Sep 10, 2008

Massacres Are So Five Years Ago

Photo: They're not running for fun.

I just saw an article that began with: "Thousands of people gathered Tuesday to remember a Skagit Valley sheriff's deputy who was killed in last week's shooting rampage." I basically yawned and moved on. Remember when a 'shooting rampage' was cause for alarm? Remember when it shocked you to the core, leading you to say things like, "How could this have happened?" and "What is this world coming to?" Like everyone else, I was glued to the telly when Columbine went down; I was also checking online reports during that whole Virginia Tech nightmare. But I didn't get the feeling I cared about those kids, I just got an adrenaline rush from the sensational journalistic reporting; much like 9/11, I had to finally turn off all media, because it was taking over my life. I wasn't getting new information, I was just re-living the adrenaline rush over and over again, and finding new things to cry about, until it finally meant nothing. Until tragedy was actually meaningless to me. So now, kids with guns are... meh. Old news. You shot up your high school and killed 4 people? Well enjoy your two minutes in the spotlight, because that six-year old over there is going to bring an Uzi to his kindergarten next week and fuck. shit. up. Tragic and unthinkable...but also becoming quite predictable in the news cycle.

So if the gun-wielding, classmate-killing children can't cause a blip on the radar, how can a 'shooting rampage' make any impact? Remember when the phrase SHOOTING RAMPAGE would have made front-page news? Now it's like, oh honey look, there was a shooting rampage last week, please pass me the Real Estate section and stop reading Marmaduke. The fact that it said "last week"--as in, last week's shooting rampage--meant more to me than the rampage itself; it should have said HORRIFYING TRAGEDY BEFALLS DEPUTY IN THE LINE OF DUTY DURING SHOOTING RAMPAGE. But no, it just said "last week's shooting rampage", because it looked just like the one from the week before, and then the week before that. It meant that this is a common occurrence, no big deal.
This shit happens all the time, so I don't even bother being surprised anymore. Yeah, it sucks--lives lost and all that--but welcome to our world today. I know that people care, and I know that I am one of those people. It's just getting harder to drum up emotions for crimes and tragedies and accidents that seem to be stuck on the Repeat button. It saddens me, how de-sensitized I've become to the ugliest side of humanity.


konichiwa, bitches. said...

I personally wish that people would quit shooting each other up in bloody school and workplace massacres, because it's NOT "our world today". It's "The United States today". People in the rest of the industrialized world are not shooting each other up and they're not on anti-depressants and they are fucking smug about that. If I have to hear one more European wrinkle up his nose and talk about how during his North American tour he will be visiting Canada and Mexico but not the States because it's too 'violent' I am going to stab him myself.


Pasifik said...

I can't imagine why someone could do that in a school?

Peace on earth,


Snotty McSnotterson said...

Konichiwa: Exactly.

Pasifik: For shock value.

I do think that our world is way more violent than what it was, isn't that how it works? With progress comes the opposite, right? And then the religious wars... ugh, don't get me started. But yes, the US is certainly more fucked-up than any country I know of.

matt said...

KB: No shit, right? Oh wait, I want to vacation in Canada...

Pasifik: Really? Wow. I really, really can...

Snotty: America sure is more violent than it was. Saw Tom Friedman on Charlie Rose last night mentioning how every small American town he finds himself in may have only a few streets, but every one has its own SWAT team. And totally right on about how blasé we're getting about school-shootings and other RAVs. We're becoming acclimated, like other Third-world countries--OOPS.
Well, no, not oops. When you have a corporate, fear-feeding government, backed by an industrial military complex, and informed by paranoia and religious narrowness, with a fierce nationalistic zeal thrown in for giggles, and the rich are oligarchical and the middle-class is swirling down the toilet, that's what we could be in ten years. *sighs*

Of course you won't be reading this until you get back from your "relaxing retreat", so welcome back to DEFCON 2.

Snotty McSnotterson said...