Thursday, April 18, 2013

FTT Off-Topic: The Media Is Making Me Crazy

Do Not Anger The Logos
Not sports, not sorry, not nice. Buckle up, folks.

A few quick and dirty takeaways as we go into Day 3 of the media deciding that a horrific attack on a major U.S. city needs to end all public discourse, since that's the only way that we can prove to the evil doers that we are too tough to attack in such a fashion. (You know, kind of like how we prove to mass murderers that we will not reward their terrible deeds by making them historically infamous through constant myth-inducing media coverage.)

1) If the toejam that did this made a mistake in messing with the wrong city, as any number of people keep telling us (yay, Boston! It only took you 48 hours to regain your air of insufferable exceptionalism!)... well, that just assumes there is a right city to attack, no?

If there is a wrong one, there has to be a right one; it's just the flip side of your sad little construct. Either that, or everyone who is taking this line of discussion is filling our ears with brown stuff about how people in one city are somehow very, very different from people in other cities, despite the fact that cities are made up of transient people and our dominant cultural motifs are all nationally driven.

But by all means, keep blowing air over how violent animals could be more effective in their aims if only they chose better targets. I mean, what else is terrorism for, if not backseat driving?

2) Today when I went to ESPN to check to see if something new had happened in the world of sports, I found that the event and its aftermath was still dominating the page, because, well, why not, right? As a consumer, I've made the choice to come to a *sports* Web site (which, ostensibly, ESPN is supposed to still supposed to be); instead, I got substandard coverage from the echo chamber. I can't be trusted, as a consumer, to go to news sites; instead, I have to have it here as well. Interesting choice, ESPN. (And please, don't give me that this is a sports story in any way; marathon running is fringe at best in this country.)

3) The need for some in our society to have news enter some predetermined narrative is almost as sad as the event, really. To date, we still don't know who did this; no organization has stepped up to take responsibility, which is a little telling in and of itself (perhaps, after the end of Bin Laden, being a US target has lost some of its appeal). It doesn't look like a right-wing group conspiracy, and left-wing groups haven't really been active in this country since the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of '60s radicalism. (By the numbers; terrorism on a national scale in the US has actually gone down a lot since the '60s and '70s.)

There's also the chance that this never gets solved; a third of all terror crimes are not. I doubt that will happen here, given how public the crime was and how many cameras were trained on the event, but it's possible that we never really know what happened, and the same factors at hand aren't going to make things obviously easy for the tinfoil hat crowd. Now, this has not stopped some from already using the opportunity to blame things on whatever hobby horse they want to pin this on, of course. But it's not going to take hold in the public, the way that Waco, Ruby Ridge or Tower 2 did.

So, where are we, as a people, as the media continues down the rabbit hole of watching itself milk a non-existent cow?

Well, wondering if the world went crazy before the media did, or if the media is just letting us know about the crazy. Or, darker still as we go into hour after hour, if the media isn't creating the crazy...

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