Monday, January 17, 2011

Dear NY Times: Just So You Know:

Dear NY Times: Just So You Know:

Once again today, you've sunk to the quite slimy level of parading the leering grin of a mass murderer on your electronic front page.

You purport to provide useful insight into the murderer's mind; something we should all crave.

But in fact, you're just selling advertising.

I'll tell you exactly what's behind the grin- he's smirking at YOU; very specifically; because he's won. You're giving him everything he ever dreamed about.

Immortality. His picture on the front of the New York Times. You are his puppets. You are, in reality, the reason for his insanity, and the deaths he caused.

I, however, am not his pawn, or yours; and this is to inform you that each time I find his photo on your pages, or any other snuff porn pandering to all of humanity's worst sides; I turn you right off.

I close your website-and any others that do the same- and do not visit again for the next 2 days. You're going to lose several fractions of a penny from your advertisers; which should horrify you.

Oh, and, I'm passing this on.


Aimee said...

I'm not sure if I agree. Yes - the sheer delight and triumph beaming out of the killer's face in his mugshot is quite shocking, and certainly it seems clear that this notoriety is just what he craves. However, it is also true that the man is as crazy as a bedbug - a paranoid schizophrenic, most likely - and the face of mental illness should not be suppressed.

Speaking as a nurse with a special interest in public health, I have to say I am saddened not just at the pathetic state of mental health services in this country (if anyone had tried to get Laughton services, there is a snowball's chance in hell they would have succeeded), but also at the public's appalling ignorance. Serious mental illnesses including depression, bi-polar disease, schizophrenia, and other disorders affect some 5 to 10% of the population, depending how they are counted. Most likely, everyone reading this knows someone affected by mental illness - their own a family member's.

Knowing the symptoms is important - but so is seeing the faces. I'm not saying you have to have sympathy for this particular individual (though sympathy is a positive value), but everyone should have sympathy for those afflicted by mental illness and their families in general, and be moved to support communal mental health services.

The vast majority of schizophrenics are not dangerous to anyone except themselves, in the sense that they cannot care for themselves effectively. However, we need to put into a pl;ace a system capable of identifying and caring for the exceptions, both for their own sakes and for ours.

Anonymous said...

Hurray, Greenpa! I feel exactly the same way.

Lauren said...

Oh, that we all had the fortitude and presence of mind to turn away from the media garbage! I'll shut down my NYT ap as well.

Greenpa said...

Aimee- I'm not opposed to those who need to know keeping on their toes; it's the long public orgies, which I talked about before here after a "school shooting"

I do think it's abundantly clear that many of these disturbed people GET these ideas from the publicity; and are greatly, often entirely - motivated by the attention they know they will get.

Not giving it to them, I contend, would save many lives.

Professional bulletins and discussions among health staff and police are one thing- what we do now, is something very different, and culturally, deeply unhealthy.

Aimee said...

those are very good points, Greenpa. I agree with you that there is an element of pornography in the prolonged wallowing.

Olivia said...

As a Canadian, where the right to carry guns is not enshrined in the constitution, I am constantly amazed at the outrage Americans express when a mass shooting occurs.

What do you expect? Guns kill. Guns kill animals. Guns kill people. Guns kill. Allow people to carry guns and, sooner or later, people are going to be killed.


Sorry. I guess it's a cultural thing. I don't get it.

I don't know anyone who ever owned a gun. This is foreign territory to me.

But this guy is obviously very ill. I don't believe he is after notoriety - maybe I am naive but I just believe he is very, very ill. Who really knows what transpires in a psychotic mind?

I suppose I am naive but I just don't think that lives are going to be saved as long as people are allowed to walk around carrying guns.

But then, I am not an American and I concede that I may never understand this.

tickmeister said...

Olivia, the right to be armed is enshrined in the US constitution to minimize the chance that we will be slaughtered by the millions by a rogue government. If you would like examples of what I am referring to , read the 20th century history of Germany, Russia, China, Cambodia, etc. You and I have had the good fortune to live our lives to date under benign rulers who only wish to take some of our property. I pray that this never changes, but if it does, you will go to your mass grave unarmed and helpless. I may also, but possibly the thought of 60 million armed citizens will stay the hand of a potential oppressor.

The death of 35,000 people per year is the price we pay to drive down the road at a high rate of speed. It is sickening, but we pay it seemingly without question. The death of maybe 1/100th that many people is part of the price we pay to live free. This also is sickening, but we pay it.

Olivia said...


Hmmm . . . I have a hard time believing that some foreign invader is going to come marching en masse into the US, guns a-blazing for some massive shoot out but . . . I suppose, mathematically speaking, there is some minute possibility??

My Dad and his brothers all fought in the Second World War but, if I remember correctly - bombs were the weapon of choice.

And would lowering the speed limit really limit your freedom that much?

tickmeister said...

Missed my point entirely. Not talking about invaders. I'm talking about our own governments. Remember, Hitler was elected.

Also missed my point about cars. Speed is not the issue. We use them, they kill us. We pay that price for the convenience.

As to your dad and uncles, did they not carry rifles?

Maria Barker said...


No, lowering our speed limit would not in the least decrease our freedom, what little we have left after our Bush administration.

What lowering our limits WOULD do, is increase our gas mileage greatly. Obviously something to be avoided at all costs! LOL.

Maria Barker said...


Tickmeister is not afraid of a foreign power, but our own government. The mass graves he referred to were not soldiers' graves, but the citizenry genocide that occurred under despotic regimes.

I think maybe he (she?) would feel something else if he were really the one paying the price of that freedom, or one of his loved ones. When he says "we pay the price" he does not really mean it. If he had paid the price, he would not be able to comment here.

I do own a gun, but I am not for universal gun ownership rights. I believe that we don't have the right to own a gun that we are unwilling to be responsible for. Too many of us are all about our rights, and not enough about our own responsibilities to ensure others are not deprived of their rights.

This is all connected, and that is difficult to see for some people.
Mental health is a health care issue, and many are terrified of us having a reasonable focus on health care. Supposedly, we all have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Many don't want to compromise gun ownership liberty, or fast driving liberty, so they compromise someone else's right to life. We demand cheap prices above all else, but expect our jobs to stay here in our country. Outsourcing came from demand for cheap. Outsourcing came from our insistance that business can run rampant over all. Still is going on under Obama, even as we digest what Bush did to us.

We want the right to be ignorant, we demand to not know what Monsanto is. Very soon, we will have no more real food, or any food at all if the suicide gene gets out into nature, and it will.

Our government, by the way, is co-owner of that gene.

I personally believe that the right we hold closest and dearest to our hearts, is the right to be insane. And maybe that is the reason we don't want to look at the Tucson killer's face. Too accurate a mirror?

Just a thought.

tickmeister said...

I paid a price two years ago when my grandson shot and killed himself. My own life would not be a great price, as i am convinced that when I die my troubles will be over.

I understand why many fear private gun ownership. I don't understand why so many do not fear government gun ownership. An individual may kill you or a dozen others. Governments routinely kill millions. You can't disarm them, so why disarm youself?

I have said about all I care to about this topic. I have always believed and expect to continue to believe that you don't need a gun if you are content to be a subject and live at the whim of others. If you want to live free, you will need to be armed. That of course is not sufficient, but it is necessary. If present trends continue, personal freedom will soon be a fading memory and the topic will be moot.

Anonymous said...

Is there any possibility open to a species so gifted, splendid and miraculous as Homo sapiens that could liberate us from breeding ourselves into extinction?