UNCOMFORTABLY NUMB (For NOW)
I am all but numb to the news anymore. I have just noticed it really but there have been two GIGANTIC news stories in the last few days...the shootings in the movie theater in Aurora, CO and the continuing Penn State story. I just sort of feel nothing...
It's interesting that in this new "Electronic" world we have been brought closer by technology. News for example travels almost instantly. And for a long time that was really an intense experience...watching the Challenger explode live, President Reagan being shot, the Oklahoma Bombings, 9/11 and so on and on. TV literally has brought the news, nearly raw and uncensored right into our homes and now into our pockets/purses (via smartphone).
For a person who has witnessed violent death personally, heard gunfire aimed in my general direction this phenomena was shockingly intense but I have noticed a change now. The electronic devices that bring me the news straight from Happy Valley or a courtroom in Aurora, CO now create a sense of detachment as if this stuff I am seeing is in reality just a show and not actually happening.
I remember when the shootings happened at Virginia Tech and a fellow used his phone to shoot video outside the building and you could clearly hear the pop, pop, pop of gunfire and see people throwing themselves out of a 2nd story window. I recall how chilling that was....now I am detached from it.
Movies, TV, the Internet and video games, etc. are now so graphic, so real and so instantaneous that it is very difficult to distinguish FACT from Fiction...reality from fantasy. People no longer shrink away from true blood and guts...they are numb to screaming in the night. Violence no longer shocks the civilized among us. We have all been reduced to our basic animal instincts.
I can totally see how they looked the other way at young BOYS being RAPED...can you even believe I just wrote that sentence? And actually mean it? But it is true. Some people will deny that this "numbness" is even possible saying that no compassionate human being could get this way. Well I would like to think that I am compassionate and I am here to tell you that I have been able to detach in my mind from my own rape...there are times where it doesn't seem real anymore though I can snap right back into reality in a second on demand. I can still smell the place where it happened...I can feel the cool, damp tile floor and hear the way sound echoes.
Bu the key is I can detach at will and I think society is doing the same thing with all the sex, violence and tragedy we digest from the media. It strips of of our humanity and turns us into nothing more then inhuman witnesses to this crap and we have begun to stop caring. For each person OUTRAGED at the Penn Sate debacle there are just as many people who don't care or are not surprised or think the NCAA is picking on there favorite team...they have become NUMB.