Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,417 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
very interesting column in yesterday's paper by columnist Rosa Brooks (professor at the Georgetown University Law Center): <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/columnists/la-oe-brooks20apr20,1,4731469.column?coll=la-news-columns&ctrack=1&cset=true" target="_blank">http://www.latimes.com/news/columnis...ck=1&cset=true</a> ETA: sorry, I didn't realize that one needs to register to see it...<br><br>
She makes interesting points:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Convincing ourselves that we've been vicariously traumatized by the pain of strangers has become a cherished national pastime.</td>
</tr></table></div>

<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Our self-indulgent conviction that we have all been traumatized also operates, ironically, to shut down empathy for other, less media-genic victims. On the day of the Virginia Tech shooting, for instance, Army Sgt. Mario K. De Leon of San Francisco (like the Virginia Tech victims) died of "wounds sustained from enemy small-arms fire"). On Wednesday, car bombs killed at least 172 people in Baghdad. But no one has set up a special MySpace page to commemorate those dead.</td>
</tr></table></div>

<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Our collective insistence that we all share in the Virginia Tech trauma is a form of anti-politics, one that blinds us to the distinctions between different kinds and degrees of suffering.</td>
</tr></table></div>

<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">The Virginia Tech massacre was catastrophic for the victims and their loved ones, but, unlike war, it was not catastrophic for the nation. Yet President Bush — who refuses to attend the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq because that might "politicize" the war his administration started — ordered all federal flags at half-staff and rushed to Blacksburg to bemoan the "day of sadness for the entire nation." It's a good strategy. People busy holding candlelight vigils for the deaths in Blacksburg don't have much time left over to protest the war in Iraq.</td>
</tr></table></div>

<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">The insistence on collective mourning even operates to depoliticize the Virginia Tech tragedy. Those who made the mistake of suggesting that the massacre might lead us to consider tighter gun regulation were quickly told to shut up because this is "a moment for grief," not politics.</td>
</tr></table></div>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,286 Posts
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"> I think there's traumatization, and then there's self-traumatization. And I'm sure there's a large blurry area in between as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,539 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">The Virginia Tech massacre was catastrophic for the victims and their loved ones, but, unlike war, it was not catastrophic for the nation. Yet President Bush — who refuses to attend the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq because that might "politicize" the war his administration started — ordered all federal flags at half-staff and rushed to Blacksburg to bemoan the "day of sadness for the entire nation." It's a good strategy. People busy holding candlelight vigils for the deaths in Blacksburg don't have much time left over to protest the war in Iraq.</td>
</tr></table></div>
yeah, this was what I've been thinking, I was just too afraid to say to anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,556 Posts
I couldn't disagree more with Ms. Brooks. With that column <b>she</b> is politicizing the VT tragedy.<br>
I am also annoyed that she 1. assumes that the american people only have room in their hearts for a certain number or type of tragedy and that this is based on the Presidents actions; as if this is a game where someone is keeping score 2. the assumption that people aren't intelligent enough to recognize there is a difference in part, between the death of a soldier in a <b>combat situation</b> and a student sitting in a <b>classroom</b> and last but not least 3. she's got a book coming out, if not already out.<br><br>
DC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,045 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dallaschildren</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912840"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I couldn't disagree more with Ms. Brooks. With that column <b>she</b> is politicizing the VT tragedy.<br>
I am also annoyed that she 1. assumes that the american people only have room in their hearts for a certain number or type of tragedy and that this is based on the Presidents actions; as if this is a game where someone is keeping score 2. the assumption that people aren't intelligent enough to recognize there is a difference in part, between the death of a soldier in a <b>combat situation</b> and a student sitting in a <b>classroom</b> and last but not least 3. she's got a book coming out, if not already out.<br><br>
DC</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Thank you so much! You said everything I was thinking, and put it much more eloquently than I could have. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/clap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="clap"><br><br>
~Nay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
