Wednesday, March 11, 2009

When They Color the Story, and When they Don’t. A Primer.

Depends on where the story takes place. With thanks to commenter Jan, we discover the art of political water torture. A sociopath in Germany kills 10 in a school, and it elicits sadness. A sociopath in the USA kills 9 and it prompts a condescending trope.

Just who is it who’s employing innocent victims to prove to themselves something about their own opinions? The same culture that always does: the germans are said to be shot, the Americans are “killed in a murderous folly”. The usual reaction, as ever, is for people to tell themselves that “at least we’re better than those Americans”.

The dead were not sought for comment, and I don’t think their parents and loved ones would take any pleasure in the lives of the victims being used in that way. But in the land of kindness and social leveling, they seem especially eager not to think that way.

When they are considered actual victims, the reports try to play it straight.

It was reported Wednesday that At least ten people were killed Wednesday morning in a shooting at a school near Stuttgart (in southwest Germany).

Eight of those killed were shot in the school, and two outside, according to the newspaper. Authorities evacuated the school and warned motorists traveling in the area.
In reality, it was 16, even though each story cited the same local sources.

However the intellectual necrophilia creeps out when under the influence of attitude, not one person in specific societies is considered a victim.
Murder in the United States: he killed nine people and committed suicide.

It was in Samson, in southern Alabama, that he took his first victims. He entered in three different homes in the city and killed six adults and a child, before returning by car to the nearby town of Geneva.

On the road, he killed two more.

Then the crazy killer fled into a business, Reliable Metal, where he was surrounded by police.
It seems Germans can’t be called crazy. THAT would wrong, since we don’t know if he was an abused child, or just though he was sticking it to the man or something. Unlike someone who reminds them of Mad Max or Nicholas Cage in Raising Arizona, someone who kills that many European children might need to be understood.

I guess they call this “news you can use”

It isn’t about being American either, but it helps. It’s about conforming to a simplistic, trained in concept of who may be a victim and who may not by dint of the image their culture has, and it’s all expressed in the ‘tude. Compare this report to this silence. Surely the Guardian reading types are reserving their comments until an appropriate rationalization minimizing the wrongness of the behavior of their fellow travelers can be constructed. THAT is far more important to them that the straight reporting of events, especially when you see the victims of thoughtless hatred characterized this way:
The Royal Anglian Regiment, known as the ¬Poachers, paraded through Luton town centre at midday yesterday.

The protesters, dressed in Islamic clothing, were initially kept away from the marching soldiers and union flag-waving locals by police. They shouted abuse and waved placards with slogans including "Anglian soldiers: cowards, killers, extremists" and "British government, terrorist government". Later the protesters had to be protected by the police
But they were only “dressed that way.” It’s not like you can deduce their opinions or establish what propaganda they’ve been fed, and by whom. After all, they needed to be protected themselves, and the occasion is good to bring out the worst possible sounding nickname of their target, calling them the “Poachers”. I mean think about the animals in Blighty’s verdant (if not paved over) pastures, will ya!?!

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