the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur (plonq) wrote,
the Sweet Smell of Burning Fur
plonq

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But how did it make them FEEL?

And how did this make you feel?

Every time I hear that question asked in an interview, it makes me want to reach through time and airwaves to slap the interviewer across the face. To my mind, that has to be the laziest question in the media's interview repertoire. I understand that they want to interject the human interest element into the story because that's what generates sensation, and sensation is what sells, but there are ways to elicit the interviewees feelings without asking that same, tired question.

The reason I hate the question is because it brings out a self-obvious answer that adds nothing to the narrative.

"I understand that your adult son accidentally drank a bottle of bleach and died."

"Yes, it was terrible. He read on the Internet that mixing it with Pepsi would make it safe. I came into his bedroom and found him lying dead on the floor, with girl magazines strewn everywhere and his pants around his ankles."

"And how did that make you feel?"

"It made me feel adjective."


There are invariably far more interesting places they could go in the story. It is usually very self-obvious what the person in the interview is feeling, so I don't understand why they need to have them spell it out explicitly. Do they assume that their viewing or listening audience is so dull or sociopathic that they won't be able to pick up the emotions unless they are verbally cued?

"I want to vicariously share the emotions of the person in this interview, but unless they explicitly tell me what to feel, all I can elicit is a dull sense of numb disassociation."


Speaking of things in the news, I applaud the RCMP because they managed to apprehend the suspect in the recent Moncton shootings, alive, without any further violence. I am sure it is not the easiest thing to maintain one's composure when pursuing somebody who killed some of your friends and co-workers in cold blood. I find it somewhat reassuring that they handled things in a measured, professional manner. It speaks well for their demeanour and training.

There is the usual chorus of pinheads out there who are crying over the fact that they didn't just put a bullet in his head when they found him and call it a suicide, and some of our city police forces have shown an alarming tendency to shoot first, but I think doing so would not only be morally repugnant, but it would also be a lost opportunity.

I want to know why he did it, in his own words.

It is possible that he was just a paranoid, delusional twat who snapped. There is a lot of evidence that he was a gun-collecting libertarian who hated authority, but there is also some suggestion that this was a fairly recent development. People lash out for a reason. It may not be a sound or sane reason, nor even an especially good one, but I think that it is an important thing for us to learn. Letting him tell his story is not "giving him a platform" as some suggest, but giving the rest of us insight. At some level, we can learn important lessons from what he has to say.

The lesson might be something as simple as, "he was insane." or "He was systematically targeted and harassed by those in authority until he snapped." or "His best friend was unjustly killed by police who were later exonerated for no good reason." Regardless, I think that it is important for us to learn why.

In my opinion, when officers die in the course of their duties, it is better if it is for a bad reason than if it is for no apparent reason at all. At least bad reasons offer solutions.
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