May 27, 2014

“Every time there’s a mass murder, this Charlie Brooker video needs to be reposted.”

There is a solution to gun violence. It’s remarkably simple. It’s commonsense. It’s here.

She gets it:

He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless. And to others I implore you: speak the names of those who were lost, rather than name of the man who took them. ~ Jacinda Arden, PM of New Zealand


Reading on iOS? View the full infographic here.

This video could actually save lives.

We can learn from this. We can learn that equality is love. We can learn that hate can not further love, even if it is hate against the hateful. We can learn that assault weapons should not be available to those on the FBI’s radar. We can learn from this, and we must.

As for media, if the below notion were respected by more media, much of the glorification and ratings-hunger in times of violence might stop.

“It isn’t news, it’s rubbernecking.

“Every time there’s a mass murder, this Charlie Brooker video needs to be reposted.”

“You should have seen the ratings that day.” ~
Marilyn Manson

Some media, like BBC, are beholden to the people, not ratings or advertisers.

“Roger Ebert said very similar things on his review of Elephant.

Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. “Wouldn’t you say,” she asked, “that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?” No, I said, I wouldn’t say that. “But what about ‘Basketball Diaries’?” she asked. “Doesn’t that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?” The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it’s unlikely the Columbine killers saw it.

The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. “Events like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”

In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.

Marilyn Manson, in “Columbine: Whose Fault is it?”:

“Times have not become more violent. They have just become more televised…Disgusting vultures looking for corpses, exploiting, fucking, filming and serving it up for our hungry appetites in a gluttonous display of endless human stupidity.”

“We’re the people who sit back and tolerate children owning guns, and we’re the ones who tune in and watch the up-to-the-minute details of what they do with them…So is entertainment to blame? I’d like media commentators to ask themselves, because their coverage of the event was some of the most gruesome entertainment any of us have seen.

Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe 25/03/09


Further reading:

Facing Tragedy from His Holiness the Dalai Lama.Yes, the media no longer thinks of itself as journalism. There’s a difference between those two words. One is a business. The other is ethically-founded.

Bonus amazing watch:

Bonus: Burnie Burns on the Boston Bombing. Always relevant after a terrorist attack.

Anytime there’s a tragedy Jeselnik needs to be reposted.

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