The Cruelest Trend in Media
There is an over-used expression: You can’t imagine how bad it was.
We use that saying to describe terrible acting in a movie, an awkward social situation and even as a dramatic way to answer a friend asking how our day was. “Awful! You can’t imagine how bad.”
But there’s one time when the phrase is painfully accurate. What parents rarely admit and would never dare to speak out loud is that we literally prevent ourselves from even imagining what our lives would be like if we lost a child. Even when we are diligently playing out scenarios of the fourteen things that could go wrong at any given time, we shudder and pivot as soon as we get too deep down a dark thought. To stop for a moment and even slightly FEEL the possibility…we can’t. It’s too awful.
When teenage boys and girls are shot by police unworthy of the uniform, their most unflattering photos and mischievous anecdotes have been trotted out to build the case in the court of public opinion that they somehow had it coming. We as the public have allowed murdered kids to become political fodder because we fell for the idea that we were advancing an important and complicated discussion. What we were actually doing was accepting the notion that public execution is okay if you can somehow tell yourself that it would never happen to you or yours.
Taboos in the entertainment industry fell by the wayside years ago, but journalists – as some of them are quick to haughtily remind us – are supposed to have higher standards. So why are so many of them engaging in the newest cruel trend of torturing grieving parents who experienced the unimaginable.