Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013 4:13:40 PM
Where do we go from here? To answer that question, we must decide as a nation where we are now. This question seems to be what all of the conversations of media violence and its effects on the people of the United States boil down to. We, not necessarily as a nation, but as people, as human beings, are attracted to violence.
When we see that a mass killing has happened, the media shows us three things that we find unpleasant initially, but ourselves on the inside crave. First, they will give the body count. Then, they will tell us who the shooter is. Then, they will give us a hero; someone who died in the unexpected line of fire to save lives by losing their own. I believe where we as people want to go, and are trying to go, the high road of peace, will take us in a circle.
The first point is our attraction to violence. The biggest tourist areas of the world are historically violent like The Coliseum, The Pyramids, and sites of War. The news stations give the body count and people will rank it against other mass shootings. It has become a statistic, like box office dollars or football scores.
Secondly, the shooter. As the murderer fires bullets into the flesh of his victims, ending their innocent lives prematurely, whether he knows it or not, he will become a celebrity, becoming immortalized in his actions. For example, there aren’t individual names associated with Hitler, just a number; 6,000,000. As a name one might suggest Anne Frank, as a victim, but that brings me to the third point, the hero.
There is always a token hero in every tragedy; a teacher, boyfriend, or professor. There is always a push to get this hero famous, though the hero is always someone who did something that a) gets themselves killed, b) that no one else did for logical reasons, and c) was unfortunately insignificant to the larger tragedy. These people are condescended by the media who expresses that there is always hope in darkness. However, at the end of the day, the shooter killed the innocent hero, and died by his own will. Unfortunately, there is a false sense of unity and hope that is only used for societal backlashes and political agendas. We are truly taught through these tragedies that the villain always wins. What is scarier is that we don’t mind it.
The direction we should go in, can only be reached by accepting that there is nowhere to go. We are trapped by our human flaws, meaning that to humanize ourselves we must not let these tragedies happen, but accept that as long as people are alive people will die. By changing the way they are broadcasted through the news networks, we might be able to make people understand that no matter what direction you go, you’re going in circles.