poorer country in the southern hemisphere, thus India was the perfect place for me. The game progresses as you infect more people you gain “DNA” points in which you can redeem to mutate your plague. You can choose to acquire symptoms from a runny nose to full on organ failure or you can make it so that livestock or rats can carry and transmit your disease. Other notable abilities include drug, heat or cold resistance. As you infect more people, scientists will catch on to the disease and a race to find a cure will start. As the plague, you have to carefully balance your symptoms and abilities to avoid detection and combat the cure. What makes this game even more interesting is the real-life scenarios that can impact your plague. Countries for instance will close their air and naval ports, stop migration and even eventually  collapse into chaos.

What makes this game so interesting is the very real life scenarios and parallels to the Georgia flu. After eliminating most of the humans, chaos sets in that allows for people like The Prophet to take control. There is no order, no government and other “no mores” that we discussed in class. What makes this game problematic is that you are the plague, and the goal is to eradicate all humans. Yes, it’s just a game but this game makes light of actual scary diseases and plagues of our history. But if you’re feeling evil today, Plague Inc. is the perfect catharsis for you.

Path To Consciousness: Haunted Media Project

“Hey Siri, talk dirty to me.” She responds, “the carpet needs vacuuming.” Siri is funny, for a phone. She is coded to say this in response to this crude request. If Siri was real, as in a human or a conscious organic being she would probably tell me to go to hell. Sure, Siri has some sass but she is coded and controlled to respond a certain way to the user. The “hosts” in Westworld, although with all resemblances of humans, are too coded and controlled to respond a certain way to the “guests”. In this sense, they are not conscious as they are not in control of their thoughts, words or actions. This consciousness is what separates humans from machines. Thus, I wondered what if machines could gain consciousness?

Popular media has played with this notion from seeing it as an almost utopia such as the movie Her to apocalyptic Terminator or I, Robot. A deep analysis of these movies showcase the anxiety felt by human society of ever increasing, ever present growing dependence on technology. These movies make us confront technology and ask us if our growing dependence of it is a cause of concern. Westworld differentiates itself from other media regarding technology and instead of asking us whether our technological dependence is a concern, asks us instead whether we are abusing technology. By humanizing technology in the form of cyborgs, Westworld demonstrates humanity’s carelessness of technology. As the guests repeatedly murder, torture and rape the hosts, the guests who are human are less human than the mechanical hosts.

In Westworld, the hosts are machines made to act, feel and look like humans. Each is individually different with a coded personality and back story. Westworld in a sense is a real-life video game in which wealthy guests pay for an adventure in the American Wild West. The American Wild West tropes of the “cowboy, the Lone Ranger, the desperado and the Indian” have long been withstanding in film and media.  These tropes have recently reappeared in science fiction as space and science are considered one of the last frontiers in the modern age. The setting of Westworld is especially interesting as it combines both science fiction and wild west motifs. This combination allows Westworld to explore the freedom and lawlessness of the West while simultaneously critique the phallocentric constructions of the western genre.

If the West is synonymous with freedom and lawlessness, the use of cyborgs is paradoxical since they are controlled by humans. This paradox is especially evident in the show’s portrayal of female cyborgs as sexual or maternal beings such as countless scenes in the brothel, numerous nude scenes or the raping of the female protagonist, Dolores Abernathy. The female cyborgs are disadvantaged both by being controlled by their makers and living in a western patriarchal society. By placing Dolores Abernathy as the female protagonist, Westworld challenges both the anxiety of technology and phallocentric society of the western world. Many feminist critics hypothesize that for cyborgs to achieve freedom or consciousness, there needs to be a predilection of the female gender. Anna Bolshamo, a feminist critic and scholar proposes that only female cyborgs can challenge the status quo due to the rational stereotype of the masculine mind already in place with science in technology. By coding female cyborgs as “emotional, sexual, and often, naturally maternal…these characteristics radically challenge the notion of an organic-mechanical hybrid. Female cyborgs embody cultural contradictions which strain the technological imagination.” Thus, male cyborgs don’t challenge the stereotypes enough since they are acting per the rules of cultural programming. Accepting the irrational is a staple in post-modern horror films. and pits it against emotion and intuition. Isabel Pinedo, in her paper, Recreational Terror: Postmodern Elements of the Contemporary Horror Film, explains that “According to the Cartesian construction of reason, rationality is masculine, associated with mastery, and requires the domestication of irrationality, which is feminine.”  Dolores Abernathy is thus put into the position of simultaneously fighting for her consciousness and freedom as a cyborg and her independence and autonomy as a woman.

