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Of frenzy and indifference

Blog posts reflect the views of their authors.
Of frenzy and indifference
Brittany Diemer showed the ticket stub for the Dark Knight Rises Friday morning. She was in the theatre when a gunmen opened fire on moviegoers. (Karl Gehring/Courtesy The Denver Post)
Brittany Diemer showed the ticket stub for the Dark Knight Rises Friday morning. She was in the theatre when a gunmen opened fire on moviegoers. (Karl Gehring/Courtesy The Denver Post)
Twitter screen capture about #Aurora trending
Twitter screen capture about #Aurora trending
Facebook screen capture
Facebook screen capture

I’m sure that many of you who are parents here had the same reaction that I did when I heard this news. You know, my daughters go to the movies. What if Malia and Sasha had been at the theater, as so many of our kids do every day?

Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight, and I’m sure you will do the same with your children. But for those parents who may not be so lucky, we have to embrace them and let them know we will be there for them as a nation. – President Obama

 

If you strip away the P, you might have noticed that Barack Obama can relate to having a family. Better than any other US president. I might not have noticed this before but his statement after Trevon Martin was also very heart warming. And it hit the spot. I know he has speech writers, Im just saying.

I was hooked to the breaking news coverage today. It was like I was in my own newsroom monitoring the feeds, but this time it was different. I was in Toronto not Karachi. And I had time to recoup. Let me elaborate.

Being a news producer from a region where we had major shootings at least twice a week, I had become accustomed to coverage with blood. And somewhat desensitized. I remember asking the ‘death count’ everyday when I took over from a bulletin producer in the night. Then I would proceed to record all the death stories first with my anchor. It was like an unspoken rule. Mourning takes its toll, and we couldn’t as newsmen . Because then we wouldn’t be able to function. Breaking down is never an option. So I went about my life, where on an average, I would come across death stories related to drive-by shootings motivated by ethnicity, sectarian violence and sometimes just plain spite for the next person. Life in Karachi remained menial as we all drudged along to our work place every morning. Not the best of times.

What I have encountered lately is this rat race of being first. Be it as innocent as being popular on Twitter.

I realized the concept of mourning is different for different cultures. While a paramedic brother of a victim refers to his sister’s death humbly and in a very professional manner, others seem to enjoy the attention. And the rest of the world indulges itself into the whys of everything – just like the post you’re reading. Conveniently forgetting the other dozen odd departed souls and over 60 injured.

The conversation moves on the NRA pundits and what not. Ofcourse the fact that the shooter, Holmes enrolled in the Ph.D. neuroscience program at the University of Colorado-Denver in 2011 and was in the process of withdrawing, does seem to not interest anyone. Not good TV yet. Im sure Fox News will dig up a nice story about him as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if they connect him to Al-Qaieda.

And there was the normal banter between several smaller networks where they encouraged each other to not let this ‘event’ keep them away from the movies, as that would be succumbing to the culprits. Maybe they were just trying to relate to Kahlil Gibran . The rest of the lot is trying find the facebook page of Mr. Holes in hopes of sharing their emotions.  Needless to say not all J.Homes are our killer. (see facebook screen capture)
 
Cant help but feel this should not just be a race.  Why be indifferent and realize there is always a way to prevent bloodshed. Which we will find out in a few days or hours after talking to Mr. Holmes. And why he felt disenfranchised enough to go through such an elaborate killing frenzy.
 
Meanwhile here’s to hoping for intellect and compassion.
 

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azfarrizvi (Azfar Rizvi)
Toronto
Member since Août 2012

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Rizvi is an award-winning multi-platform media producer who has delivered content for several national and international networks. Apart from producing news and teaching broadcast journalism, Rizvi has also collaborated with non-profits over the past few years delivering compelling digital advocacy campaigns and films. Rizvi started his career in 2001 as a producer and presenter with the state-owned English radio network FM-101. In 2003, he segued into News and Factual television. http://azfarrizvi.com/ https://www.facebook.com/rizvi.azfar https://twitter.com/AzfarRizvi

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