Sunday, December 16, 2012


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.

Don’t you?


  1. You're a very smart man Mike.

  2. while i agree with this, i also think it's oversimplified, mike. I think we watch searing for clues on why so that we may, in fact, try to avoid it next time. we search for answers, ways to help, ways to maybe understand. it doesn't mean we'll find any, but it's not all rubbernecking, it's also an attempt to engrain the beautiful faces of the children in our minds in the hopes to somehow hold on to them, do their memory justice by knowing them a little. Which is not to say i disagree with your post. I agree, and in fact, love the eloquent way in which Morgan Freeman has recently spoken about the media's role in perpetuating the glory you speak of... but i think for many of us, we watch searching desperately for answers -- ways to protect our own children -- that don't exist and will never come.

  3. I have definitely heard enough. There are better ways to honor these little ones and the brave adults than to keep listening to the same horrific details on repeat. Donate, hugs your family, pray. Celebrate life. Turn off the box.

  4. I'm with you, Mike. My kids are in charge of the TV these days, so it's nonstop Nickolodeon and Wii games. While I pray for them and will always remember the day, the children's names and faces and lives are not mine to remember.

    The comments that I've seen on FB by people I love and respect that this happened because God is not allowed in schools or homeschooling is the only answer infuriate me. I'm only saying that here because I'm refusing to start a debate over there!

  5. Absolutely! I haven't watched, listened to, or read the national news since Friday. My main reason is that I just can't take the excruciating emotional pain, but I also don't want to be part of "feeding the beast" that is the predatory media. There needs to be some substantive changes in the wake of this, and that includes the media.

  6. Mike, I loved your message you imparted to your younger followers. I'll keep with that spirit of you.

  7. Fabulous, Mike I wish I had your gift of words.....

  8. Well said. Thanks to Chris for pointing my in your direction.

    I'm not watching news on tv, listening to the radio or reading the newspaper right now. My Facebook news feed is down to five people. Life is better this way.

  9. I'm glad I'm not alone in this feeling Mike. Not only is your heart ripped out again and again with each horrible update and picture but the media makes it so much worse. I found myself screaming at the radio today in response to a reporter asking Officer Vance - did the shooter go to the right or left when he entered the building. WHAT? Why the fuck do you want to know that? She asked a number of times! I pray that these poor families are left alone to grieve and let the long healing process begin.

  10. Like. A thousand times like. I refuse to click/read/watch/listen to any of it. It makes me want to puke that I can't even open my yahoo mail without pictures of babies faces and sound bytes assailing me. Someone asked me the other day what i thought about what Obama said and I said I didn't watch it. They looked at me like I was an asshole. It's not that I don't care about what happened. I'm totally heartsick and have been randomly bursting into tears every day, multiple times a day since it happened. And seeing these faces or these parents' grief feels gross and horrible. And what kind of people are holding these cameras and trying to get these interviews? If the demand wasn't there, they would leave these people to grieve and attempt to put some semblance of a life back together. It's awful. Just awful.

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  12. Mike, I read your post the other day and I have been thinking alot about what you had to say. I totally agree with some points you've made and disagree a little with other points.

    I agree whole heartedly with your point about the media sensationalizing these horrific crimes. I have been saying this since Columbine, the media broadcasting this to the whole world is giving people ideas, showing them ways they can "top" the last crime. I absolutely think that needs to stop. I also think it's despicable the way some reporters are shoving their microphones in the faces of these kids looking to top their ratings. Those reporters are disgusting, callous people that need to go away. The only people these poor children need to be speaking to are their parents, the police and a therapist. They don't need to be put on display like a circus side show.

    I also agree with your thoughts about not watching any news broadcasts about the shooter. I refuse to use his name and I refuse to watch or read anything regarding the possible motive. At this point it doesn't matter to me what his problems or motive could've been. There just simply isn't any explanation that would be comforting enough or good enough, there was absolutely no reason to do what he did. He destroyed an entire town and took away precious individuals.

    There is one thing I do disagree with you on and that's turning off the tv completely. I will not turn off the tv when strangers are trying to show kindness and want to pay tribute to the adults and children that were murdered that day. Those families and that town weren't the only ones that lost that day. The whole world lost. The teachers and staff that lost thier lives that day were the type of people we need in this world. They put their lives second and cared more about protecting those beautiful children. It was a great loss to this nation that they are no longer with us. The world was a better place with them.

    The world also lost 20 beautiful and wonderful children. Children that will never see their graduation day, experience going away to college, meeting their soulmate, walking down the aisle to marry the love of their life and bringing into the world more wonderful children. They will never get to find out what they could have contributed to this world as we will never get to find out as well.

    So my point is, we all as a nation, felt a great deal of loss that day. And as a mother, of a beautiful 8 yr old girl, my heart broke for all of the family and friends affected by this. They will never be out of my thoughts or prayers.

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