desensitivity

Desensitivity really isn’t a word… but you’re gonna have to deal with it because I’m frustrated.  I don’t really like using my blog as a means of venting or being uber-negative.  But I’m about to make an exception.

Maybe it’s because I’m pissed-off frustrated at cancer. It’s wreaking havoc on my sweet mama’s body and she means the world  to me and I take this very personally. She got bad news again today, about her health. And it’s making it all real again. And then, cancer is wielding its evil sword through my friend Chris Kent’s body and making this incredibly strong, talented, vibrant man weak and in constant pain and I adore him and his family and I am not happy about this.

So I come home and flip the tv on… trying to numb my head from over-thinking for a few minutes. And I am appalled at the news. But not because there’s such bad news, which there is (the tsunami in Japan dominating the headlines). But because of the glib way that the horrific stories are being addressed (thanks Channel 4 news for 30 minutes of the tackiest news delivery I’ve seen in a long time)…

First, the all-too-familiar photos and video footage of the devastation in Japan are scrolling across the screen. Then the news desk says, let’s show you some great new technology… as they show us before and after pictures of the catastrophe. “Look, before the tsunami… neighborhoods in tact… slide the lever and after – poof… it’s gone! The destroyed neighborhood!”  Really? Poof?

On that note they transition to: “Nashvillians express concern that an earthquake will bring similar damage as to what Japan has suffered… because we have nuclear power plants, too.” Really Nashvillians? That would be one honkin’ tsunami to reach us from FLORIDA! Good filtering Channel 4… must we advertise everything Nashville thinks?

Transition to :”Today was the first time in 25 years someone has died while working on the space shuttle. An engineer fell to his death (no name or acknowledgment).  But Kennedy Space Center says the death will not affect the Endeavor’s scheduled launch.” Oh, good thing – cause I was worried for a minute that they were gonna waste time grieving and honoring the engineer’s family for his service.

Cut to a close-up of a badly taken photo of the MTSU student who was stabbed to death in her dorm Monday. No real news or updates, just mentioning again that she was stabbed and the trial will start soon. Sorry grieving family… we know you lost your daughter so tragically. We just like to keep showing her face.

I realize that none of this spin is new. I’m pretty confident that it’s affecting me so much because I’m already feeling vulnerable and shaky about my personal world around me.

So bear with my ranting… or join me. But I think we need to regain our sensitivity and not treat these things as “news” or “causes” but as tragic effects of the fall of man. And grieve accordingly.

Thoughts?

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4 thoughts on “desensitivity

  1. Pingback: Nuclear War in 2011 | graham t allison | albert carnesale | allison joseph

  2. Hi Debbie. I came across your blog after googling the word ‘desensitivity’. I am a firefighter and have come to the conclusion that most people in my line of work feel the need to be(act) desensitised to any tragedy that we encounter. Call it bravado, but it has become taboo to show any feeling over tragic incidents that we might attend. Maybe this is more widespread as you suggest in your blog as we face tragic news every day on TV.
    Thoughts?

    • Absolutely Andy. I’m in the social work field and it’s common place to become hardened to the “sad story” or the “troubled child”. That in itself is a tragedy. But it is a fine line we walk between being appalled by injustice and tragic incidents and being of enough ‘sound mind’ to deal with them. Sometimes you need to put on the bravado to get through, in your case, a rescue… or in my case, thinking critically to resolve someone’s problem. But then we need to give ourselves permission to grieve and feel the sorrow of a fallen life.

      Thanks for posting. Where are you a fire fighter?

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