Monday, November 2, 2015

It Has Come to This

In her opening news summary this morning on her radio broadcast of Democracy Now!, Amy Goodman introduced one of her stories with the phrase "In the latest mass shootings across the United States …." Beyond the Fringe used to have a joke about how, during the Second World War, every evening the BBC would bring "news of fresh disasters." That was funny back at a time when we did not take "fresh disasters" to be part of the stream of everyday life. Now they are; and, while Goodman was anything but casual in her reporting, her phrasing suggested that news of a mass shooting had become about as familiar as news of a hurricane striking. Perhaps we have to be casual about these things because the volume of taking all of them seriously would be unbearable.