Yes, this is my Big Chance to show everyone how insensitive I really am.
According to various news reports, roughly one billion people are glued to their TV screens as I type this, all engrossed in the spectacle of the rescue of 33 Chilean miners. Every TV channel save the Cartoon Network is relaying the images and providing breathless coverage. Every psychologist who isn't allergic to television makeup, everyone who has ever been within five miles of a mine and everyone who has ever been in any kind of dangerous situation is analyzing the event.
The "analysis" is beyond ridiculous. News anchors who know nothing about what's going on (you might say that about 90% of the subjects they cover) are opining about mining, geology and psychology as if they actually know something. Various shrinks -- who should damn well know better -- are talking about the miners' "problems" as if they had personally treated them for years.
PARENTHETICAL I'M-NO-MONSTER NOTE: I'm really happy for the miners and their families. I can't begin to imagine what they've gone through, and don't want to try. This is the closest thing imaginable to an ideal end to the situation.
But I think turning disaster into something closely approximating a sporting event is disgusting.
ANNOUNCER: "We're waiting for Number 16 to come up now!"
ON-SCENE REPORTER: "Yes, Daniel Silva, age 27, is stepping out of the capsule now!" (sounds of applause, cheers in background)
Fortunately, the miners have apparently spoken to some kind of consultant who has advised them on what to say when the Worldwide Microphone is thrust into their collective faces. They may have landed a book deal, too.
Tragedy as a Made-For-TV Event.
Maybe I am an insensitive jerk. But apparently breathing a sigh of relief that 33 people were rescued from a tragedy isn't enough. No, you have to participate, have to watch the whole thing, talk about it* and treat the rescue as if it were an event of the magnitude of the first Moon landing (I didn't make that up; some TV nitwit said it), make 33 ordinary human beings, humans with strengths and weaknesses, into saints.
The best part of the whole thing? In a few hours, the rescue will be over, and 33 humans will be with their families and friends.
The worst part of the whole thing? In a few hours, the rescue will be over, and the media leeches will have to find yet another tragedy to feed from.
As my journalism prof used to say: "If it bleeds, it leads."
The Cartoon Network is looking better and better, Jim.
* I'm talking about it. Or at least writing about it. Guilty as charged.
22 hours ago