Are we so broken that we must seek out footage of this man’s death?
It’s been a long day. I ended up staying up ridiculously late last night — 6:00 AM — working on a book proposal. As a result I’ve been running all day on about 3 hours of sleep. My close friend and co-editor Michael van der Galien noted my crabby mood earlier as we edited the publication throughout the day. I tried to put on a better attitude for him. (Surely another fact which played a key role in my down mood was that I’ve been separated from my wife April since Wednesday as she’s been away visiting potential graduate schools. This is the longest we’ve been apart since getting married in May and my missing her is growing more painful.)
Thus it was nice to get a break for a few hours this evening. Some of my friends from high school and college came up from Indianapolis and we went out to dinner. I directed them to a comfortable Irish pub where I ordered these spicy mini hamburgers that I’d enjoyed on a previous visit. (I’ve found as I’ve been getting older that I’ve been craving spicy food more.) I also treated the table to the fried mushrooms appetizer that April and I always order when we go out on our dates.
Afterward my friends came back to my apartment and we watched Julie and Julia, one of my favorite films from last year. Of course all the while, Maura was being disruptive, demanding attention and playtime from my guests and me.
And now here I am to check in on NewsReal Blog and make sure the publication isn’t burning down in my absence. It’s not, but instead I’m greeted with something far more disturbing.
I did a very brief post earlier this evening, just before my friends arrived, about the Olympic athlete who was killed in a luge accident. I expressed how disturbed I was by the footage of his death and how morally reprehensible it was that NBC continued to play it over and over again.
Looking at our traffic stats I noticed that this tiny, nothing, throwaway post had generated considerable traffic — no doubt because of the timely nature of the subject. I began to pat myself on the back but then my unearned self-satisfaction began to melt away as I came to understand why the post had become such a draw. These are the top search engine terms which led people to NRB this evening:
|nodar kumaritashvili death||100|
|video of nodar kumaritashvili’s death||100|
|luge crash video||98|
|fatal luge crash video||78|
|nodar kumaritashvili luge crash video||59|
|video of nodar kumaritashvili s death||39|
|kumaritashvili death video||33|
|nodar kumaritashvili’s death video||33|
|nodar crash video||31|
|nodar kumaritashvili video||30|
|luge death video||30|
|nbc luge crash video||26|
|nodar kumaritashvili death video||24|
|nodar kumaritashvili fatal crash video||20|
|luge crash video nodar kumaritashvili||18|
|kumaritashvili’s death video||17|
|nodar kumaritashvili video death||16|
|video of nodar kumaritashvili’s death?||16|
|don’t ask don’t tell||13|
|nodar kumaritashvili crash video||13|
|olympic luge crash video||11|
|nodar kumaritashvili’s death||11|
|nbc video of nodar kumaritashvili’s deat||11|
|nbc video of luge crash||11|
|al gore global warming||11|
|nodar kumaritashvili’s death?||10|
|obama cell phone||8|
|john mayer racist||8|
|video of nodar kumaritashvili’s deat||8|
Maybe if I was not so exhausted and emotionally drained this would not have hit me as much as it did.
How many people online right now are actually searching for this snuff film?
Here’s a question: if you heard that someone was killed in a tragic accident and there was a video available would your first instinct be to go and watch it? Why?
Here’s an answer: because we are evil, broken creatures. Such is the nature of humanity. If we still had public executions and gladiator fights people would surely go and watch them. Hell, people would join in if they could. Such is the plain reality of human nature to all who can see with eyes unobstructed by the fog of the progressive faith.
But the Left is entirely blind to all this, living in a fantasy world. In the middle of the day I got a phone call from my progressive friend Pat. I’d refused to debate with Pat for several weeks after I’d grown fed up with him ignoring my arguments. It had just become a waste of my time as we spun our wheels. But having him on the phone was not as easy to ignore as when he’d bait me with fiery text and email provocations. And besides, I cared about my friend and wanted to give him some attention instead of continuing to push him away.
It was the same song with Pat as he laid out his political analysis: there needs to be a people’s movement to rise up and demand that Washington politicians rein in corporate power and institute federal jobs programs and universal health care. The super rich need to be taxed more. Pat expressed his frustration that ordinary Americans were unaware at how much they were being screwed by malicious corporations. He didn’t get why there was not a movement akin to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s to fix the injustices in our society.
I said something like this to Pat in response:
“Your plans cannot work, Pat, because human nature is stacked against you. (And the government the founders devised is also biased against the radical change you want. It’s not an accident that it takes more than simple majority rule to get legislation passed.) The reason there isn’t some massive ‘people’s movement’ marching in the streets is because most people don’t care about politics. They just want to live their lives and take care of themselves. They’re not interested in raising everyone’s taxes to pay for big government programs. They’d rather just do their jobs, spend time with their families, and watch dumb TV shows every night.
At this point I started to get more aggressive in my tone:
You think you can actually fix problems if only you can fix the laws, change the politicians, and install new institutions. But it won’t work, Pat. And that’s because the problem is not with all those things. It’s with people; it’s with human nature. People are self-interested, lazy, and evil. You think taxing the rich is going to work? All they’ll do is move their money around so you can’t get to it. On Glenn Beck the other day he talked about how even “good progressives” like Bono and Oprah do things so they can pay less in taxes.
Pat, you can’t fix the problem because the problem is inside every human being. Conservatives get this. Leftists don’t.
Pat didn’t have an answer for me on this. He just changed the subject like he usually does. He has yet to grapple with the reason why his big government schemes and his grandiose dreams of a “people’s movement” won’t work — the same reason why so many people are going to search for a snuff film. There is darkness within us all.
Both those on the Right and the Left need to understand this: the way to heal the world is one shattered human soul at a time. This is not a political task. Only we as individuals can do it.
That’s about all the optimism I can summon at this point. But tomorrow is another day and hopefully I’ll be able muster some sunnier commentary with a full night’s sleep.