It was subtle: I didn’t notice it right away. But the second it occurred to me that what happened happened, it set me back a little.
Another day, another school shooting…This one, a beef between two students in an Atlanta middle school.
And what stunned me about it was that I wasn’t shocked.
I wasn’t apathetic; I still took the time out of my day to read a few articles about it and see what had happened.
But as these things (sadly) are more and more in the news, I have found that I more and more don’t care.
I could make myself feel better by blaming my increased apathy on the “you don’t care because this was some lead spitting between gangsters” theory, or even let the more bigoted of my better angels perch up on my shoulders for a few moments and have them go on and on about how certain members of socio-economic and racial groups are predisposed to certain odd violence patterns (just as- most likely because of the media coverage that swarms to it when it happens- suicide is a perfectly reasonable action for a homosexual kid who is being bullied by his classmates).
But this time, I didn’t. I embraced it and took into myself and thought about it for a good long while; desperate to try and make some sense of this new found level of disregard for my fellow man.
And as I thought about it, the more a reason came to my mind… it’s the fucking media.
Be it because the media is just showing themselves to the vultures they are with their willingness to exchange a few pints of innocent blood for an uptick in the rating book, political hacks sycophantically playing up these stories in order to keep American hearts focused on the political dream that certain members of our political class have to eventually eliminate all private gun ownership in America, or just desperate journalists given the impossible task of coming up with something to talk about all day, every day, no matter what, it seems as though there is no end to these stories in sight. Night after night, the top national story is of yet another community terrorized to their very cores because of yet another senseless act of violence. Mothers and fathers are interviewed, bellowing mournful sobs of deep loss while the cameras roll- capturing every heart crushing second. Communities ripped in two before our eyes. And like the blood drinking groundlings we have always been, we post up night after night to pour over the hours of suffering. (Oh, and as a fun side effect of their round the clock coverage turning these weak pathetic shooters into these rogue antiheroes striking out against a cruel and uncaring world, it begats new shooters dreaming to make sure when they go, they will be remembered as well...)
And what’s worse is that there is no other way to try and scale back this level of desensitization to these psychotic acts of hate and violence than to simply turn the shit off.
I wish I could find a better solution than simply tuning out, but sadly I just can’t.
The only way to avoid these monstrous acts is to turn off the TV and just ignore everything five feet away from your front door. It shouldn’t be, but unfortunately while the rating driven media seeks more and more to sell sensational news than it does have any sort of human decency, there doesn’t seem to be any other alternative.
(Of course, you can still come here... we are hardly news…)