So, this holiday season in my annual attempt to avoid the movies of the holiday season I sat with my daughter to watch “Saw”, followed by “Saw2.” Consistent with federal law regarding horror films, no such film offers closure—just a means of setting up infinite sequels.
“Saw” is different than the standard horror offerings. The killer in “Saw” is not just a teen who was not invited to a dance ten years ago--who has grown into an adult that needs to kill all who attend the federally mandated reunion of all those that did attend the dance.
Jigsaw has a motive. He only kills those not living lives of perceived value. Jigsaw passes judgment on the quality of the life that was lived, without understanding the back story of the person and without fact checking—just assuming the assortment of offered facts are accurate. So, in other words, Jigsaw does the same thing that Facebook users do.
Saw is a perfect film for our social media driven society—without understanding the context of the life we are judging, we get to post things without critical thought, without consideration of the effects or whether our basis for judgments are justified. Just like Jigsaw.
A generic Facebook post is a meme and a quote as the author of the meme hopes—and often has his/her hopes rewarded—that someone will look at a quote and a meme and assume whatever is there must be valid. Because if there is a picture AND a quote—well, that level of sincerity and credibility can not be doubted, according to sarcastic bloggers.
Jigsaw is self assured that his assumptions and interpretations are accurate or at least hopes they are to help him justify his barbarism. Are meme artists similarly self assured or do they know they are dealing in defecation?
It is easy for many to applaud Jigsaw for his righteousness against a selected set of characters that have lived perceived lives of limited value. Perhaps Jigsaw is also popular because he represents both the meme artists and those that repost the works of meme artists. No critical thought is needed to produce such memes or to believe such memes. Quite often, taking literally 15 seconds can show us whether a Facebook post is valid or not. Does Jigsaw take that much time to reflect on the lives he tortures? Do we take that much time to assure that we are not sending bovine defecation to our Facebook friends? Or are some social media authors rightfully depending on the fact that no one will challenge a meme?
Now I do grant you that sending and accepting a meme based on no fact at all is a lesser offense than grinding someone’s nose under a semi’s wheels. But is either a good idea?