A Nation Full of Rage

As I drove into town this morning to start my workday, I had the “pleasure” of listening to Tony Kornheiser froth at the mouth over gun control and how we needed a lot more of it. His anger was a palpable thing, you could feel it streaming out of the speakers, a hate-filled haze that made it hard to see straight. His rage sparked my own. I was not alone in my frustration; our culture of rage has overtaken us. I could feel Tony’s haze affecting my own mental state and I reached up and pushed shut the dial and opened the windows to let the fresh air in.

We’ve gone past the disbelief of Monday’s intense tragedy. We’ve settled firmly into the rage that our media-driven culture engages in us. Our media does not inform as a primary purpose, nor does it seek to enlighten, but rather to polarize and stigmatize, to make us feel that same rage that talk radio does. Everyone want’s someone’s head today.

Stop it.

Stop the recriminations.

Stop the anger and the need for fire. Instead, grieve the victims. Grieve for Reema Samaha, who grew up in Chantilly. Grieve for Mary Read, who grew up in Annandale. Grieve for Leslie Sherman, who grew up in Springfield. They are the tragedy here. Do not focus on the gunman, or the weapons he used, or who he bought them from. Do not press blame where blame does not lay. Grieve.

For all of us.

7 Comments so far

  1. Wayan (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 11:26 am

    Anger Management Step 1: turn off the radio

  2. Frank (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 12:07 pm

    I’m sorry, but I couldn’t disagree more. Mr. K did not even sound close to enraged, he just sounded kind of PO’d and a bit angry. I don’t think he lost his temper at all, even though he (as most of us are) was obviously upset, and wanted to express his opinion (on his show) about what he can take from this experience. Maybe it wasn’t as touching as 2 hours of grieving, or there were other sentiments to express, but it was a legitimate feeling and belief and discussion that can come out of the tragedy.

    Tony is not a news source; he’s a talking head. We already have the information available to us (via the Post, etc.), and it is his job to discuss what he thinks/feels about it. He chose to view it from a gun control perspective, and I think he did a pretty classy job of it.

  3. Joseph J. Finn (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 12:10 pm

    I grieve, and I rage

    “Do I contradict myself?
    Very well then I contradict myself,
    (I am large, I contain multitudes.)”

    – Walt Whitman

  4. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 12:16 pm

    Sorry, Frank, Tony was raging. He was at his angry, sarcastic, condescending best. The guy had a whole head of steam. The problem with modern news, Frank, is that it’s become nothing BUT talking heads. CNN, Fox, MSNBC, they’re all cults of personality, but we treat them like media outlets. I was expecting better from the Post with their morning host.

    And classy? Tony K? You’re joking, right?

  5. Mike (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 12:39 pm

    Switch to NPR. It’s always rage-free, at least during the hours I listen.

  6. Frank L (unregistered) on April 18th, 2007 @ 4:25 pm

    Well, classy for Tony, I thought :)

    And you’re right there is a glut of Talking Heads on TV and radio etc. But I tend to get my news from NPR/The Paper/or straight of Reuters or something, limiting myself to just a handful of David Byrne wannabies.

    The rage thing is debatable, at points he was angrier than others. While he certainly didn’t display the decorum of a Olberman, he wasn’t even close to a guy like O’Reilly or Limbaugh. Maybe because he doesn’t take callers, the opportunity to abuse them is minimized (which I would give him credit for making that kind of decision).

    Feinstien was on David Byrd before that, and HE raged on the phone. In two minutes on the phone he spewed forth a thousand times the anger that TK did in the two hours today. Maybe rage is relative, or more to your point, I’m desensitized to a certain amount of rage?

    Either way, when you’re out raging on your bike tonight….

  7. Cara (unregistered) on April 19th, 2007 @ 9:51 am

    How about the ABC news last night, in which the reporters irresponsibly noted that if the two girls who filed complaints against Cho for harrassing them had gone so far as to file a restraining order, he would have been prevented from buying the guns… If either of those girls heard that news report, they’re going to feel as though they somehow are to blame for not preventing this from happening. Like a shooter couldn’t find another way of getting a gun. Terrible reporting…that kind of news can’t possibly help anyone or add anything to the story. It’s shameless, in my opinion.

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