306 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dallaschildren</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912840"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am also annoyed that she 1. assumes that the american people only have room in their hearts for a certain number or type of tragedy and that this is based on the Presidents actions; as if this is a game where someone is keeping score 2. the assumption that people aren't intelligent enough to recognize there is a difference in part, between the death of a soldier in a <b>combat situation</b> and a student sitting in a <b>classroom</b> and last but not least 3. she's got a book coming out, if not already out.<br><br>
DC</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
1. If you look at the amount of interest in the events of VT and the next day suicide bombings in Iraq relusting in 200 cicivialn deaths - expressed only here on MDS (just look at the number of clicks per thread - on for VT (6184 clicks) another for Iraq 200 civilians death toll (178 clicks) ) then it looks like yes, there isn't enought room for Iraqi people in our hearts.<br>
2. 200 <b>civilian</b> deaths, not in a combat situation but on the market in the middle of Bagdad. That means children, too.<br>
3. Looking forward to reading that book.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,556 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Annabel_the_Sheep</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7913416"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">1. If you look at the amount of interest in the events of VT and the next day suicide bombings in Iraq relusting in 200 cicivialn deaths - expressed only here on MDS (just look at the number of clicks per thread - on for VT (6184 clicks) another for Iraq 200 civilians death toll (178 clicks) ) then it looks like yes, there isn't enought room for Iraqi people in our hearts.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I mean this as matter of fact. No snark. MDC isn't the place where the majority of the population keeps track of the events in Iraq. Furthermore, one must realize that the war in Iraq is going on 4+ years and the violence in Virginia happened 5 short days ago.<br>
IMO, counting clicks on a thread isn't a reliable means to assign importance.<br>
As a part of the media Ms. Brooks is partly to blame for the "media genic" lack of empathy she claims exists.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Annabel_the_Sheep</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7913416"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">2. 200 <b>civilian</b> deaths, not in a combat situation but on the market in the middle of Bagdad. That means children, too.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Out of respect for those who are grieving a loss, where ever that loss occured, I will simply say every human loss is heartbreaking.<br><br><br>
DC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
542 Posts
I'm glad someone posted this article because I completely agree with it. There is something in the desire to "share" in the grief of the VT families that is reminiscent of voyeurism.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dallaschildren</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7913626"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Out of respect for those who are grieving a loss, where ever that loss occured, I will simply say every human loss is heartbreaking.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I think her point is that while every loss is heartbreaking to <i>someone</i>, no loss is heartbreaking to <i>everyone</i>. If it were, we would all be permanently paralysed with grief just from the car crashes that take many more lives daily.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
306 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dallaschildren</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7913626"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">MDC isn't the place where the majority of the population keeps track of the events in Iraq.<br>
DC</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Precisely the point of the article:<br><br><i>Quote from the article:<br>
People busy holding candlelight vigils for the deaths in Blacksburg don't have much time left over to protest the war in Iraq.</i><br><br>
I will also add that it is our moral responsibility, as we get to choose our political leaders living in a democratic society, to keep track of the events in Iraq.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,609 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Annabel_the_Sheep</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7914022"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Precisely the point of the article:<br><br><i>Quote from the article:<br>
People busy holding candlelight vigils for the deaths in Blacksburg don't have much time left over to protest the war in Iraq.</i><br><br>
I will also add that it is our moral responsibility, as we get to choose our political leaders living in a democratic society, to keep track of the events in Iraq.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
That is exactly the way they want it. As tragic and horrifying as the VT shootings were, there is a cult of "national mourning" that has sprung up that seems to almost eagerly await the next tragedy so that memorials can quickly be planned and poignant speeches given. Besides, this kind of stuff gives Bush a chance to put on a dashing suit, read one of his better speech writer's hallmark-card drivel about "healing" and "God" and so on, and it's much sexier than giving a damn about the people he and his fellow criminals are plowing under with the bulldozer of murder and war and greed.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,127 Posts
