Thursday, September 14, 2006

As I'm from Mtl - 3 guesses as to what this is about

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.


choochoo said...

they don't call the media vultures for nothing. But a lot of ppl aren't any better themselves. They are sick in the head, and you can tell them I said so.

quinn said...

I agree with you on alot of what you have said on this topic. It always frsturates me when so much time is spent speculating on it rather than just not reporting until you have facts.

I suppose though the reason for it is simply it is their job to answer the questions of the public. It would appear to me that they do what they do as a way of being the voice of the general public as most people when they heard of the news were doing and saying pretty much all the same things anyways.

Foxtrot said...

ITA with you J. Heck, we even made the European news! TV5, both in France AND in Belgium...

I was shocked and saddened to hear about it (a forum I hang out at posted something as her DD goes to that college) and even more sickened and saddened by the coverage. And yepper, it's a sexy story all right... this will go on for a long time... till something else juicier comes along. Meh... vultures

paula said...

The media is really getting it down these days in how to "be there" in the midst of tragedies, and to be there with 'continuous coverage'. By the way, I have to say that the cover photo for yesterday's Gazette was apalling. Did they have to show one of the most gruesome of the pics they had? Good posting, Jazz.

Big Brother said...

I was also listening to the media. They jsut repeat the same things over and over, sometimes not even changing the words... I call it the CNN style where you can milk a story for the longest time.
Talking about the man who did the killing... what a loser! He should have had Loser tatooed to his forehead. That's probably why he attacked the students of Dawson cuz these people were making something of themselves and he couldn't or wouldn't.