March 25, 2009:

All you have to do is turn the wires and lights in the box off (December 24, 2012)


All you have to do is turn the wires and lights in the box off

There is probably not a lucid, single, specific reason shootings or other attacks like the ones in Connecticut and Webster happen. They are called random acts of violence for a reason.

It is true, though, that many of the people who do these things are desperate, alienated individuals who cannot get personal validation from normal sources like friendship and romance.

A tiny percentage of these people try to obtain this validation by attracting the attention of the television eye, which invariably obliges… thereby inspiring more attacks by similarly minded people.

Psychiatrists have been saying this for years to no avail.

This is not the whole picture and does not obviate the personal moral responsibility of the people who pull the triggers but it is certainly a significant contributing factor.

That said though, and to everyone asking “what has the world come to?”, the world is less violent today than it ever has been in human history, proportionally and perhaps even numerically. What you see on your television screen is a distorted fun-house mirror view of the world poisoned by the motivation of ratings and money and repeat viewership.

The eye of television news invariably descends only on the grotesque, the things that make for the best entertainment. The things that we want to watch and that feed into our national obsession with death and destruction (viz our foreign policy, I might add).

You have the power to starve the vultures and perhaps to break the cycle. All you have to do is turn the wires and lights in the box off.