Thursday, April 19, 2007

Is Cho's haunting video must-see TV?

The killer who had been a mystery to us for two days was there on my TV. I was suddenly fascinated with this glimpse into his decayed mind ... and simultaneously discomfited by it. Criminy, I'm a lifelong newspaperman and I believe ardently that the more information we have, the better we can decide for ourselves what needs our attention.

But here this sick little freak was, on my TV, telling me how it was -- by extension -- my fault that he had to slaughter 32 people, most of whom he didn't know. Here was the ghost of a cowardly loser lecturing me, us, about civility. Here he was, playing out his Mortal Kombat fantasies as if he knew (and we didn't) what Hell was like. I couldn't look away, and didn't want to ... but what I felt was the morbid marriage of voyeurism and disgust.

My son is a college student. I ache for him. Not just the fearsome world he lives in right at this moment, but for the world in which he'll raise his own children. Cho -- or miscreants like him -- has been around since The Beginning and he'll be around in The End. We cannot identify them and remove them to a safe place. Like other terrorists, we have to be lucky every time, and they only have to be lucky once.

I pray Cho knows what real Hell is like right now. I don't need to see the videos anymore.


SingingSkies said...

What I wrestle with is the balance between information to help in understanding (if that is even possible) this terrible experience and the visibility this one individual receives which might push those on the edge of committing a similar crime into action. I have not watched the video yet, and may not. Not that that will make any difference in the number of times the video is shown.

Right now, I ache for the families and friends of those who have died, and for the shattered sense of security? collegiality? scholarly community? which will now be replaced to a certain extent by a heightened sense of fear and suspicion, at least for a while.

Love, Rita said...

I didn't need to see the images, at all. Seeing the material he submitted to NBC didn't help me to "understand" in any way. It was already quite apparent to me that he had lost all sense of decency and reality, and was, in fact, quite demented.

I believe the only motivation ANY news outfit had in airing that material was for ratings. It is a symptom of all that is wrong with our society now--everything spins around the almighty dollar.

Ugly, isn't it?

My prayers are with the families and survivors right now, as they try to return to some semblance of normalcy in their lives without their loved ones.

Jana said...

What bothers me SO DARN MUCH is that this young man was so invisible until a couple days ago. If all this stuff was known about him - and all those who knew him called him quiet..there's information he was stalking women, there's that horrible video he made.
How is it this dead person submitted video to NBC? Why didn't someone pay attention and not just write him off as another nutball? WHY OH WHY didn't someone check under his bed for guns?
You can bet this will lead to even more infringement on our civil liberties. More security, more police, more cameras....(Hopping up and down)

Jill said...

We can ignore what we dont see or hear. Showing the video is playing into his trap but sometimes we need to see reality. If for no other reason than to make us think. At least we can change the channel or turn off the tv. He could not do that with his mind's tv. I really feel sorry for his family.