Chris Kyle fanatics chilling Abby Martin threats

Former Russia Today journalist, Abby Martin, who’s show Breaking the Set asked the questions most journalist would dream of, has faced a recent tirade of online abuse of the highest order for challenging the hero worship of American idol, Chris Kyle, the main protagonist in the recent movie American Sniper, by wearing a t-shirt that said ‘fuck Chris Kyle’.

Abby Martin

Fans, or rather fanatics, of Chris Kyle, have been posting messages on Facebook and Twitter calling for Abby Martin’s rape and murder, for daring to question the American war porn account of deceased soldier, Chris Kyle, in the movie American Sniper. The movie, starring Bradley Cooper and directed by Clint Eastwood, made the case that Kyle was a hero that saved countless American soldiers lives at the barrel of the rifle he used during his four tours of Iraq. He is renowned for allegedly having the most confirmed kills of a US sniper. In tense scenes throughout the film, it justifies the killing of women and children for ‘the greater good’ in protecting the lives of US soldiers.

Chris Kyle

The response is chilling.

  

It’s amazing to think you call out a war porn movie like American Sniper for what it is, sick propaganda, and people respond like this. Where is the media and Hollywood outrage and denouncement of this? Justifying the murder of children ‘for the greater good’ is never right, we should have been asking ourselves the question of why we were there and why these children were radicalised in the first place? Perhaps they watched their mothers or brothers and sisters get blown up by drones or cluster bombs? Instead people want to rape and kill a journalist for asking the questions or challenging the narrative that 99% of the mainstream media wouldn’t dare to ask.

Bradley Cooper and Clint Eastwood

These online trolls accuse Martin of disgracing the memory of their idol, citing the fact that he died for her right to freedom of speech and to wear skirts, which is ironic but not because Abby Martin was exercising her freedom of speech, but because Chris Kyle was killed by a veteran with mental health issues on a shooting range in America, a year or so after he left the military. That’s not an issue of freedom of speech, but a serious issue surrounding mental health and the post traumatic stress of our armed forces peronnel subjected to endless tours of a horrific war zone that our political leaders created purely for business interests. Nothing to do with freedom. Anyone that wants to challenge that should listen to the impassioned words of Patrick Stewart.

Abby Martin Twitter

The threats are ironic as these right wing rantings would be from the same people that think it is appropriate for Pamela Geller to hold a cartoon exhibit of the Prophet Mohammad but not for Abby Martin to wear a t-shirt that besmirches their false god. The same people would, I am sure, also agree that the illustrators at Charlie Hebdo had the freedom to offend with their depictions of Mohammad, yet they do not see that this right extends to Abby Martin or others stands out as rank hypocrisy.

The freedom of speech extends to us all, including the freedom to disagree. No one has the right to threaten another for disagreeing with that speech. The challenge is to have a better a better answer to the thing you disagree with.

In the mean time, people like Abby Martin will have to face down these trolls, a problem becoming ever more prominent in the Internet age, particularly for women and young people, which says much about how far we have come, our misogynistic underbelly and how civilised we are in the year 2015. Social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter have much to do in combatting online abuse, though the former has a much better report feature than the latter, too much time goes between a report and action being taken.

With nationalism on the rise across the globe as media outlets continue to bombard us with patriotic babble and meaningless slogans such as ‘support the troops’, delusional behaviour like this will only increase. So much for the freedom of speech and the freedom to disagree.

It all seems limitless

A long, long busy day, taking pictures at a homes for people rally out in the cold. My train was delayed and I had to wait 20 minutes shivering on the freezing cold platform, but then something wonderful happened.

As I waited, a man in his 60’s came and stood on the platform along from me and he was shortly followed by a young girl, perhaps 20. We sat in silence together, I was busy reviewing some of my photos and looking at some information from the people I met today when I heard the lady ask the man if he had the train line app to see which train would get her to her destination the quickest. He said he did not have a smart phone and then went on to give her a comprehensive talk through which train would get in to which station, and at what time. It didn’t look like he worked for a train firm but his knowledge was spot on.

Although he did not have a smart phone he had something more valuable – experience.

They continued their conversation and traded stories about their day, their plans, hopes and dreams. We boarded the same coach on the train together and their conversation continued. I looked around and watched the train coach full of people sat in silence on their phones, earplugs in. The assumed position, hunched over squinting into a tiny box of lights after a long day, most likely looking at a computer screen, oblivious of the world around them – except for the man and woman who had struck up the conversation earlier on the train platform. Ironically, I felt the need to capture this ‘missed moment’ and wondered how many times a day we miss moments, however small, that may brighten our days up in an immeasurable way just because we wanted to catch up on the latest Facebook post from our friends, tweet from our favourite celebs or the sporting news? Was I missing my own moment by pulling out the camera? Before boarding the train, I found myself drawn to the Age Concern billboard ‘No one should have no one’, I thought on the train that it is entirely conceivable that the man on the train platform might not have spoken to another soul tonight until he returned to work tomorrow or wherever he came from this evening, except for the intervention for the young lady.With the technology at our disposal, we are both more connected and disconnected than at any time in our history.

How many single serving experiences are we missing every day? And yet it all seems limitless. It’s not. Life is finite and we should make the most of each moment now because we won’t get them again. Life is about our journey, not the destination. Enjoy it.