08 April 2009

Over The Top and Then Some

This ranting business is contagious. Once you have done one, can another be far behind? Maybe it is an outgrowth of our 24 hour, day in day out news media, but in an effort to generate eyeballs, they get more and more wacko extreme.

My latest reason for ranting: A headline saying, "Hugh Jackman 'heartbroken' over movie leak". Excuse me, but Jackman is an Australian. Heartbroken over the recent extreme fires that have devastaed the homes and ranches of people he might know, but "heartbroken" over a movie pirating on the web? Please. The man is probably sane. Concerned about earnings of the film at its normal release, but "heartbroken" .... barf city.

For the past decade plus, things have gotten very strange. In the past there were hysterics over the deaths of major film people such as Rudolph Valentino, but not over the deaths of strangers. Now every tragic death broadcast on TV seems to generate piles of teddy bears, flowers and candles. For the life of me, I don't understand the motivation.

If someone I know has a tragedy in their life, of course I would try to comfort them and provide support. If an event happens in my town of residence, I would probably be interested enough to follow the reports and if some charitable request was involved, I would do something to contribute. But sink into some form of bathos and grieving and trekking out to the site of the event to lay offerings at a shrine ... you have got to be kidding.

Whatever happened to stiff upper lip, getting on with the business of living, and just generally dealing with a crisis as a responsible human being? Have we turned into wimps who sob at every setback? Does cable news contribute to this heightened mourning and reaction to every little thing that happens a thousand miles away? Even worse, does the reporting become an impetus to buy guns, live in a state of fear, and generally expect some attack or negative event?

People. If you are that fearful, for goodness sakes, turn off the television. Just because something is repeated every 15 minutes, doesn't mean it is part of your life.


Anonymous said...

"Just because something is repeated every 15 minutes, doesn't mean it is part of your life."

Yes Jamie! We need to straighten out our 'perspective' pyramid. You asked some important questions. It's time for us to start thinking outside the box.

Anonymous said...

Jamie, we are all carrying around some old losses in our hearts. Maybe when people overreact to the losses of other people they don't know it is just a way of expressing the pain they are still carrying around in their hearts.

I am sure the flower retailers appreciate the phenomena.


anthonynorth said...

Oh, yes! Perfectly said. I remember a UK journalist/politician finally having enough of a whole city mourning the death of one of their number who was in the headlines. He spoke out about hysterical grieving. There was uproar, and the leader of his party actually made him go to the city and publically apologise over and over again if he wanted to keep his job.
It was absolutely disgusting. The politician survived, though. He's now the Mayor of London.

carol g said...

Amen, Amen, Amen... I have never been able to understand the drama involved. Even in the death of that beautiful little girl in Tracy, CA. The memorial was HUGE. WHY?? I agree... a note of sympathy or contribution to a charity... please eliminate the drama.

carol g said...

P.S. You are ranting very nicely

Jamie said...

I actually worry that this might encourage some of these sick and evil people. So often they feel unappreciated or ignored and fame is fame even the kind that comes from the ugliest acts.

Travis said...

Well said. I feel grief at the loss of a performer because all that they've recorded is all they'll ever give us of their talent. But not to the extent that I need to make a pilgramage or an offering. I've always thought that was a bit extreme.

Dexter said...

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Adenhart , killed by a drunk driver, instantly had a huge pile created for him at the "Big A" stadium...but what irked me was the crude sign "#34...now another Angel in heaven !!" Yes, with exclamation points. That sign was planted so the sign maker could get his little tribute on TV...and EVERY tribute-reporter quoted and showed it. It was CRASS !!