Reflections on a weekend of film, in light of Colorado shooting

#BooksMyJobGaveMe Podcast

It’s disgusting to read that the Colorado “thing” is done–it’s a story Americans are familiar with, with an almost predictable “plot”–we cry, we mourn, we talk, we talk in circles, we plan, we don’t commit, we move on with the news cycle.

But these are lives, not a story du jour. Can we put this in perspective, compared to the rest of the world?

Before I begin to blog online thoughts that are better suited for my Moleskin, how about some back-tracking:

1. Friday morning, at work I took a break to peruse the morning news, and found the New York Times website cover story about the Aurora, CO theatre shooting. Needless to say, I didn’t get much done that morning. Between working on an assigned project and trying to stay caffinated, I searched around for more information on the story. I don’t have a reference to compare it to, except perhaps when I learned Osama bin Laden had been captured.I imagine I was enthralled in the same way adults were during 9/11–constant CNN, news updates, conflicting reports, confusion, big-picture analyzing, all the while asking, “why?”

2. Then the reports started coming in. The Reddit articles, then Gawker. NYT updated its article about a dozen times to include new updates, developments, witnesses, stories, corrections. The list of contributing writers and sources athe end of the piece seemed to expand with each passing hour.

The comments, the statements from the studios, the actors, cancellation. Political reports and statements, Tweets, more details. Then Hughe’s life was spilled out in binary, and w were all left to judge.

Background, photos, video. Social media pipped up loud and clear, and it became obvious within the first few hours of the incident that news outlets were scrambling for “fresh” angles on an all-to fresh reality.

How do we conceptualize this massacre (with no disrespect to the victims, their families, and the countless lives that will never be the same) and its intense coverage, compared to the now run-of-the-mill, expected “overseas” murders, deaths, disasters, massacres that usually litter the front page below the fold of newspapers? ARe we numb? At this point, how far will dialogue go before it becomes politicized, polarize, and moot?

As a young journalist, watching the flow of information surrounding the massacre was at once frightening and inspiring. Nothing seemed off limits, nothing was beyond the grasp of a scrappy reporter or well-sourced blogger. So many facets and dimensions, but will this burn bright and hot, then fizzle? anoter case-study? Are we too busy policing the “Hakeems” of the world that we let he “Josh Hughes” of the world slip by, unnoticed, and unchecked? The media circus is gathering its wagons, I’m on the outside looking in at a system I aspire to change and correct, and it’s kind of the best thing ever.

An important question: how do we create victims?

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