Why I haven’t been watching the coverage of Virginia Tech
It’s not because I find the thought of the 32 people killed too disturbing, it’s because I can’t stand hearing one commentator and survivor after another refer to the mass murder as a “tragedy.” Every time someone calls it a “tragedy,” which is about once every 30 seconds, the message is sent out as clear as daylight that the same thing will happen again. This is because to describe it as a “tragedy” is to remove the fact that it was a crime, an evil act, committed by an enemy of society, a crime that can be prevented in the future only if, unlike at Virginia Tech, we recognize the existence of enemies of society and are prepared to stop them. But if it’s a “tragedy,” then by definition no one did anything wrong. There was no criminal act from which society must be protected. There was just this big blob of misfortune that came falling from the sky. It’s something to be suffered, something to be “healed” of, not something to arm ourselves against and be prepared to use the power of the law and physical force to stop if someone threatens to do the same in the future.
Therefore, to my mind, everyone who refers to this atrocity as a tragedy is complicit in it. And that is why I have taken no interest in the memorial services, the candle-light vigils, the healing sessions, the tv interviews, the cable news commentary. I don’t give a damn about any of that, not because I am indifferent to the crime that Cho Sueng Hui committed, but because I hate it, and I see that by repeatedly calling this devilish deed a tragedy the Virginia Tech community and the American people as a whole have made themselves its passive willing victims. And so I feel no fellow feeling with them in this. They are not behaving like moral and rational beings for whom one can have respect; they are behaving like Eloi, helpless dimwitted creatures who let themselves be eaten alive by predatory monsters.
Imagine that after the attack on Pearl Harbor President Roosevelt had stood before a joint session of Congress and said, “December 7, 1941, a very tragic day for our country.” Imagine that the American people, following Roosevelt’s lead, had all gone around whining about the “tragedy” that had occurred and about how they were seeking to be “healed” of it. Hawaii and the West Coast would today be part of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, and the heirs of Hitler would be the masters of Europe from the Urals to the Hebrides.
Maureen C. writes:
I can’t watch it either for the same reasons and for another one: I can’t stand the sound of the tv announcers’ voices as they, like a pack of hounds, literally bay—not announce—every detail of this story. They have fastened their teeth into the prime cut of the newsroom: “If it bleeds, it leads.” The tv newscasters know that they have guaranteed viewer interest for a few days, and it is embarrassing and disgusting to hear them “revel” in it.David H. writes:
I wholeheartedly agree with what you are saying as well as the sickening behavior of journalists as described by Maureen C. I’d like to add another reason why I too have begun avoiding this coverage like the (liberal) plague: The omnipresent question “What can we learn from this?” A myriad of liberal mantras ensue, and with the exception of “gun control” which will exacerbate an already terrible situation (and did nothing to stop this one), there is not one concrete answer to what must be done, if there is an answer at all.Evelyn M. writes:
When I saw that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell teamed up with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to have a “moment of silence” in the Senate, I called them both and my own sorry excuse for a senator Diane Feinstein—and President Bush—to tell them the Senate and House should have a daily moment of silence for the many thousands of Americans murdered, maimed, raped and battered by illegal alien invaders. All because our Congress and President have kept open borders. No response.David B. writes:
Have you noticed that the JFK assassination is usually referred to as a “tragedy”, rather than an evil act? Some years ago, the E Network (a lightweight channel devoted to celebrity news) had a program about the murder of Dominick Dunne’s daughter titled “An American Tragedy.” Dunne wrote an article about the trial and has covered celebrity trials since. The killer, who was her ex-boyfriend, walked to Miss Dunne’s house and strangled her, an evil act of murder, not a “tragedy.”Sage McLaughlin writes:
I’m glad you’ve begun this discussion regarding the unseemly use of the word “tragedy” to describe what is more rightly called a horror.LA replies:
The thoughtless misuse of the word “tragedy” is not just a result of moral confusion; more importantly, it is a cause of moral confusion, implanting in the collective consciousness the unarticulated assumption that there is no such thing as moral evil. Just as certain anti-national and open-borders slogans, such as “Family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande,” implant the idea that we should have open borders to the whole world without actually saying so, so that the idea spreads and gains power without any debate or opposition, in the same way, calling a mass murder a “tragedy” plants the belief that there is no such thing as moral evil, without actually saying so, so that this radical relativist idea is never discussed or thought about, even as more and more people accede to it and thus lose the ability to think and speak in moral language.M. Mason writes:
You have written about the Virginia Tech shootings that you “have taken no interest in the memorial services, the candle-light vigils, the healing sessions, the TV interviews, the cable news commentary” etc. surrounding the aftermath of the massacre—an attitude that, in my opinion, is quite understandable given the continual barrage of infuriating relativistic liberal drivel saturating the airwaves about it. However, I don’t know if you actually saw the convocation ceremony itself that was televised but if not, you will be further incensed to know that a Muslim Imam actually led off the invocation with, as I understand it, a prayer to Allah, followed by the usual thin gruel of feeble bleating emanating from various other religious humanists assembled, not one of whom had the decency to exempt himself from or protest this travesty.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 21, 2007 01:48 AM | Send