Header image

I don't get it.

Posted by Maureen Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A few things I don't get:

1. Someone who goes on a shooting rampage, killing 33 people and his self.
2. No one acting quickly enough to stop him.
3. The fact that the news is focused more on every last detail of the killer's former life rather than the survivors. For example, the fact that he had an "imaginary girlfriend" who he referred to as "Jelly" while referring to himself as "Spanky." (Yes, I'm laughing now and apologize if that information is inappropriate to record here. But it is absolutely ludicrous that I learned it on CNN as if it were entirely serious and relevant information.)
4. Former roommates of the killer would not reveal their names, yet they would go visually public on a network TV interview. And they would wear matching t-shirts. (I mostly just don't get that last part.)
5. The fact that news broadcasters are absolutely shocked to the core to find that when the killer purchased the guns he used, according to the store owner, he appeared to be "low key" and--get this--"clean cut." NO!! THIS MAN?! CLEAN CUT??!? HOW COULD IT BE?! (Thank you, CNN, for your depth of insight into this tragic situation.)

Wow. I hope this isn't offensive. If I had any readers from Virginia I surely wouldn't be so blunt. (Knock on wood.)

There are a lot of things I don't get in the world. What baffles me about them, though, is that among the very issues that perplex me, the media seems to focus all its attention on that which has zero relevance, like imaginary friend nicknames and being clean cut. I care deeply about a lot of things that are very outside of me, but I cannot say I find that sort of information congruent.

I know this is nothing new, but I thought I'd put it out there to see what you say. This week has been saturated with ethical and moral puzzlement, and these five things barely scrape the surface of it all.

To top it off, tonight I finished watching season 2 of the West Wing. In the final episode, after the funeral of his long time friend and secretary, the President reprimands God (see under "notes"). While this is not presently how I feel towards God regarding tragic circumstances ranging from in my own home to the other side of the globe, I certainly understand and most certainly am moved by it. (In general, network television shows cannot make me cry, yet so far I think the West Wing has gotten me at least four times and counting in only one season.)

Yet somehow, I feel very thankful tonight. Today I repeatedly listened to Thank You by Glen Phillips. Musically, I don't even like the song that much, but amidst all that surrounds, somehow I knew that "thank you" was what I needed to say.

6 comments:

aaron said...

I think part of your bafflement (baffelment?) might be helped if you stopped watching CNN. I find them to be on the same level lately as Fox News. It seems all about the shock and drama.

I don't have cable, so most of my information was from online newspapers, and NPR of course. The papers seemed to be a little more balanced and focused on things like the motive, how this could have happened and this morning's front page of the Times was a big story on the people who were killed. But like you said, not a lot on the survivors yet.

Lou said...

i hate it also. unbelievable sometimes what they can waste media time on, in light of such a tragic event. I'm trying only to catch the news conferences, and then the nightly news for updates. you might try fox news for variety at the least. All the media stations are competing for viewers and doing whatever they can..idiots. I was pretty disgusted yesterday by Giraldo's reporting and embarrassed that he was on Fox. Even wrote them a letter about it. I bet Don imus is finally getting to relax abit.
also, we are beginning to see abit about the victims. And i'm sure it will be covered entirely there also as soon a the reporters can get to the families and friends of them. That also is an intrusion at this point i think. next week would be better timing maybe.

Maureen said...

I love that you two gave me opposite news advice. And yeah, AM you're probably right about CNN--NPR and online news is def better. But when i AM watching it on TV, where else to go? Maybe MSNBC? Anyone?
Mom, I'm glad you're writing letters like that, good job!

Michael said...

I understand what you're saying Maureen. Who cares what his imaginary girlfriend's name was or if he was clean cut. The fact is he bought a gun - anyone could do it, whether they're going to go crazy with it is anyone's guess. And who among us doesn't have a weird quirk that our roommates or friends know about (albeit not as weird as an imaginary girlfriend).

I try to watch the news as little as possible. It's filled with violence, gossip, destruction, and propaganda - things I could do without. I'd rather spend my time praying for the victims and families than analyzing how or why the killer did what he did. God knows why it all happened and I'm sure it's in his larger plan somehow.

NJ said...

I'd say ditch the cable Teevee and stick with the DVDs!

Maureen said...

Good call, Nate. One can learn a lot more from Martin Sheen than from CNN. If only he was our true president. . .