Beasts of Catharsis


The two stories that jump out at me this morning fit the binary math of broadcast news: rubberneck and feel good.

  1. Teenager Stabs Himself to Death on Stage

Fellow humans have taught me I’m supposed to experience “catharsis”, the Greek word meaning, as my high school Shakespeare teacher Mr. Duda taught me, “glad that ain’t me”.  I should judge this teenager for being selfish.  It wasn’t about him.  The people he “left behind” are more important.  Look at all they did for him … before he took his life.  Our “world class” health care system did its part.  He probably didn’t even pay his bill, so serves him right.  Why was he an artist?  It was just an open mic.  Looks like the music career he “tried” didn’t work out.  Why didn’t he go get a “good job”?  You know, as a salesperson or a lawyer.  Or a doctor.

2. UCLA Signs 9-Year Old Battling Brain Tumor

What do you mean hospitals like UCLA and USC follow a policy of patient dumping at Hollywood Bowl (after they got caught dumping downtown)?  My alma mater would NEVER do something like that!  Look, UCLA just signed a cancer kid!  What concussion?  Sports heals!  Especially if I get my spread this weekend!  What are you gonna tell me next, that my church rapes children?  That the electronics I’m using this very moment are built from raw materials stolen by child soldiers?  That our entire banking system is built on lies, fraud and crime?  Why can’t I just enjoy my $5 morning coffee and pretend everyone who feels the sun like I do now hasn’t a care in the world?  Why is that so wrong?

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