Recent events in Tucson, Arizona and Toronto, Ontario, have got me thinking. (God, I’ve got to stop doing that–I don’t control the world and would like to meditate, not think for a change). Six dead in Arizona, and most people are spinning their words for effect (even Obama, though he was magnificent). I’ve been posting on Facebook about the extreme reaction to the loss of a heroic police officer to a deranged man driving a snowplow. Yes, he was a hero. Yes, his loss was tragic. But the chief of police in Toronto has been grabbing headlines, capitalizing on the tragedy. Chief Blair has been under attack ever since the assembled Canadian Armed Police Forces terrorized Toronto during the G20 summit last summer. Do you think he’d miss an opportunity to bring everyone back for a demonstration of how wonderful our men and women police are? Sorry, but someone is paying for all these police to come to Toronto for the funeral. Hey, that someone is the Canadian taxpayer. The very thought of thousands of police in Toronto on the same day scares me.
When I began this, I was thinking about the poor, miserable schmucks who started these tragedies. Somehow both men descended into an abyss of powerlessness that could only be solved by taking the wheel of a snowplow or by shooting a gun. Gratuitous violence surrounds us on television, in the movies. And it’s usually some disempowered schmuck racing through the streets with police on his tail. Is life imitating media or is media inspiring violence?