Terrorism and Tragedy

I was reading a post on Facebook by my friend Julia, and I started to reply. But, it turned into something much longer. Here it is:

I haven’t posted anything about the tragedy in Boston yesterday, because, frankly, I didn’t know what to say. That I’m saddened? Of course I am. That I’m horrified? That too. But I have intentionally stayed away from the TV news media. I got just enough information, on line, where I could control the amount of input, to know what was going on.

I refuse to buy into the media hype. We all know that tragedy boosts ratings. I refuse to be part of it. Underneath the reporters “horror”, there is also glee that something so newsworthy happened. That disgusts me, and I can’t watch it.

Yes, right now my sister and brother-in-law are visiting Israel. They had to register with the State Department, so if anything big happens, they can be notified and pulled out. That doesn’t mean that they won’t be on a bus, or in a museum, or at a holy site that one side or the other decides to bomb that day. It’s a reality of living in that part of the world. We Americans, are fairly insulated against that. Which is why, I suppose, 9/11 hit us so hard; why Oklahoma City and the Atlanta Olympics and Boston, yesterday, hit so hard. We believe that we are immune from these attacks, and the sad reality is, we’re not

I believe that what we’re getting is a dose of reality.  Real reality, as opposed to those reality TV shows, which aren’t reality at all.  Maybe we all need to read the news instead of watching the Real Housewives of Wherever.  Maybe we need to realize that we are just as vulnerable as the rest of the world to terror attacks, and that we need to pay attention to what’s going on in the world, not just on our own continent.  Maybe we need to join the global community, and seek ways to put an end to the violence.

My part in that is getting information, not entertainment.  If we, as a society, can stop feeding the  media hype machine, maybe the media will start giving us news instead of hype.  Maybe then, we can get on with the real business of making this planet a livable place.



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