Murder – the biggest show on earth

April 1, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

As access to the fields of battle and quick and ready access to places of tragedy, as a result of battle or devastation from Nature, increases, the horror shows that fill our television, computer and devises screens might have begun to numb our sense of horror and, consequently, our compassion.

So, it stops being bad enough. Not for the people suffering it, to be sure, but for the brains of the onlookers who may have started to feel they’ve seen it all and seen enough. There is only so much spectatorship we can handle of the ruin of others, of the many wholesale slaughters of fighting factions and decimation of entire villages and cities from the constant bombing from both sides of the quarrel, a quarrel whose principles have long since been lost. All that remains is murder, ruin and a probable return to whatever was the status quo before it all began.

Except for the poor folk who lost everything and their lives or those of their loved ones.

Now, social media with the strong thrust of Facebook, is delivering a more direct, even intimate, view of murder; up close and very personal.

There was that American chap – last year? – who committed the murder of an old man in front of his camera, on Facebook, his 15 minutes of fame so desired that he was satisfied to enjoy them in jail, or on death row, perhaps. Perhaps, it was he who began the fashion for such televising.

Imagine that, what was basically a dating tool for his fellow college students has become a dollar-mountain enterprise that harbours some of the most intense visions of exercising hate.

Now, on Saturday, March 15, actual, live time, streamed on Facebook – on their app for extreme sports – a gunman filmed his murder of 50 people and injury with intent of 50 more in two Mosques in New Zealand. There was 17 minutes of it.

It took Facebook 24 hours from the time of the attack to clear 1.5 million of that video by which time, some 800 versions of it were swarming the internet.

By then, who knows how many people had seen it, how many young people, how many like minded people had seen it.

Brenton Tarrant, the sole suspect in the case, must be longing for years of infamy, his reputation for destruction and delivering a convincing message of hate established forever. He finally brought the biggest show on earth to a historical low.

Don’t believe for a moment, he will be the last one to make such a display of the terror he created and which is still thrilling some ones in many dark places in this world. There will be, in those dark places, people who admire his fortitude and imagination. Others who will make plans to copy him, carry on the work of spreading the news through this real massacre movie, made in quiet and green places – places of worship. People at their most vulnerable.

How many children have seen this video? Have they seen something similar in video games? When it happens again, will they have occasion again to compare that one to a video game or a work of fiction, a news coverage, on television? How will they know the difference between the grim reality and the fiction?

One and half million videos spread throughout the 2.5 billion users of Facebook, world-wide. Twenty-four hours to root them all out. All that technology failed them. Now, it could be seen anywhere, anytime. Anyone who has kept it will, irresistibly, share, convinced the police will never catch up. It is in the world to be admired as instruction.

By the bye, the police are now using parts of that video, being judicious of what is shown…

Well, well. In its way, it’s nothing new, except for being more of the same, with instant world wide exposure. We have ever been at killing on an individual and mass scale, according to how efficient our weapons are. Every advance instructs brutality and offers bigger and better opportunities to display our basest selves.

Hate and anger are strong within us and we constantly look for ways to display them, to show our own power over others, each display just so many steps up from the school yard bully. 

What is so tough about this are two things: that we learn it; we’re not born brutal and murderous, full of hate. 

And: we will attack to win, always attacking those weaker than the rest. Or more peaceful, as if killing the peaceful strengthens the violent.

The solution is primarily education, without dogma. Dogma separates and creates higher and lower positions within the structure of society. It creates oppression and differences between people that have no reasons, bar the dogma itself.

Since how we behave is learned, education at home, first and foremost, and then in our learning centres must surely be the essential primary source. 

How, then, do we spread the “right” messages across the planet? 

Who will write that curriculum?

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