Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché,
Do you think that the profit from catastrophic news actually fuels the occurrence of other catastrophes? For example- school shooters get widespread attention in headline news… and the woman who killed her boyfriend sold the movie rights to her story. The Zumba aerobics instructor who ran a prostitute ring is already in negotiations for a movie contract!
For some people the profit from catastrophe is a great incentive; for others it is not. There are those who could justify any heinous act for 5 minutes of attention. Copycat catastrophes are the direct result of media coverage. But the biggest problem caused by the constant reporting of the worst of human behavior is the sense of hopelessness and apathy that the 14 to 28 year old segment of the population is experiencing. “Why bother? Live for the moment! Who gives a F__k!”
My generation grew up with the prevailing threat of nuclear war but our cultural myth was that we would regroup bigger and stronger to carry on the American way. I don’t think that this new generation expects to survive. They welcome Armageddon. As George Carlin said, “ I want front seats. It will be a great show.”
I believe the anticipation of anarchy can help to bring about anarchy. The media gives us the impression that it is already occurring so why not join in? Hell, some people even believe the bible foretold it so it is necessary for their salvation.
Yes, there is big money in profiteering off fear and anxiety, ignorance and gossip.
Dr. Brilliant Cliché
Granny says: if you build it, they will come. Let’s assume that this glib axiom from Field of Dreams is true. If so, the media is building a circus of freaks.
The world is a big place, and it is becoming so overpopulated that I think we all feel like grains of sand on a vast beach, with no chance of distinguishing ourselves through respectable means. If you get up on a tower and shoot a bunch of people, you will get noticed. But only a sociopath would see this as a real achievement.
I think that the media provides psychopaths with a ready stage. However, I do not think that a healthy personality would ever consider taking this stage as the route to stardom. We can’t blame the news for the fact that there are screwed up people, because people were screwed up long before the news was on. But I do wish to hell that Lifetime would stop making movies of the week that feature the antics of nut cases. It sure doesn’t do anything to discourage them.
Is our current crowd of youth just waiting for Armageddon? I don’t think so. I know and work with quite a few people in the 14 to 28 year old segment of the population and although there is the usual percentage who would be happy to do nothing but play video games until their back yard becomes Ground Zero, there are also a very large percentage with hopes and dreams for the future. Dr. Brilliant sees more than his share of dysfunctional young people. But there is still a very large world outside of the therapy offices, and there is still a passion for life that lives within us all. It’s the only explanation I can find for those off-key, juggling hopefuls who wait 10 hours in the rain to audition for America’s got Talent.