Wednesday, December 17, 2008


You had to read this, didn't you? Couldn't wait to find out all the gory details. Later you'll let yourself off the hook by telling yourself you were just curious.

Relax, you're not alone. The fabric of society is practically threadbare. What is so titillating about the grisly and the grotesque? Why are we hooked on the misfortunes of others?

Newspapers around the country thrive on tragedy and calamity. In fact, the credo of many newspapers is, "If it bleeds, it leads." It's the same with radio and TV. We all know "Breaking News" is never pleasant, yet they can't wait to break it to us.

They tell us why a murderer, rapist, child molester, serial killer, or cannibalistic maniac commits a savage crime – and maybe throw in what this slimeball was like as a kid – and we eat it up like hot fudge on vanilla ice cream.

Why are we so curious about the creeps that prey upon us? And let's not blame a horrible gene pool or a lousy upbringing. I don't care if the men on his family tree were all ax murderers or spent their childhood tossing kittens and puppies off rooftops.

All we really need to know about a psycho is that he's blown up a skyscraper, slaughtered a trainload of people, shot up a college campus, has 35 shallow graves in his backyard, or ate all the relatives on his father's side.

The fact that he may have snapped one day during a surprise Latin quiz should have no bearing on how we judge him and hopefully convict the miserable, useless, rotten, no good sonofabitch.


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