The kids from Columbine are in the news again. For every Sandy Hook, for every Virginia Tech, for every Colorado theater, they will forever be recalled. Fortunately, this time around, it was in connection to a foiled plot in Oklahoma about a kid who was planning a “Columbine-style” event.
They’re in the news and we continue to watch; maybe it’s the mystery we’ll never know and the questions we can never answer. The kids from Columbine revealed a plot spewing hatred with plans to leave 250 bodies in the wake of their destruction. The kid from Connecticut conceals a story that can truly never be told.
Unfortunately, the hand that feeds remains the easiest to bite, and still it seems the continued news coverage of these horrible killers deifies the actions rather than condemns them. We ask for answers but rarely search for solutions.
It is difficult to understand how we, as a society, have become so obsessed with the morbid fascination of having to stop and watch the accident so much so that, perhaps, we are the cause of the accident.
I apologize to the next generation for the world this generation has allowed to exist.
Is it human nature or is it new to the in-your-face digital age of the twenty-first century?
Tidbits of information are shoved before us so relentlessly that it is impossible not to become curious, impossible not to wonder.
Just like it was impossible to peel away from the television set when a white Ford Bronco cruised down the 405 freeway; when JonBenét turned up dead; when a child named Caylee disappeared; when a day at Virginia Tech was consumed by tragedy; when a day in Connecticut ended the lives of 20 children.
It wasn’t that long ago (or maybe it was) that two men dressed in body armor terrorized North Hollywood capturing the attention of Americans as they marched down the streets with guns-a-blazing. And, there was Columbine. There was Oregon. There was Oklahoma. There was Alabama. There was an earthquake. There was a tsunami. A tornado.
There was a car theft, a bank robbery, a storm, and a freeway pile up that left three people dead.
And all along, there we were, the millennium generation … obsessing. Updating. Liking. Tweeting. Following. Sitting in front of the TV and watching.
Is it possible to continue on in this manner or does there come a time to say, “enough is enough,” and put an end to the compulsion of feeding on the failure and suffering of others?
Humans have gone to the moon. Far away planets and galaxies have been discovered. We have reconstructed the Big Bang with an atom collider. The cornea has been cloned and the mycoplasma genitalium (the simplest known cell) has been mapped.
Technology is catapulting the world in a direction where light speed seems a not-to-distant promise and cloning body parts for medical purposes is already a reality.
Yesterday a car accident on the eastbound side of some freeway caused a traffic jam on the westbound side because motorists couldn’t help but twist their necks and glance at the wreckage.
Today, a shooting was replayed and replayed and replayed on the evening news.
Tomorrow, an accident, a murder a catastrophe, it does not matter … we’ll watch … and ask for more.
It pains me to say, but I too will watch. And, I too ask for more.
Save me, please.
By Brian Barsuglia