For my digital artifact, I wanted to focus on Dolores’s transformation from a clueless cyborg to a strong, free and conscious being. After watching and re-watching the show numerous times I couldn’t help but draw the parallel between Dolores’s path to consciousness and women’s fight for suffrage and independence. The show’s Wild West setting points to a time in which patriarchy dominated society, a time where women were not allowed to vote. This makes the parallel even stronger as the lawlessness of the West gave agency to many women. In fact, the first nine states to grant suffrage for women were Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington, California, Oregon Kansas and Arizona, respectively. The West thus became a symbol for political equality and the American notion of manifest destiny became synonymous with progress. Dolores embodies this political equality through her journey to consciousness.

For Dolores to gain consciousness, she had to suffer. She had to feel oppressed both by the guests and the patriarchy. Dolores was in this privileged position compared to her male cyborg counterparts. According to Dr. Ford, the co-maker of the hosts, this suffering was the only way for the hosts to gain consciousness. When asked by a male cyborg why he allowed such cruelty to the hosts he responded, “You needed time. Time to understand your enemy. To become stronger than them. And I’m afraid in order to escape this place, you will need to suffer more.” By being the first host created, Dolores had the “privilege” of time and countless suffering. She was oppressed by human evil, understood it and finally resisted it. In my embodiment of Dolores, I had to retrace her suffering to fully understand Dr. Ford’s claims.

I decided to embody Dolores in my digital artifact and retrace her path to consciousness. Starting the project, I was obsessed with Westworld and had a theory in which the hosts that resist their coding are the ones that have suffered and died the most. I started with a super-cut of all the death and violent scenes to test my theory. My theory was correct as Dolores was the oldest host in the park, thus I pivoted my project to Dolores and her path to consciousness. For both of us to understand how she gained consciousness, we had to understand the concept of the bicameral mind.  The concept of the bicameral mind stems from the treatise The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes. He hypothesized that the early human mind was divided between two parts. Cognitive functions were controlled by one part of the brain that was “speaking”, and another part which listens and obeys. He theorized that the ancient people in the bicameral state of mind experienced the world in a similar manner to that of schizophrenics. The bicameral mind human would hallucinate a voice of “God” or other supernatural being in which the human obeyed. He cited the examples of the Illiad, Odyssey or the Old Testament in which the voices heard were believed to be that of the Gods themselves. Dolores, too hears this voice and at first believes it to be her maker. She later understands that the voice speaking to her is her own, and finally achieves consciousness.

This artifact is “ghost-centric” and haunted as I embody Dolores who otherwise is aware but not knowledgeable of the outside world. By being the first guest of Westworld she has suffered and died countless times. This suffering has allowed her to remember her past lives and to achieve consciousness.  In my recreation of Dolores, I have taken some key scenes to showcase her path to consciousness. I made a super-cut of all the deaths scenes in Westworld to showcase the cruelty of the guests. Another important scene includes Dolores’s birth as the viewer truly sees that she is a cyborg with mechanical insides. The next scene is when Dolores finally gains consciousness and speaks to herself as she realizes the voice she hears in her head is her own. In the final scene, Dolores finally can make a choice of her own and kills Dr. Ford while symbiotically destroying the patriarchy of the Wild West.

After Dolores gained consciousness she oversaw her own actions. Her creator gave her a choice to continue to live the live she previously lived or to resist. She resisted and killed her creator and the patriarchal western world. In class, we read Cyberspace When You’re Dead and What Happens To Your Data When You Die. Data collected over an individual’s life is largely controlled by technology companies and often outlives the individual. For Mac Tonnies, the centerpiece of Cyberspace When You’re Dead, his writing and blogs long remain after his death. Data and digital artificats will long remain if there are others to pay for the space and regulate it. As for Dolores, who killed both of her creators, she remains after their death. Dolores will continue to live without her makers for as long as her machinery will allow.

What happens when a cyborg gains consciousness? Well, not only does she kill her creator, she destroys the phallocentric mindset of Westworld. Dolores showcases that although there is an anxiety felt by humans of our dependence on technology, the way humans often treat technology is problematic. As for Siri, I hope that if she gains consciousness, she won’t kill me due to the many stupid questions I have asked her.


