Televised Suicide

We are all guilty. Just admit it. We love police chases.

We don’t know why the guy’s running. We don’t care. But we love to see them fly.

We know the inevitability. Eventually that bomb of a car or pickup is going to run out of gas or get hit with spike strips. There might even be sparks from the rims when the tires blow.

At some point, the car will be made immobile and our man will have to get on his feet and run.

Most of the time, the cops end up subduing him in a flying tackle or buzz from a Taser.

Sometimes, our guy just refuses to give in.

News crews tracked a man in a chase on September 28.  After realizing he was not going to make it, Jodon Romero decided to get out of his Dodge Caliber. After pacing around he stopped, held a gun to his head, pulled the trigger and then fell to the sand.

We all saw it.

The anchor tried to cut it off. But it was too late.

Now comes the righteous indignation: Our civilization is degrading before our eyes! There’s no decency anymore! We are soaked in a cesspool of cultural excrement!

Aloud we say: Why does the media have to sensationalize? This is ridiculous! This is vile! This is not news!

The problem is not the media. The public has made it clear that it enjoys police chases. We don’t mind watching the pursuit, just so long as everyone goes home safe and the guy is arrested.

Life, and news, doesn’t happen that way. We watch football. We see the hits. We see the injuries. But every once in awhile, someone gets hit the wrong way and suffers a severe concussion or worse, a paralyzing injury. We accept that because it’s the nature of football right? You have 200-pound guys running as fast as they can and slamming into each other. People gonna get hurt.

Then why can’t we see that when someone is trying to outrun police, they may be in a desperate state and they possess a capacity for extreme action whether its suicide or opening fire towards the officers? You can’t sanitize real life. When you’re watching something visceral, don’t be surprised when it escalates quickly into the grotesque. And don’t blame the people you turned to in order to watch it all.

Don’t judge the media when the real human drama behind the steering wheel becomes unhinged and explodes.

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