Conspicuous Emoting

OK, I’m sick of 7/7 anniversary coverage, already!

Since last night and the coverage of the Shehzad Tanweer video, it seems the only thing the media have been able to cover is 7/7. What struck me most last night was the surprise that the video was released now. Well, given that the guy on the video had been a suicide bomber partly responsible for the death of 52 people, there was hardly going to be a condolence card and bunch of flowers, was there?

But I think this is just one branch of a trend that has been noted elsewhere several times before. In fact, Boris Johnson alluded to it (very clumsily) in the remarks that so annoyed people in Liverpool. We are developing a culture that seems to revel, in a perverse way, in the suffering of others. Seemingly we must share everyone’s pain: if you don’t you are emotionally retarded and to be pitied or vilified. I’m getting sick of it.

And that thing about laying flowers. That really make my hackles rise. Hordes of people who are moved to go and get flowers and place them somewhere because someone they (usually) had never met and didn’t know died there. It seems to be one of those almost memetic things that happens now in our stunted ‘society’.

I remember Bill Hicks mentioning how (some) Christians wear crucifixes and how, if Jesus came back, a crucifix would be the last thing he’d want to see. Some of this coverage amounts to pretty much the same thing. If incidents like this are constantly raked over in great depth (well, there are a billion channels to fill with ‘content’ now), then when do their victims ever get the chance to try to “move on” (I hate that bloody expression but it seems to be the least worst option here) with their lives? Constantly reliving those events ad infinitum is actually going to be worse for their mental health and future welfare. Hell, who cares, the ratings are great!

By all means we should remember and commemorate, but do we need this overkill? Enough.


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