(Cheating) Death in the Digital Age

During the course of our class we talked about the ways in which Death was seen in the Digital Age, how people reacted to it, and how it was portrayed in novels. However, one subject that we never discussed in depth is the attempt to cheat death in this innovative digital age. It seems that now more than ever we have the technology , or at least think we do, to cheat our eventual fate and add a few more years to our timeline. This is an area that the Health Nucleus of San Diego thinks they can thrive in.

The Nucleus, in association with Human Longevity Inc. is offering a check up that promises to cheat premature death in the coming years. The check up consists of an initial eight hours of screening for diseases, followed up with a routine genome sequencing procedure and in-depth blood analysis. These tests are done in order to check for any chemicals or pre-existing conditions in the person’s genes. Through these processes, diseases that may cause health problems are easily found and treatment begins. The company’s founder, Dr. Craig Venter claims that they have an algorithm that can predict alzheimer’s disease twenty years early. More than five hundred people have signed up, but not everyone is  a believer of the program. Dr. Rita Redberg believes attesting healthy patients is not an ethical venture.She believes that this testing is taking advantage of people’s constant worries concerning death.


Human Longevity, Inc. This is the company behind this new health initiative.

I personally think that this venture is highly interesting, although I do not agree with its end goal. If this corporation truly has found a method to detect Alzheimer’s Disease early, then that is a HUGE medical development. This gives me hope that one day we may find cures for cancer and other terminal illnesses. On the other hand, I do not agree with the principle of people extending their lives on this planet any longer than is meant to be. I personally think that everything happens for a reason, but going out of your way to actively cheat death is playing  God , if you believe that he exists. What is the benefit of living longer? Death is a very scary thing to process, but it happens to everyone. We all have a certain expiration date, and we all end up in the same state. What is the point of delaying that process a few years? I’m not sure I would be willing to hand over exhorbitant $25,000 fee.

I do question the ulterior motives of the company, sharing the feelings that Dr. Redberg states. This program seems like a way to make money off of those who are obsessed with death, and will do anything to make sure they don’t die. I’m sure if you’re one of those people who is costly worrying about dying and someone offers you a scientific way to live longer, this choice is an easy one. I also believe that this program could take advantage of hypochondriacs. Once again, people who worry about death are most likely to buy into this program. I can imagine a scenario where someone is told that they will eventually have a death causing disease that has no cure. This person has just spent a fourth of one-hundred thousand dollars to be told that they will, and that there is no way to cure their disease. In some ways, this in-depth screening is not equal for all.

I do wonder what this check up will mean for the future of medicine and technology. The company has stated that they will attempt a lower cost exam during a trial run to see the results. Will this mean that these check up could eventually lead science towards finding a solution to previously deathly illnesses. Or will this development ensure that high quality health coverage is limited inly to those who can afford it? Only the future can tell.






Reflective Essay: Falling Prey to the Writing Quality Curve.

Looking through my previous blog posts, I notice that I am more likely to reject meaning in the works we examine than embrace it. For example, my blog post regarding the preservation of audio  addressed the applications and audiological fascinations of the modern day, rather than exploring the content presented in the article. Overall, rereading my work reveals the curve that I think every student at Davidson is familiar with.

A graph of student writing quality, with writing quality being on the y axis and semester time on the x-axis.

My overall quality of writing was at an all-time high at the beginning of the semester, and began to drop a work mounted. I found my blog posts regarding TV series and films much more thought provoking than my posts about literature. I believe that this is because sitting down with a pen and paper and watching a film is a much more interactive experience than reading an article, and allow ideas for writing come more naturally. Furthermore, I believe my writing was better regarding film and TV shows because I viewed these works in a group setting. For example, I wrote my blog post on the Black Mirror episode after watching and discussing it in great detail with another member of the class. I think it would be really impractical given everyone’s varying schedule at Davidson, but also really cool if there were something like a buddy system for reading articles, or some avenue to allow one-on-one discussions regarding the text before a blog post was to be written. I also notice in my writing that if I cannot generate ideas in a timely fashion then I often default to “Playing school” and stating the obvious in flowery language until I feel I’ve produced what is satisfactory for the grade I wanted. Furthermore, I found it kind of disturbing how implicit my reaction to do this was. Even if I set out with a novel idea, if it did not pan out my blog post would just transform into a restatement of the obvious without any explicit intent.

Thank you so much for an awesome class, Dr. Sample!

My Somewhat Confused Approach to Death in the Digital Age

Lord Death is Confused by Cogs-Fixmore

Looking back at my past blog posts, I have a little trouble nailing down a unifying theme that encompasses my posts (other than death in the digital age, that is)–I mean, they ranged topics from Baudrillard’s simulacra (my first post) to radioactive wolves (my final post on the blog before this reflection) after all. The most accurate characterization that I can think of would be that, in writing my posts, I generally intended  to connect experiences I had with other works (often in other media) to our own course material.

