Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Someone else who didn't like Mondays

Another gun massacre in an American education establishment (with 33 dead, including the killer, Cho-Seung-hui, it is the worst one yet). More than ever, this is a tragedy that has been played out on the media, with bloggers such as this one abruptly switching from reporting the usual banal stuff that students get up to, to suddenly finding themselves prime media bait. There is something ghoulish about it all. Go into any branch of HMV or Borders and look among the DVDs - most of them will have lots of films depicting students getting massacred, usually in inventive, sometimes humorous ways - such films have been staples of horror since the 1970s. On other shelves you may see PC games, most of which involve shooting at things. And if there's a books section, don't forget to check out the "True Crime" shelf, where you can probably read about all the other high school shootings that have happened. Rest assured, that if you can't get enough of CNN, BBC, Sky and Fox, who are wetting themselves over this big bit of hot news - viewing figures will go through the roof, then it'll all come out as a book in a couple of months and someone will make a film or even a mini-series of it. There might even be a computer game. And how likely is it, that sooner or later, a copy-cat killer will try the same thing.

Well that's the media covered, who else can we blame? On the campus news website condolences rush in from around the world, heavily peppered with people (a lot of Brits) saying isn't it time for America to ban guns and then others saying "if the campus hadn't been a gun-free zone the killer would have been 'taken out' within a few seconds and the tragedy wouldn't have been as bad" (yes, but they are missing the point somewhat). Others chime in and point out that the UK still has gun crime and guns are illegal (again, missing the point). While others get very annoyed by the fact that people want to talk politics when people are dead. Campus authorities themselves are being blamed, because there were 2 hours between the 2 sets of shootings. People are even latching on the fact that the killer was South Korean. And then other people are latching on the fact that people are reporting that the killer was South Korean. If only we could somehow blame paedophiles, it would be a media royal flush.

And in other news, at least 13 Iraqi soldiers were killed in an ambush in the northern city of Mosul. But nobody paid much attention to that though.


Lost Boy said...

Quite. Surely the Express can work Diana into it somewhere for a new angle.

evilganome said...

The media feeding frenzy here in the states is absolutely shameless. Even public radio here is scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for new angles on the story, while as you justly point out, people continue to die in Iraq on a daily basis because of a stupid and pointless war.