I have to confess that I am completely unsurprised by the death of the two journalists in America. I believe the saying goes: “Give enough monkeys enough guns and enough cameras and you’re bound to get a live televised atrocity eventually” or something similar so, no, I’m not shocked in the slightest. It’s just another gun horror in America and yet another reason for the idiots on the right to stand up and deny the correlation between gun ownership, gun access and gun deaths. As Donald Trump said “It’s not a gun problem, it’s a mental problem” and, for once, I agree with him; there is clearly something wrong within a society when people feel the need to kill and maim each other on a regular basis. We only differ in this instance because I believe arming the homicidal, disgruntled, disaffected and downright stupid will lead to death and Donald et al don’t see it that way.
It’s a topic I’ve covered a multitude of time and I won’t belabour the point because no matter how much one tries to reason with these idiots you simply can’t argue with someone who thinks he needs to be armed to repel the invaders.
I’m not sure if it’s Cuba, Canada or Mexico planning this armed invasion, but, apparently you can never be too safe in the US of A.
There are 3 deaths an hour from firearms in the US, so I’m not surprised and I’ve come to the conclusion that they, Americans, clearly want to kill each other and I’m tired of trying to convince them to stop. Let’s just skip it and move on to “The Sun” and other Murdoch group newspapers.
I genuinely thought the Murdoch group had sunk as low as it could with the phonehacking scandal, but, no, I was wrong.
I once wrote a piece about the sensationalist and gory turn the news had taken. How once, horrors were described and the public protected from the “trauma” of witnessing the carnage, but, now our base instinct to “see for ourselves” is exploited to sell newspapers with little regard to morals or ethics. Last week it was the graphic images of the Shoreham aircrash and another new nadir had been reached, but, displaying unrivalled dedication to setting new benchmarks it hasn’t taken long for them to plumb yet deeper depths as today the Murdoch group published pictures of the moment the young journalist in Virginia was shot.
To add to the sensationalist nature of the front page and maximise the opportunity presented to them they published an image from the camera being held by the killer; a “point of view” image with the gunman’s hand visible in the shot. It looks just like a video game… Most of the papers who chose to publish this image chose the moment when a fine mist of blood is visible erupting from the fatally wounded young woman, but, The Sun, to be unique, chose the moment when there was muzzle flash in shot.
Lined up at the newsagents the assembled front pages made a wonderfully graphic greeting, a series of stills that together made a stop motion film of another human’s moment of death.
I’d like to say “Well done!” to them all; they’ve set a new standard for being amoral and unethical whores whose favourite practice is pimping the dead to sell a few more papers, to receive a few more hits and, of course, make a bit more money.
I believe I shouldn’t have to protect my young children from seeing the front page of the newspapers and yet they, the Murdoch Group and their ilk, display an overwhelming need to publish disaster porn to entice and titillate those customers whose curiosity outweighs their resilience and morality. I suggest that if they really feel the need to publish such images then they should be forced put the rag out wrapped in a black plastic bag with only the brand-name visible, like they do with all the other pornography. Actually, if I’m honest, I’d far rather my child saw a vagina than a murder, but, maybe it’s just me… Maybe I’m the one who’s out of touch; Maybe, I am out of step with modern times; Maybe, I’m simply mad? I still think grief is private, not an opportunity, but, I fear the majority wouldn’t agree with me.
They, the people who make up the market, seem to have an endless and voracious appetite for tragedy and are supported by many who believe censorship of any sort to be the first sign of totalitarianism and to be fought against with all the fervour they can muster and to hell with the collateral damage.
If the populace didn’t want to lap it up then they wouldn’t and the papers wouldn’t sell, the images and videos wouldn’t attract so many hits and the paper would be out of business pretty quick as people wouldn’t buy something that repulsed them with the content and/or the editorial policy. I must conclude, based on the evidence, that it is absolutely what the market wants.
Does one fight this apparent truth or choose to profit from it?
If we are giving the market what it wants and living in times where everything must be seen, everyone wants to be famous and death sells then why should I fight it?
Shorn of my burdensome morals what could I do?
Well, without the inconvenient voices of the dual angels, conscience and ethics, I have had me an idea, an idea loudly championed by the demons of greed and avarice:
Let’s give more Americans more guns!
Let’s also give out cameras to anyone who doesn’t already have one, free ammunition and then ramp up their paranoia levels and financially “incentivize” these fucking idiots to just kill each other and make sure they do it on camera.
No death should be a wasted death, an unprofitable death, so we scoop up all the footage and broadcast it on a dedicated channel, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
We can have nightly round ups, hourly bulletins, twitter accounts telling people where the latest tragedy is happening so they can get down to film it… We can drag Jon Stewart out of retirement to present a humourous roundup of the funniest deaths complete with “looney-tunes” style sound effects!
I’m seeing holiday specials, theme shows and more: Imagine if next time the stock market crashes instead of investors and traders killing themselves in a cowardly and selfish manner, there was a way for them to raise some final revenue, some security for their loved ones and to go out in blaze of glory and who can think of a better way than by killing your co-workers in a psychotic rage, filming it and leaving the rights to your footage with your family as a nest egg. Bankers, traders and a hail of bullets… That would make a truly popular special.
Think about the integrated marketing opportunities and multiple revenue streams; think how much profit could be generated through a betting application allowing the public to get involved when some lost soul goes on a rampage!
People could bet on any and all outcomes; spread betting on the number killed or duration of rampage would be just the start! Bets could be taken on every conceivable scenario: if the shooter lives or dies, will they be shot or tasered, will they be taken down by authorities or a “have a go hero” looking for their own five minutes of fame?! I think I’m just scratching the surface of this modern media, multi-platform goldmine… Stream the whole lot to televisions via digital receiver, cable or Xbox, have apps for all tablets and smartphones so nobody need miss a minute of action and access to all content on all platforms for a simple monthly subscription fee.
Factor in the interactive betting app and I swear it’s got all the hallmarks of a real money spinner, all this incredible opportunity needs now is the backing and support from a practically soulless and ethically challenged billionaire whose greed and disregard for the rest of humanities’ value outweighs any hint of ethicality…
Come on Messrs Murdoch, this is clearly the wet fucking dream of opportunities, let’s talk share dividends and an executive producer’s salary.