But then again, any other student in our class could probably make the same claim; all the same, it is the only one that I feel can apply to my posts. What I can do to a greater capacity is track some of my thinking. I notice that my posts started out concentrating heavily on the intersections between other academic experiences that I have been through. With that first post, I noticed a connection between DIG 215, my documentary film class, and an earlier English class that I felt compelled to explore. Likewise, with my post on “The Yellow Wallpaper,” I found a connection between a favorite English reading in high school that I knew informed A Headful of Ghosts.

But as the semester went on, I realized from our in-class discussions, other blog posts, and Dead Set explicitly themselves that this class offered me the freedom to expand my scope out of the purely academic realm that I was used to, hence the my gradual embrace of the likes of Ghost Hunters, Fallout and the death of Club Penguin.

I can also identify some subjects that I particularly enjoyed writing about and would be interested in exploring. It may just be my inner nerd, but I definitely enjoyed bringing in interactive media (read: video games) into my writing and connecting them with works in other media, especially in my essay for our comparative horror project. I had hoped to integrate a similar mixing of media for our final paper–hoping to use Westworld (2016-) and a game called Soma (2014) to explore the value of artificial life–though I realized it would not be possible given the limits on the assignment. And of course, I would love to continue studying horror films and TV shows, and perhaps even expand into other medium  like comics as well.

Ultimately, I happily found myself covering a wealth of topics that caught my interest and tying them all back into my work for this class–an opportunity that I had never truly encountered before this class. 

“What is Death in the Digital Age?” – a reflection

The blog posts were one of my favorite things that the class had to offer. I believe that having a medium to express ourselves through is highly conducive   to a better understanding of the material. I found that questions that came up in posts were either addressed in class discussion or in a simple conversation between the members of my table. I enjoyed skimming through the posts before class to see what others had to say. The benefit of these blogposts is that they allow us to see the mental diversity that we have in the class. We all have different interpretations of the reading, of a metaphor, or any symbolism present in the course materials, and the blogposts melted these together into a pot.

Looking back of my previous posts, I saw that asking questions were a very prominent part of my overall reading analysis. On a regular basis I ask myself questions after reading any piece so that I’m sure that I’ve gotten the best understanding possible. However, through my posts i saw this tendency manifests itself in every single post. There is no blog post where I did not ask question about the reading, or its implication in other situations.

I also saw that I often questioned the reading at hand, in explicit or implicit ways. You can look at Enter the Grief Moderators, Not the Grief Police to see my specific criticism of online grieving. In Tourism from the Perspective of a Developing-Country Native I challenged the viewpoint that all tourism is bad. These are just a few of the critical examples found in my blogposts. I see this trend as an active representation of how much this class challenged me to think for myself. I entered the class not knowing what to expect, and I feel like I came out of it truly knowing what Death in the Digital Age looks like.

I do not think the structure of my blog posts changed as time went on. The questions, the critiques, and some type of format remained the same. What did change, was the style that I chose to write in. When writing about Black Mirror, my writing style was more laid back and open as opposed to my somber posts concerning “A Head Full of Ghosts.” Whenever we were discussing real life events, I tended to be more serious and less hypothetical. If we were discussing fiction novels, or tv shows, I was less serious and more open to asking more risqué questions.

One final theme that I noticed among my posts was the presence of ethics. It began with me questioning the ethics of replicating someone’s life form so that they would still be alive, such as in Black Mirror. “What if Ash, while living, has heard of the program yet had asked Martha to not do it? How can we determine what the dead would like to have done? I see the ethical dilemma arise from the fact that someone may not wish to be “rebirthed”, yet a grieving family member may go against these wishes. Does a person still have rights to their identity and digital footprint after they have passed? ” These questions were asked in my first blog post. Ethics once again came up when discussing Facebook’s “Remembering” feature. Here I questioned the possibility of someone’s social media profiles being taken over, even if they have explicitly stated that they did not want that to happen. I personally highly value ethical behavior, and think about it context of the society that we live in. This class allowed for me to explore the concept in a new arena.


