By its nature, media effects what it observes. Bring a camera to a situation, and the situation changes. The media creates an abstracted reality, letting you see only what the camera sees, and the camera is going to see what’s interesting to view, what grams your attention from all the competition for attention. Attention is gold. The illusion its that what we see on media is the whole reality, the whole story. Media is only the skin of reality, not the whole flesh and blood body of reality. That’s just the way it is.
Media coving school shootings is now a predictable script. And rituals have a way of generating copy cat rituals that have a live of their own. Rituals that repeat themselves are unconscious rituals; that’s why they repeat themselves. The ritual has a karmic force…but rituals are also the way we give our mythology, our collective stories flesh and blood.
Take the ritual of reenacting civil war battles. This keeps the Story of the South and its Lost Cause alive. So what is the myth of the lone school shooter? What’s the Story that these shooting keep alive through the reenactment?
Today’s story is not a story unless it is on media, on TV. Being seen by the world, if just for a few moments, gives a pseudo sense of finally being real, being noticed. NOW YOU WILL KNOW WHO I AM. Being able to take lives without remorse, being DEATH itself, is a very powerful feeling of being alive, of being the ONE WITHOUT A SECOND.
In those moments of terror, you are GOD…you are all the horror monsters in the movies that come to get your attention. Nothing gets our attention more than Death. Death is the ultimate attention getter.
In a society that puts death under the rug, as if it doesn’t even exist, the School Shooter comes to remind us that DEATH does exist, and can happen to you at any moment.
It’s not the death that terrifies us about the school shootings. Those ten kids could have been killed in a bus accident and that would have been the end of it. A headline in the local paper. But when those ten deaths happen the the STORY of the School Shooting, now it gets global attention. The death for the kids is the same. So it’s the Story that important, not the actual death.
These School Shooting are scripted from your horror movies. Finally, our nightmare horror movies that kids love so much is actually real time. Now the Shining can appear in your own school, knocking down doors to kill you with compunction. Death doesn’t care about your personality, or your good deeds. The shooter says: I HAVE BECOME DEATH. Did Steven King write these scripts?
In American life, what first appears in our movies, in our dreams, then appears in real time. We are no longer satisfied with fake entertainment, scripted entertainment. We want unplugged entertainment. Real life is more interesting than scripted play life. We are bored with that now. We want interactive entertainment. We want the gladiator games to have real death, not play death. WE have come our own entertainment.
Every shooting creates a new villain, new innocents, and new heroes. The nation comes together at the funeral. Who will play these parts next? Will the play come to your school next?