The Media and Mass Shootings

This is as funny as it is vulgar, and I approve of it on every level.
This is as funny as it is vulgar, and I approve of it on every level.

Having watched and rewatched The JFK Assassination As It Happened from NBC News Archives on YouTube, and before that on DVD and VHS videocassette, I have become a bit of a de facto expert on what I consider the birth of modern mass media. Prior to this event, news spread primarily by newspapers, radio, and the nightly news report on television. This event, more than any other, started the fire that has grown into today’s inferno of media on virtually the exact timetable of my own life; I was five months old the day Kennedy died.

The most appalling thing about this photo isn't the truck fire. It's the "Cash Advance" in the background. It's a microcosm of American idiocy.
The most appalling thing about this photo isn’t the truck fire. It’s the “Cash Advance” in the background. It’s a microcosm of American idiocy.

The principal consequence of this: the media in all its forms can’t wait to cum all over itself, and you, with tragedy.

Consider this: when was the last time you saw a “Breaking News” chyron on your television announcing good news? Breaking: Child saved by car seat. Breaking: Woman’s breast cancer in remission. Breaking: School funding up 10%.

My guess is the last time this happened was the Apollo 11 moon landing.

The question then becomes: so what if they’re selling tragedy? I don’t have to buy it! But we all do. Remember the school shooting in Florida? The fires in southern California? The Japanese tsunami? The Indonesia tsunami? Columbine? Of course you do. Instead of sitting through a City Council meeting to help ensure that unsafe intersection gets repaired, we are thumb-typing curse words about the most recent bad guy in our notifications inbox.

But who is the real bad guy? You? Not really. Sure, you’re hooked on their junk, but they’re dealers, and dealers are hard to resist, particularly when they are peddling sex, which this essentially is. And I know how angry we all feel when that asshole who got kicked out of school comes back and shoots the place up. It’s hard to blame him, too; he’s 19, and has been spoon-fed the media’s obsession with the big dick of disaster his whole life.

So what about god? Where was god? Remember all those memes and posts that say that school shooting happened because god was kicked out?

  1. You must imagine that human kind is powerful enough to keep the most powerful being in the Universe from coming to school.
  2. God has never been evicted from the schools. What you really mean is: I want the government (public schools) to force all children to practice my religion. God actually has nothing to do with it.

In this analysis, it’s clear that society and the media are in a feedback loop. The public is fed the media stream and is appalled, then inured, and asks for more. The media amps it up a notch and feeds it back. The dick gets shoved deeper in.

Nothing blunts the harsh anger at life like the love of a dog or a summer day.
Nothing blunts the harsh anger at life like the love of a dog or a summer day.