Thursday, May 3, 2007

Innocence Lost (2007 Version)

The Virginia Tech massacre has had me thinking a lot lately(as scary as that is). I didn't stay glued to the tube watching all of the coverage. I did, however, get to see some of it. And, as I was watching Fox News the day after the shooting, I was amazed at how calm the students were as they recounted the events they witnessed. There was very little emotion exhibited and their recaps seemed as methodical as the gunman's actions they were describing.

Juxtapose this to the emotions of the Columbine students as they recounted the events of that day. Now, granted, we are talking about high school students vs. college age kids. But that is not really my point.

The point is this: Have we in America become so de-sensitized to death, killings, murder, rape, drug useage, foul language and sex with children?

At one time I criticized the folks who were pointing their fingers at video games and the like as a contributing cause. Now, I am not so sure they are not at least partly right. It is apparent that there is little regard for human life or an understanding of the consequences of certain actions. The methodical way this boy at VT went about his killing was almost like he was going from level to level racking up "kills" like he was playing a game.

Other contributing factors that I think have played a part in our de-sensitizaton of things once seen as taboo include reality tv shows. Shows where Ozzy Osbourne and family use so much foul language that the audio is nothing but a series of beeeeeeeeps; bachelor/bachelorette shows glorifing promiscuous sex; island settings where couples are encouraged (I think temptation is the word used) to spend time with other parties - almost insuring adulterous actions, etc.

I am not prude. Admittedly, I use some language sometimes that would warrant a "R" rating by the movie board. For this I apologize. But I am a product of this popculture, too, and that is what I am getting at.

I long for times past when the lines were a little clearer as to right & wrong. When the media didn't glorify (or at least give so much attention to) acts of a maniac.

I want us to be shocked when we hear of incidents such as the VT massacre or teachers having inappropriate relations with children under their care and supervision. Not to have the feelings of "Oh, well, it has happened again."

Instead of us being shocked, society is looking for someone to blame. Folks, it is not the guns, but that is for a later blog. Let's lay the blame where it needs to rest: popculture; glorification of events (the kid at VT sent a video in the mail between shootings, knowing that the media was going to glorify this event); lack of parental involvement in the lives of our children; rewarding single-parent households, usually absence of the father; the list goes on.

In the words of Forrest Gump: That's all I have to say about that.