selective news sympathy

I’ve commented before on how the news is mostly distant and without context. One Dead, Three Hurt in California Shooting. Shooting in N.S. town leads police on high-speed chase of suspect. Blah, blah, blah. When something hits closer to home, it will knock me on my ass, but I am unable to mourn the deaths of strangers when all I see is a 15 second video clip.

That said, I can remember a few isolated cases where the TV news really shook me. Vegging on the couch one afternoon, flicking randomly through the channels, an odd pattern formed. Every station started to show the same video feed. For the next half hour I watched, live, as armed FBI agents ushered students from a school in which two gunmen were still stalking. I couldn’t tune it out. It was sickening. I had to turn it off. The strange feeling I had that day, that I was seen something I shouldn’t, has stayed with me.

More recently, four junior-high-school kids were killed in a bus accident in New Brunswick. I sympathized with the survivors. Even now, I am uncomfortable thinking of the horror these kids must be going through.

There’s nothing unusual about being upset my school shootings and tragic accidents, but these two cases are some of the only ones I can ever remember having any impact on me at all. Most news to me is noise. A fire kills a family in Boston, a plane crash kills a celebrity. I could care less. I’ve got plenty to worry about with the people I actually know.

My point? Not sure. Just wondering aloud about selective news sympathy. Why is it that I can watch most news without blinking, however horrifying, while a select few stories keep me up at night?


11 thoughts on “selective news sympathy

  1. I can’t imagine why a _school_bus accident or a _school_ shooting would be more relevant to you than high speed police chase or a random shooting in California.

  2. “yeah”, neither are relevant to me. There are _school_ related accidents all the time that don’t phase me at all.

    I suppose it has more to do with my personal state of mind at a given time rather than the details of the particular news item.

  3. Most news, whether it be school shootings, car crashes, or some other catastrophic event, has no emotional or entertainment affect for me. It always baffles me to see the mourning family being interviewed after such an event, both that the family allows themselves to be interviewed and that people find this ‘news’ informative/entertaining.

    To be fair, one news story a few years ago made me genuinely sad. I woke up to the radio telling me that Phil Hartman had been murdered. Felt sad for days…

  4. I agree totally with Vince. Gerri was the best part of the Spice Girls. I was more concerned that it would be the end of her career, but, she’s pleasantly bounced back. That makes the news less harsh looking back.

  5. Is it just me or is this reply system turning into a venue for quick wit and inside jokes? I know I have contributed to more than my share of those posts… But it is just an observation.

  6. In defense of my reply:

    I was actually truthfully heartbroken when Geri left the Spice Girls and the comment was not intended to be ‘witty’. I’ve always been a big Geri fan, just ask cool breeze about my stickers, videos, wall mounts and four limited edition mint in box Geri Halliwell action figures. I can see how most people would assume I’m not a Geri fan and list my post as an attempt to be witty, so I apoligize for posting a comment that not everyone would understand as ‘serious’.

    The post was intended to further Steve’s arugment that news only leaves a lasting effect when it hits close to home. Don’t judge me on this, but when I saw what happened in Columbine, I couldn’t care less for the people involved. What really ticked me me off was the resulting delay with the release of Dogma and a public blame put on television, music and video games. Only the things that mattered in my imediate life put a dent in my emotional armor.

    In reply to Jevon’s comment, I completely agree. I get sick of the witty posts as well, but it’s the quality arguments that keep me comming back to AOV. My only fear is that the webmasters of this site might consider editing the reply forums to weed out the off topic comments. Since this site is based purely on free speach (personal opinion) it would defeat this sites appeal by editing or even discouraging the ‘witty’ comments.

    In closing, accept the forum for what it is. A little comic relief doesn’t hurt, just look at Cop and a Half.

  7. Vince: You may not know me, but I have always known and respected your love of not only Geri and the entire Spice Girl ensemble, but also your unquestionable love for Grade 10 girls. I also saw several Vis. Com videos from Colonel Gray in which I know you played a lead role in directing and scripting. Kudos.

    As for my post; It was something spawned of the moment. I do enjoy the comic relief and have laughed out loud at most of the questioned. Whether I got them or not.. Damn funny stuff. I just thought I would throw the observation out to y’all. I know ya can rhyme with me on it *CHIASSS* (Crosses hands inward and slightly shrugs shoulders).

    As for the reference to the “Mushroom-Paste Incident” Rob… You know there is a court-ordered gag on that. But yes; those were the days. Hard to believe there are so many nude photos of you on cooking websites everywhere though.

    Hey Vince: “It’s raining (wo)men”…

    Peace out,
    MC Jevypoo

  8. Vince, your comment about columbine, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Generally, stories like that are just fancy news-graphic fodder. Do these stories have any relevance to anyone who doesn’t know these people?

    Sometimes the argument is made, for an instance involving violence and youth, that the news around them bring important issues into the public consciousness such as gun laws and TV/Game violence. But doesn’t this ‘debate’ that arises have more to do with sensational anecdotes rather than meaningful argument (on either side)?

    About Jevon’s comments on the state of the aov replies feature: it has only been up for a week now. Give it time. The beauty of an open system like this is that people can post whatever they choose. It’s like going to a rock concert: you curse the stupid bastards that scream in your ear and kick you in the head, but if they weren’t there, it wouldnÂ’t be a rock concert. Like aov posts themselves, I expect the conversations to vary in seriousness and sillyness.

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