By now everyone knows about the shooting at Dawson College in Montreal yesterday. I imagine 99.7% of Montreal bloggers have talked about it. Of course that’s all anyone is talking about today – at least in the area I work in which is a stone’s throw from Dawson. Never one to buck the trends, here’s my take on it, for what little it’s worth.
What has struck me the most about this whole thing is, of course, media coverage. Yes, I know I’m a cynic, but this is beyond cynicism. On the way home, I was listening to the news and I’d say 90% of it wasn’t news. It was gossip, it was speculation, it was let’s call people who were involved in the Polytechnique attack in 1989 and interview them… What the fuck? That they lived through something like this almost 20 years ago makes them experts on what was going through the killer’s head this time? And is it really necessary to dredge that up again?
Back home, on TV it was the same type of coverage. I was thinking that maybe it was because I was listening to talk radio, and talk radio being what it is, you can expect that kind of behaviour. The same images over and over again, nothing more to say, but let’s show the blood again, lets keep beating the dead dog, who knows, maybe it’ll get up and bite.
I’ve been feeling a distinct unease. The media coverage of “disasters” is always somewhat distasteful to me. I get the feeling that… I dunno, I can’t help but feel that the line between genuine interest and news is very quickly crossed into voyeurism, plain and simple. We need a story. Let’s get a story.
And this one will be milked for all it’s worth. And we’ll be hearing “news” that is much more detailed and gruesome than what anyone needs to know. But definitely not beyond what people want to know.
I realize the media are simply giving people what they want, but what people want is sick. Do they thrive on this type of thing as a sort of talisman against it happening to them?
Apparently the killer was of Sri Lankan descent, or maybe not. Anyway he was born here but his parents emigrated. Mark my words, within a few days you’ll have the whole You-let-these-immigrants-in-and-look-what-they-do debate. Actually from what Mr. Jazz overheard, it already has. Which is incredibly stupid, but there you go. Always look outside yourself for what’s wrong with the world.
On the bright side, we made it onto CNN, the network for which no world exists outside the US. I think that's pretty damn good of us... ok, well I can't not be cynical at ALL in a post. Gimme a break! I tried.
PS: I’m really not happy with this entry – things are still rather muddled in this old head. Give me your opinions on this please.
PPS: This also explains why I mostly ignore the news - unless it's totally impossible.