23 September 2008
I am thisclose to declaring a moratorium on the news until the election is over.
Besides being sick unto death of the back-and-forthing over the longest presidential election in the history of the world, I'm also highly distressed over what seems to me to be a rising tide of ever-more bad news.
I heard this morning about an American-style school shooting in Finland. Finland! Western Finland, someplace that is close to my heart because my sister spent her exchange year in a little town called Karlby in Swedish (or Kokkala, in Finnish). Scandinavia doesn't have the same problems that we do here in the US with gun violence, largely, IMESHO, because handguns are exceedingly difficult to get your grubby mitts on. I'm about the farthest thing from an expert on guns; personally, like any warm-blooded liberal lunatic, I think they're pretty unnecessary. I know my viewpoint is not universally shared, so let's move on, shall we?
It shames me deeply that in addition to exporting what is good about the US, we also export that which is bad. School shootings get lots and lots and lots of world-wide media coverage; copy-cat crimes follow not far behind.
I had to spend quite a bit of time explaining to schoolkids in Sweden that MY high school wasn't exactly like the fictional West Beverly High in the old Beverly Hills 90210. Perception...what is seen on the telly...ends up seeming like daily reality when viewed from so far away through the telly screen.
Obviously, someone who totes a gun into a school full of children (and these days? I'm counting pretty much anyone under 25 as a child) with the intent to do serious harm has, what we might politely call issues. Ya think?
Which spins me off into the tangent of the tendency of the media to treat mental illness as the demon in the middle of the room, but let's save that for next year's Mental Health Awareness week, mmmkay? I don't want to lose my primary point here.
My worldview is getting a serious ass-kicking these days, and I don't like it at all. At ALL.
Somewhere in there is the explanation for why I like fandom so much. Escapism...my daily sanity-saving drug!