More Sad People! Hooray for Mass Shootings!

Here we go again. Don’t waste my time, please, reacting with discomfort, outrage, or even skepticism to the wording or tone of this post’s title. Below, for your delectation, is the featured item on today’s Yahoo News homepage, in the hours immediately following the latest mass shooting in Texas.

Oh, and in case you like to check alternative sources, here’s the lead story on the Microsoft News homepage:

If you want to be uncomfortable or outraged, turn those feelings on the world that celebrates — yes, celebrates — every new mass shooting as an opportunity for pictures like that, and for all the oh-so-elevated (mock) sentiments to match: “Oh, dear, it’s so terrible. I just feel awful for those people. I mean, God — I hope they show more pictures! And women — young ones, preferably. And this picture is good, but I like it better when you can see their faces, covered in tears, looking agonized and forlorn. Those are the best shots!”

This is pornography, plain and simple. Sado-masochistic pornography at that. Go ahead, try to convince me I’m wrong. Try to prove we need to see these people crying. Try to persuade me such imagery adds something to our understanding, that this is newsworthy (and international newsworthy at that!), that it is important to watch strangers suffering, that this is a moment of “national healing,” or “national pity,” or whatever “national” crap you can dream up today to mask your society’s ghoulish lust for pain — our entire civilization’s desire to watch, and pleasure in watching, other people’s lives falling apart. As freshly as possible, as graphically as possible.

(See also “People Die, People Cry — That’s Entertainment!” and “The Titillation Continues.”)

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