4.16.2007

not going anywhere

i got to be honest with you guys...i got pretty close to shutting this thing down. i just get tired of feeling guilty for not having the time to comment on every relevant sports or pop culture thing. to be honest, a lot of what i write is much better written by other popular mainstream blogs, but this whole viriginia tech thing may buy you o faithful blog reader just a little more time with me.

so i'm watching cnn today, and like everyone else, i'm trying to figure out what the FUCK is going on in blacksburg. they bring on some experts to provide some commentary and context to what is going on and one of the experts is a gun control advocate. now just to be clear, i'm all for reducing the number of guns to people. if that takes laws, then i say pass em, and let's put gun companies out of business. anyways, the anchor asks the gun control guy this question: "would stricter gun laws saved lives today?" are you effin kidding me? how is this question helpful in understanding what happened today. i am instantly infuriated. but then the gun control guy, without hesitation says, "i think it's clear that is the case." i now want to unload an uzi into the anchor and gun control guy.

call me crazy, but i think that gun control is not the problem here. shouldn't the question be, how did we as a modernized civil society, allow one guy to get to the point where he thought his only option was to go in and kill as many people as he could as fast as he could. again, i'm not saying that guns didn't have anything to do with anything, but the whole logic behind saying that a different gun law would have prevented this seems so obtuse to me.

i don't know how well i'm communicating my point, but what i'm trying to say is that we watch the news and when something like this happens, it should give us all pause and make us really reflect about where the hell did we go wrong and how do we make it so that we can get better. but all i see is pointing fingers and things getting worse. and worst of all, i see the reaction and the measures taken to be the exact opposite of fruitful dialog or action.

take don imus for example. isn't it transparent that don imus' firing had nothing to do with showing people that such racist attitudes won't be tolerated and more with networks not wanting to lose advertising dollars? i mean shouldn't we still be boycotting these outlets for letting imus say much worse up to this point. what about howard stern, who uses the n-word all the time...where are the calls for boycotts against xm or sirius? why don't these people go after rush limbaugh or bill o'reilly who have also said much worse. and why didn't these people work with imus, who in my opinion seemed genuinely contrite and went so far as to go and talk to the rutgers women's basketball team and apologize in person. again, i happy that imus got fired, he needed to, but saying that finally getting him off the air is a sign of progress is ignorant. it is the opposite. the fact that he got fired a week after he made the comments means that no one really cares what anyone thinks, as long as money is still rolling in.

it just seems to me that reaction to the media events or horrible things like the tragedy in blacksburg has nothing to do with really trying to change things. i know this sounds like a rant, but i think it's been a bad few weeks for the media and for the country. i was already in a bad mood about how the imus situation was playing out in both real life and in the media, and then i saw that cnn clip today and i felt like i had to write something. stuff like the tragedy at virginia tech should shock us and make us feel bad about the world, and want to work to change it. but that is not what i see. i see people pretending to be shocked and pretending to feel bad, but in reality, all they are really doing over and over again are asking, "what about me?" and as long as people ask that question, this blog will be here to call these d-bags out on it.

4 comments:

molly said...

amen, bobo.

Ian said...

This is one of the reasons why the Journalist hates the news.

When you have 24-hour news stations that are devoted to news coverage, they have to fill the air time with something. Once it is decided that the Virginia Tech Massacre is THE story (and I'm not suggesting that it shouldn't be), they're going to find anyone with anything that can be event tangentially related to the event, and they're going to allow them to air their views or interests.

They'll blame the availability of guns. They'll blame his anti-depression medication. They'll blame the polic response. They'll blame the university response. They'll do everything but state the obvious: Every so often there's a messed up person like a James Huberty, Marc Lepine, Kliebold, Harris, Speck, Whitman, or some other jerk, that just goes off on a murder spree because he's messed up, and people are going to get killed because the killer is out looking to kill them and they are totally unsuspecting.

Twenty-four hour coverage of the event, though, mandates that everyone with a view must have his say. Even if none of the views can address the obvious. The obvious doesn't fill 24 hours of coverage.

molly said...

So we've been talking about the shooting in my deviance class a little bit and I have found Kathryn Newman's book "Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings" really helpful. She identifies a combination of 5 conditions that lead to these types of institutional killing sprees that have been perpetrated by young men: social marginalization, psychological vulnerability, cultural scripts that fuse violence with masculinity, and the availability of firearms.... Sounds pretty right on to me. The media's fixation on gun-control or understanding the mind of this "one" twisted, deranged mad-man is so unproductive and laughable.

Bob said...

hi kids,

thanks for commenting. great insights all around. i'm going to be explicating this issue in much more detail in future posts, so i'll save my reactions for those, but thanks again for commenting.