Tragedy Surfing

I was just watching the news.  Being home sick is the pits, I am told to rest, since I can’t sleep, I watch TV.


I flip back and forth using the TV remote to surf.  I don’t do this because there are so many exciting and worthwhile programs; it’s because of the inane commercials.


I hate commercals.


So this afternoon I was sitting on my favorite leather chair watching both the news and CSI.


The news was predominantly about the murders at Virginia Tech.  They are currently working on different theories why he did it, how the school could let it happen, and who is responsible, what can be done to prevent if from happening again someplace else.


The TV show “CSI” was about a man who died in an airplane at 30,000’. He was beaten to death and the crime scene experts were trying to assess who was responsible.


Back to the news, some of the families believe that the dean of the school should be fired.  For what reason was not made clear.  Also it seems that the news media cant come to terms with the idea that one person can kill so many in such a short time that the police couldn’t intervene. 


On CSI it was reveled, after much scientific exploration, that the killer was in fact 6 people in the plane.  The victim was acting strange and the other passengers assumed that he was some kind of jerk or asshole.  Then he panicked and went for the door, that’s when the mob attacked and killed him.  They were motivated by fear, that he would open the door of the airplane and suck everyone into the sky.  No single person was responsible; no one could be identified as landing the fatal blow.


Back to the news program, it is reveled that the other students thought Cho Seung-Hui’ acted strange for weeks before, and he talked to no one.  Also, administrators at the school were aware that he had mental issues. 


On CSI the investigative teem is quite upset.  It seems that no one is going to be prosecuted for the man’s murder.  Not enough evidence and the accused were claiming ‘self defense’ were sited as reason for the murder. This doesn’t sit well with the CSI crew; they didn’t pull a 24 hour shift just to find out that no one is guilty. 


I turned off the news and went back to CSI and stayed there.  Not because I didn’t want to learn more, but because it was going into a predictable pattern. 



Blame seeking.

Analyzing every aspect looking for answers.


The next phase will be memorializing the dead and giving out medals to the heroes.

After that, it will be politicizing the whole event to further one agenda or another.

Then lastly the snakes will come in and slime the whole affair.  Lawyers will look for money, and the religious will seek recruits, and books will be written about the killer.


Its at the end of the program, the CSI investigators are asking each other if they were on the plane would they kill, to protect themselves, if someone went nuts and tried to open the door?.  Some said they would, others said they could not kill, some were on the fence, but all were passionate with their views.


Then Grissom came in…


SARA: What do you think, Grissom? 

GRISSOM: I can’t answer that question. 

CATHERINE: That’s a cop-out. It’s a simple question. What would you have doneif you had been one of those passengers? 

GRISSOM: It’s not about that. You all have different opinions but you’ve takenthe same point of view. You’ve put yourself in the shoes of the passengers, butnobody’s put themselves in the shoes of the victim. That’s the point. 

SARA: I’m sorry. What are you saying? 

GRISSOM: Nobody stopped to ask Candlewell if he was all right. They justassumed, because he was kicking the back of Nate’s seat, that he was a jerk —because he was pushing his call button that he was bothering the FlightAttendant — because he was trying to get into the lavatory he was making ascene — because he was going back and forth up and down the aisles, he wasposing a threat.     

CATHERINE: He was a threat. 

GRISSOM: No. He turned into a threat. It didn’t have to be that way. Peoplemake assumptions. That’s the problem. You just did. And I think thesepassengers made the wrong assumption and now this guy’s dead. 

WARRICK: Well, if that’s your stance how could it have been prevented? 

GRISSOM: If just one person had stopped and taken the time to look at the guyto listen to him, to figure out what was wrong with him it might not havehappened. It took five people to kill him. It would have only taken one personto save his life. 


We are all looking for answers.  I have a child (man) in College right now and wonder how he is coping with the news. When I see him this weekend I will make it a point of asking.



I don’t have any insight or answers to what happened in Virginia.  If I said I did, I would be as arrogant as those on the news who are quick to label, judge and make policy. 

Sometimes there are no good answers, good guys lose; laws are broken, innocent people die.


I simply found it interesting that CSI was on this particular subject at the same time I was watching the news.


The experience makes me wonder:

How many other people are out there walking on the edge,  silently crying for help? 

How many crazy wack-jobs are in college instead of a padded cell?

How many people know wack-job, but don’t tell anybody?


How many incidences like this have been prevented by one person asking “Are you ok, can I help?”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: