ONE WAY STREET
Alan's sporadic takes on Film Noir and other aspects of pop culture
Coverage of the Madman
Sometimes tragic events occur that transcend our day-to-day and force us to take pause and consider the status of our life and popular culture on this mortal coil.
Such an occurrence is the Virginia Tech shootings. I don't want to wallow in this; that isn't what this blog is for.
However, the news coverage of the murderer has caused me enough angst that I have turned off the television news and the car radio for the duration. Why? Probably for the same reason I don't need to watch Saw 3 in order to know that I strongly dislike watching simulated, graphic torture as entertainment. The current medic coverage of this murderer who executed these kids in cold-blood is wholly predictable and not something I want to be complicit in by watching.
The grunge of the 24 hour news cycle with the cable news channels and the Internet leading the way with their incessant broadcasting and display of sensational material and images in the never-ending quest for ratings and "being first" have anointed large swathes of the New Media as defacto cheerleaders and abetters for this breed of psychopath.
The similarity of this evil bastard's 'manifesto' and the terrorist tapes of hostage beheadings and the like is not just a coincidence. This guy is achieving exactly what he set out to do with the media being obliviously complicit.
While I certainly think that this murderer's horrific deeds are a major news story that must be covered, there is little to no restraint, taste, sensitivity, or wisdom applied, particularly on television and the Web. News coverage used to be a exercise tempered by what Sydney Greenstreet referred to in The Maltese Falcon as "nice judgment." News coverage has largely degenerated into a veritable gravity drain leading to a cesspool.
Why is it necessary to air this madman's ranting and "video manifesto" just days after he executed all these kids? Where is the responsibility and accountability for these outlets towards the families and society as a whole? This outpouring is even worse than the knot of reporters insinuating that the head of Virginia Tech was at fault for the shootings less than four hours after it happened. Do the majority of reporters, when exposed to the full of the moon by an event of this magnitude, grow hair, fangs and are compelled to behave like a braying pack of rabid David Gregory's, substituting their editorial views for questions and rudeness for civility? It would seem so.
What's next: a "Dymamics' or some other poll stating that 72% of Americans think that it is a bad thing to send their kids to college or something of that nature? Enough!
The only option currently available is to simply turn it off. Back to the movies.