The damage caused by saturation media violence has been known for years. Add video game violence to the mix and it’s easy to see how children and adolescents could become more accepting of violence and less concerned about inflicting violence. However, it is one thing to be more or less convinced by the logic of this and quite another to personally experience a change of attitude to other people’s pain.
I wonder if television’s saturation manipulation of sorrow is altering my perception of grief. This thought occurred to me when impatiently changing the TV channel from yet another lingering camera shot achieved the objective of reducing a quietly grieving person to weeping. Off camera, I imagined the director shouting: “Shot! Okay, move on. The bloke over here’s lost his wife and his kids.”
Suffer grieving people who come within my range for I will add torment to your sorrows.
Privacy and respect for anguish and mourning have given way to voyeuristic harvesting of grief scenes. So commonplace now that I fear I have become less concerned for the parade of grieving people I see on my television screen. Whatever the implications of this change of attitude, it cannot be healthy.
And neither is death in the cosmetic lane.
A little while ago I saw a televised insurance advertisement featuring Keith Quinn, rugby broadcaster. In a sensible matter-of-fact way it dealt with the possibility of sudden death and the financial consequences for bereaved families. Who put the ad on? I didn’t notice. But I certainly noticed the ad now showing on TV.
Sovereign Finance’s current effort at selling insurance on television is also about providing for your loved ones after sudden death. The about-to-be-deceased, portrayed by telegenic male and female actors alternately, no doubt in the interest of gender-balanced marketing, is supposedly talking to the grieving children after the funeral. But not to worry because Mummy and Daddy smile throughout. No room here for sense or seriousness and certainly not sorrow. Hey, this is not a big deal kids, they seem to say. See you guys. Have a nice day.
While I gazed in wonder at this ad man’s idea of an impurity-deleted view of the world, the ad man himself was was probably celebrating a bonus for finally de-griefing death.