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May 2000


After all the reports of Columbine and Arkansas and all the other possible "shoot-'em-up" scenarios that have been "suddenly popping up" at schools around the nation, did not the media ever stop to think about the backlash of "responsible reporting"?

What happens after the media gives so much hype to one simple issue - in this case violence at schools? In our world of marketing blitzes and audio/visual bytes, everyone is so accustomed to following whatever is leading them. If it's not Michael Jordan, then it's 'N Sync and Pokemon. But, after all the saturation it is hard to distinguish between idols, role models and news. Thus, Jeffery Dahmer and high school bombers become very cool issues to talk about - and follow.

What happens after we are told of the ease of techniques to cause terror, panic and submission? What happens when people find out that these methods are an easy way to get placed on the front page or TV? Did not the media think that they might be stopping to groom their next maniac - or high school geek hero? At what point does the media stop being self-righteously "responsible" and actually becomes responsible for causing copy-cat actions and reactions.

When weak minds that are looking for the "next thing" to do find fame and recognition on the TV news, it suddenly becomes OK to:

  • Kill a "fag" and hang him out to die
  • Drag a chained "mud-person" down the highway to a dismembered demise
  • Threaten, if not act, to blow up a school, shoot the students, or knife a teacher who has "done you wrong"
  • Kidnap, murder, torture and maim anyone for dollars, profit or fun
  • Do exactly what you heard about on TV because you are unnoticed, feel unloved, and need the exposure ("it worked for 'those' guys on TV")

We have grown to become an accepting and sick culture and we have our own temperence for the news media to blame. We have allowed them to stop "reporting news" and begin to shock us for their own bloated advertising dollars. Money from all angles has caused us all - society and media - to become whores and sheep. When does it stop? Should it stop? Perhaps this is all in nature's plan to "thin the herd" as it were. Survival of the strongest may mean the few brains left rather than the muscled brawn.

Written by Philip Anderson

Philip Anderson is a musician, in addition to being a writer/photographer. He has performed as a guitarist/vocalist, as well as songwriter, in several bands over the past 20 years. As a writer and photographer, he has been published by several magazines and in several books, and had his works appear on television.

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