Thursday, August 29, 2013

Best location in the nation

The television 'news' is repetitive:  fire, car wreck, shooting (often deadly), fire, car wreck, shooting (often deadly)... O.K., that was on Monday, on Tuesday it was deadly shooting, deadly shooting, fire, car wreck, on Wednesday it was storm warning, more storm warning, fire, drunken ball player has a car wreck, storm warning, on Thursday it is storm aftermath, fire, storm aftermath... Not only on local news in your American city, but local news in many American cities, and often the national news. Of course, the local news has to cheer lead, and have the local fun story of moral uplift, so we have a brand new retail development going up on Deqp Street, and the East Meadowbrook police will have a 5K walk for Joey. And the worst is: we will have a makeover for a new mom, followed by which vegetable clears those oily facial blemishes, and Ashley will try out the latest smart phone from Acme Gadgets.

But sometimes, a story that really is news happens locally. 2207 Seymour. This was covered in Cleveland. Again, and again, television reporters standing on Seymour, complained of tourists coming by to gawk and take photographs at the now empty building. How much did they add by doing the same? and they brought vans with large telescoping aeriel antennae. The news reader in the studio could have done the report. But no, bring out the crew before or after an event and stand there and impede, or just stand there in pointless isolation, as is often the case with so many other stories 'breaking' or not.

Back to the story:

The three girls suffered horribly. In certain respects, they had their lives taken away from them. They were dungeon concubines to a cruel psychopath. How can they experience peace?

The story became immediate world lead story. British Broadcasting had it front and center, the first item i read (concerning it) was from Agence France-Press. At the time (probably currently), there are several gruesome world stories with hundreds dead. The visceral denouement of this particular sad tale has caught everyone's attention. It was something beyond the usual, it was splashed across the television just as the latest shenanigans of the latest popular (and often pointless) show business performer, or side show act; but it was not some gaudy superfluous fluff, it was of a deep tragic intensity that touched on the existential moral depravity of what man could do against man (in this case, against slight young women that could be easily physically terrorised). The world saw an easily grasped episode of the problem of evil. It was not the world shaking evil of a Hitler or other diabolic demagogue, it was the evil of an insignificant man that could do his evil in anonymity.

Charles Ramsey, and the other forgotten neighbor (Angel Cordero) who saved the girls were Good Samaritans. They, the girls, and the monster are all Clevelanders. We have around us: the good, the suffering, and the evil.

postscriptum: Ariel Castro was found hanging in his prison cell on the evening of 3 September 2013. Locally, at a few minutes past midnight, WOIO-19 broke into CBS programming to break the news. They had a reporter in front of the vacant lots, which belonged to Castro and previously had houses on them. Another reporter was enroute to the prison. They continued, and continued. The other local stations, did not do this.

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