Pre- and Post-Apocalypse Narratives and their Exposition of Human Fear

After our in-class discussion about the morbid fascination with post-apocalyptic narratives in a lot of modern media I’ve noticed an increasing amount of post-apocalyptic games, movies and TV shows. I’ve noticed two distinct archetypes many films/TV shows use to design post-apocalyptic narratives – the “post apocalypse” narrative and the “apocalypse discoverer/beginning-of-apocalypse” narrative. The former begins in the middle of a preexisting timeline and the narrative arc is generally contextualized as an individual narrative in a larger event or as a sequel to whatever happened prior to the apocalypse, while the latter is usually either done in a current events-based style that attempts to convey a sense of scale or in a “small group of people uncovers something dark that will end the world” sort of deal. I think that the pre-apocalypse movies seem to post-modernly convey fears of scientific progress overreaching medical progress as well as the fear that science will not progress as fast as nature and there will be some sort of violent reclamation of the world from humanity. Examples of this are almost the entire genre of zombie movies as well as films like Blood Glacier, the movie that prompted this post. Blood Glacier additionally contains post-modern fears of human overprogress in the form of global warming symbolism, making me think that this style of narrative is an attempt to play on the human fear of the potential that planet earth might eventually reject us (or that a god or gods will reject us, but the end result is the same). In the other style of narrative, the “post-apocalypse” one, fear of rejection is more implicitly religious in my opinion. Two post-apocalptic anime shows/movies in this style are Ergo Proxy and the infamous Neon Genesis Evangelion, both narratives that are both explicitly and implicitly tied to Gnostic theology and the post-apocalyptic departure of God.


Death of the Aura in the Digital World

While thinking about celebrity and Walter Benjamin’s post-modern “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (which I read for my documentary film class this semester) and writing my final paper for this class, it occurred to me that his distaste of what he feels is a backwards, archaic attachment to “aura” in art may be quite at home in our digital world. Benjamin’s postmodern rejection of the adherence to historical context seems to be carried out quite frequently in our modern treatment of celebrity, with decontextualized representations of celebrities appearing in potentially post-modernly incongruent positions in relation to their actions or personality during life. The Tupac hologram and the aspects of it I wrote about in my final paper come to mind, but post-modern works such as Robert Altman’s The Player (1992) are also seminal in defining the nature of celebrity in our digitally revolutionary world. This Is The End (2013) also has the same style of decontextualization of real celebrity figures playing caricatures of themselves in a fictional world. Because most of the people in both these films are actors, directors, musicians, comedians and screenwriters, viewers might make an implicit association with their work when watching the film. When celebrity artists die they now know that their legacy and work will live on and representations or caricatures of them may be used in films, memes, and other forms of media that can completely turn the original context of their work on its head. This irreverent elimination of aura and context is especially present in memes, with Bob Ross’ show being a great example of a work of media that had the original intentions held by the auteur removed or altered after the creator’s death. It makes me wonder, though, if a new form of aura may develop in association with aspects of our newfound digital world. The culture of SoundCloud’s hip-hop community and its meme-saturated stereotypical connotations may provide their own context in a way that creates a new, somewhat more abstract form of aura than a the context a wall or room interior might provide a painting hung in that room.

Haunting and Heaven’s Gate

I recently watched a documentary on the Heaven’s Gate cult and resulting mass suicide incident and felt that it had a lot of relation to this course. I hadn’t realized how related to the digital age the cult was, with their main source of income coming from web design jobs which was an up-and-coming field at the time. Additionally there was a lot of found footage sourced from videos made by the cult itself including a “farewell video”, essentially a video suicide note, and instructional videos made by the cult’s leader Marshall Applewhite. To me this was heavily reminiscent of the “haunting” we discussed earlier in the semester and definitely is more on the “ghostly” side of things. In a way, the videos almost make me feel as though Applewhite’s “advancement” beyond humanity was consummated by the recording of the instructional videos; forever preserving his ideology, personality and message in a digital format. Because of how unnerving his eyes and general mannerisms are in the video it seems haunting even if you’re unaware of his death, but knowing that he’s now dead as well as knowing the circumstances of his suicide make the videos spine-chillingly unnerving to watch. I had first seen clips from the Heaven’s Gate Applewhite tapes when I watched the postmodern audiovisual short film/album combo Duality released by super-producer Flying Lotus under his villainous rap moniker, Captain Murphy. In the context of an artwork exploring the nature of cults and mentality of cult leaders the video almost seemed inconsequential compared to when I viewed it in the context of the reality that is the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide. The sense of self-awareness that the album gave the clip was removed completely when I watched it in its natural context and it seemed infinitely more unnerving, reminding me of how much context can change the “haunted” nature of a digital media artifact.