I didn't read the whole article as I don't want to register, but I agree with the quoted parts. I've always found it fascinating what we are encouraged to mourn and be outraged over.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,680 Posts
On optimistic days I believe that our emotional centers were simply not cut out for the kind of information access we currently have, and so for a lot of people it's difficult to process information that does not impact our own communities in any way different from information that does impact our own communities. On pessimistic days, I see a lot of narcissism ("my pain over your pain makes <i>me</i> important"). Usually, and probably most realistically, somewhere in between.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,072 Posts
I agree with the article. It has almost become an industry of mourning nowadays that unfortunately almost seems to fuel the killers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
367 Posts
I have no choice but to agree with Brooks on this one. Whether she has a book coming out or not is not the issue, the points made are VERY valid. Her words may not have been spoken with unbiased intent (prelude to book sales? she's not the first and won't be the last), they were true regardless...intent doesn't negate fact.<br><br>
Remember that the media will ALWAYS seek to exploit your basic human nature...if you let it. While I do truly believe that this incident was a tragedy, I'm not going to mourn the event. Why? Because that's exactly what the media wants us to do. Our mourning = their profits. Furthermore, the next one "standing in line to be the next bad guy" (quote: Henry Rollins) could, as someone else stated, simply see this as a "let's see if I can one-up you on this" and go for a higher death toll during the next event...simply because we all bought into this vision of sadness, grief, and loss as painted by the media. *Bing!*, the next martyr is born. Rather than mourning death, we should always celebrate life, and popular media doesn't like to show this side of the coin (CNN did a small page on it though, which was rather surprising!). While I'm certainly not going to judge anyone who DOES mourn for the students who lost their lives needlessly (anyone who was affected directly OBVIOUSLY has not only the right but also the NEED to mourn for their loss), I'm also not going to buy into the media hysteria.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,417 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Liquesce</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7915082"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">On optimistic days I believe that our emotional centers were simply not cut out for the kind of information access we currently have, and so for a lot of people it's difficult to process information that does not impact our own communities in any way different from information that does impact our own communities. On pessimistic days, I see a lot of narcissism ("my pain over your pain makes <i>me</i> important"). Usually, and probably most realistically, somewhere in between.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
This is an interesting thought! Is this something sociologists have explored?<br><br>
And this reminds me of the *fear* of others that our cultural fabric depends on us having/perpetuating...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
704 Posts
I was thinking this myself...similar to after 9-11 when people all over did the same thing. Some of which are in my own family- going to support groups because of a tragedy they saw on tv.<br><br>
I know some people are more sensitve than others, but sometimes people go overboard.<br><br>
I think thats all I can say without someone getting mad at me. Anyway- thanks for the heads up to this article- now I know I'm not alone!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,164 Posts
An interesting editorial. Speaks to some of the media insanity, but also reminds us of some other important things...<br><br><br><a href="http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/?id=110009962" target="_blank">http://www.opinionjournal.com/column.../?id=110009962</a>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,045 Posts
I clicked on the Vtech link about 25 times to read new replies and add my own replies. It was a very busy thread.<br><br>
I clicked on the Baghdad thread 3 or 4 times. 2 times I added my thoughts and the other time(s) I read what other people said.<br><br>
I think it's just obvious that people are going to be more interested in the familiar. Like I said before, I grew up about an hour or so south of Blacksburg. My uncle worked for VT for years. I was concerned about the students because there was a decent chance that I might have had friends from high school or college going there. Fortunately, I did not.<br><br>
The plane attacks on September 11 did not affect me on any personal level. I am not from New York, I've never been to New York, I don't know anyone in real life from New York. I felt sorry for them in the same way I feel sorry for anyone in the media who suffers a needless death. I feel the same way for all the innocent lives lost all over the world. The closer death hits to home and the more sudden or violent, the more it interests people. That doesn't mean they could care less about other lives lost, nor should that be callously assumed.<br><br>
~Nay, adding her 2 cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,840 Posts
I definitely agree that the shootings in Virginia have not impacted me the <i>same way</i> they have impacted the people there, the people who were present, the people who lost someone, or the people who died.<br><br>
I feel compassion for people who are hurting though, plain and simple.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top