You all need to STOP! And yes, I mean YOU. Whether you’re my wife, my family, my friend, my neighbor, my coworker, or my fellow American, you need to stop! You need to stop watching the news, listening to the radio, reading the paper, and going on-line to find out more about the shootings in Newtown. What MORE do you need to know? After learning that 26 innocent people were gunned down, 20 of them children, what MORE could you possibly need to know? Other than finding out if anyone you knew personally was involved, there is NOTHING else you need to know.
Everything else you WANT to know. And that’s pretty fucking sick if you ask me.
But lucky for you, the media will be happy to fulfill your desires. Want to know what the last thing one of the victims had for breakfast? Keep watching. Curious as to what’s inside all those Christmas gifts that will never be opened? Keep reading. Want to hear an exclusive interview with a 9-year old survivor? Stay tuned.
And right now many of you are offended, gasping indignantly that YOU don’t want to know that, and YOU think it’s terrible. Yet you keep watching. You sit on your couch complaining how insensitive the reporters are for questioning survivors and families of the victims at a time like this, yet you don’t change the channel. You “like” your friend’s comment that the state medical examiner should never have released such gory details about the deaths, and then you Google the report to find out just how gory and insensitive it was. You claim to dread the inevitable release of the class photos of the 20 smiling young children doomed to die, yet you’ll buy the goddamned paper.
Then you’ll gather and talk and ask yourselves HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED? You’ll point fingers at bad parents, weak gun control laws, poor security in the schools, and issues with how mental illness is treated. You’ll blame violent video games, gory movies, and heavy metal music.
But guess what? As abhorrent as some of those lyrics and images can be, they can not POSSIBLY be worse than the version of “Heaven” I heard on the radio yesterday that was remixed with actual sound bites from the survivors and first responders. I know it was meant as a tribute, but it’s fucking deranged. And I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if ends up at #1 on iTunes, because people like YOU are going to buy it.
The weird part is YOU are the good people. You love your kids. You support your community. You value human life and have compassion for others. You donate to worthy causes, help out when you can, and cry yourselves to sleep at night over things like this. And I love and respect you ALL for it. I just don’t get this addiction to violence. You claim to hate it, yet refuse to look away. And will actually seek it out.
So much so that we’ve even had to create words to describe such actions. Rubbernecking is an actual term that refers the traffic caused on the CLEAR side of the highway by those slowing down to look back at the carnage on the OTHER side. Why? What are you hoping to see when what you NEED to see is the road in front of you? What do you WANT to see so badly that you’re putting your own safety at risk?
And that’s exactly what you’re doing while watching the news sensationalize tragedies, for as YOU sit there in scared shock over what you are seeing, some psycho is making mental (and I DO mean mental) notes on what he needs to do to make you feel even worse when it’s his turn. You’re giving him a blueprint for what he needs to do to top the last guy.
But instead of turning off the TV, you’ll turn to your friends and say things like, “If that was MY kid, I would have made sure he received the help he needed,” and “If MY son was that troubled, I would NEVER have guns in the house.” You’ll wonder why “somebody” didn’t see or say something sooner. You’ll want to know who was responsible, and why they didn’t do more to stop it.
But YOU need to stop it. You need to stop giving your tacit approval to those providing such information by not consuming it. I’m not saying turn your back and turn it off, I’m just saying turn away after you’ve heard enough. And I think just knowing that 26 innocent people, 20 of them children, were shot and killed in their school is MORE than enough.