22 Aug

With the coming of age, I’ve learned to accept a few things. Namely, I’ll never be in the majority and that said majority enjoy many things, such as public outrage and a fashion innovation known as “trousers”(and apparently ensure they’re hemmed).

Truly, I get it. TV programming doesn’t and won’t cater to a lass like me (Except for the bizarrely intriguing and smooth sounding Tom Piotrovski. Please, I beg of you, imagine him with erotically-themed Tourette’s. I pray every night they’ll cut to him only to hear him urgently chanting “Figging! Buttsecks! Felching FTSE100! And it’s back to you, Sandra. JIZZ!”) But there are times when even I am aghast at what gets on splattered onto the screen in a visceral splash.

As such, I dare say thousands switched over to the mawkishly calculated exercise in ghoulishness that was Crime Investigation Australia. Where they recreate “iconic” crimes from Australian history. You know, for shits and giggles.

At the time I flicked over out of boredom to see what was on. Primary colours, blood oozing, bludgeoning and a piercing scream that just would not stop. Socially acceptable snuff for suburbia.

I don’t want to experience by proxy of a person’s last anguished terrified moments in life. It’s not on my list of things to do along with voting Liberal, reading Jodi sodding Picoult or paying my bills on time. It’s not my favoured forms of entertainment.

We clamour to take part in the mourning sickness whereupon a populace heaves its breast in breathy histrionics over the death of removed but heavily documented celebrities, we scream indignantly and ask who will think of the children (but generally only the white ones). I’m struck with the feeling these people are seeking indignation rather than being truly horrified by what happened. But as they scream, there’s always that frisson of titillation, that need to share the goriest of blackest details. Normally this part of the conversation happens just before the impassioned Valkyrie call for capital punishment.

Is it sexual? Just slightly? Why do we share the details? Why do we seek them out? Why is it that crime novels are rushed and popular with a ravenous public? Why is it that the last button to push is being reached for quicker and longer? Why is it that the killing of one (or killings from one, as well) rate highly as entertainment consumables and news items than the killings of many (and the killings from many [or one nation], respectively)?

A friend recalled a psych experiment whereupon people registered greater rates of arousal to soft core porn after viewing violent imagery. It’s reminiscent of that Anais Nin short story of the furtive bout of anonymous public sex by the guillotine. It’s reminiscent of lurid fascination for gore during the emotionally austere and ultra-conservative Victorian era where every emotion was hidden for fear of offense bar deathly diversion.

I get the primal need to ponder how we can cloud and storm so very darkly as a species. I understand duality. Truly, I get the tumult against light and shadow. I understand the desperate frustrated need to “fix” things. But I don’t understand wallowing in the pain of others for nothing more than consumption over a packet of tim tams.

It’s times like these that I wish Kerry Packer would reanimate his capacious zombiefied self and get the show yanked midair. And then create a zombie dynasty. Just like the last one.

One Response to “Snuff”

  1. Lise August 24, 2007 at 2:42 am #

    *giggles childishly at ‘figging’*Hear hear, El Amoir. Unfortunately, I do fit the mass profile of those who are drawn in thwack-style to horror. And repulse myself with my own compulsion. Is there a fix? Please?

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