It’s probably time for a topic round up again. This is a corralling of diverse stories that got so much mainstream media attention that no back-story or context is required. If I talk about the Pulse nightclub massacre, you know exactly what I mean.
Two CBC TV items give me hope. The Sunday Talk panel debated the question of whether the non-stop naming of the shooter by the media feeds into the sick need some psychopaths have for star status, even if posthumous. The consensus emerged that we, the people, are fascinated by evil and the media is only providing us with information we crave. But should every available photo of the guy be shown repeatedly? Should this story and every minute detail of his life and his name fill hours of airtime? I’m choosing not to name him.
In the context of the inevitable gun control debate that follows these massacres and frankly, makes most Canadians shake their heads, came the second glimmer of hope. There is now a class action lawsuit in the discovery phase of the long legal process. Some survivors of the twenty children and six adults killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting nearly four years ago have brought the suit against the manufacturer of the AR-15 semi-automatic weapon used by that shooter. The hope is that, like in the landmark tobacco industry suits of the 1990s, there will be an internal information trail that proves the manufacturer knew their product was a danger to the community. Let’s hope we’re still alive when this thing eventually hits a courtroom.
On a more light-hearted note, have you seen the YouTube video of an eighth grader giving his school’s graduation speech? He gets his message of summary and congratulations across using impersonations of President Obama and several of the candidates. He is surprisingly good in capturing the voices, mannerisms, and pet topics of the people who have monopolized the airwaves for the better part of a year. I especially loved his Bernie Sanders. I fully expect this kid to be on the late night show circuit any day now. Apparently he’s said he either wants to be a comedian or the president whereas Trump is trying to be buffoon and president.
On the Canadian home front, the big story is the assisted-dying bill that has now made its way through the House of Commons and the Senate to become law. There will, no doubt, be a court challenge because those who are suffering unbearably but for whom death is not imminent have been excluded. Requiring two independent witnesses and medical opinions are meant as safeguards. Apparently the issue regarding people suffering form dementia and other degenerative diseases will be revisited within two years.
I know some people who consciously avoid the news. As flawed and superficial as coverage sometimes is, I can’t imagine not knowing what’s going on. So consider this a PSA (public service announcement) of three trending stories. You’re welcome, from where I sit!
Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.