The juxtaposition of two events this past week troubles me.
Early in the week, the internet positively exploded with photos of Rene Zellweger. Who is this? She’s practically unrecognizable! She clearly had work done! Let’s grab a plastic surgeon and ask her/him to suggest possible procedures that RZ may or may not have undergone. How could she do it? Her eyes were her signature feature!
Later in the week, a child opened fire in a lunchroom, killing one student, injuring several others, and ultimately shooting himself. I clicked on a news link to learn more about the horrific events and the pre-video ad for a television show depicted a man shooting another man at point-blank range. Cruel irony.
When did school shootings become normative? When did we run out of righteous indignation and succumb to helpless apathy? Our brains can only process so much information at a time. And the collective processing time devoted to perceived changes in Rene Zellweger’s appearance could have been better spent.
How about a nationwide brainstorm on strategies for preventing gun violence? Anyone who took Intro Psych in college will remember the Bobo Doll studies. Basically, kids (and adults, too) are more aggressive if exposed to aggressive acts/film/whatever.
Our culture is polluted with violent images. This pollution clouds our judgement, making us think that violence is a normal, common, and inevitable approach to conflict resolution. Often the violence is celebrated – Hooray! He shot the bad guy! In the pre-video ad I mentioned above, the victim (presumably a bad guy) said something like, “If I have to …. it’ll kill me.” And then BANG the other guy shoots him.
Dear Hollywood: This is Not Funny. Don’t make audiences laugh when people die. Please.
I’d like to offer up a suggestion. Sit down for five minutes and think about how you can change the world. Simple acts of love. A smile. Kind words.
Make peace normal. And quit wasting time wondering if Rene had blepharoplasty. Who cares?