22 September 2011

They Found A Body

I turned on the news for the first time in a fortnight, to catch myself up on happenings and doings in the world, at home and abroad.  I guess I learned something, but it took very little time for me to regret the decision, just a bit.  They found a body, you see, another lost soul in the woods.

I realize this type of news is not really a surprise.  I should not be taken aback by that which is so commonplace as to be near background chatter.  At least, when the body in question does not appear to be rich and famous, or involved in a scandal, or running a government.  Or all of those.  The reporters droned on in a near monotone, inflection hardly changing as they went through the copy on the teleprompter.  Was that boredom I heard?  Ennui?  A hint of exasperation at having to read yet another story about yet another apparent victim of foul play?  Maybe.  It sure sounded like it.

So they read the story, and I'm waiting for the...punch line?...tag line?...the thing that is going to tell me why this is significant enough that it must be reported on the evening news.  Just like that, they are done.  Then it was "Sports, up next!".  I stopped what I was doing and stared at the television.  They had just reported on a dead body found in the woods, and all they said, in essence, was 'dead body found in woods'.

No name.  No circumstances.  Nothing.  Even the police hadn't released a name.  Next-of-kin notification came into play, yes, but why not tell the kin before putting it out there on the evening news?  The report was remarkably information-free.  If the point was to make people aware so they could come forward if they knew something, the attempt was a failure.

I feel a little diminished that a human being has perished through violence; barbarism of that sort diminishes us all.  At the same time, the blandness and anonymity of the story makes me think there are times where it isn't worth reporting at all, at least not until more is known.  I no longer wish to have little pieces of me eroded by a corporate approach to life, that reduces the death of a person to mere data.

Body found in woods.  But they didn't find a name, and I still wonder who knows it.


  1. At times I wish I had not watched or read the news, it can be so bleak at times...we moved to St Louis and the first week I saw a headless female body was found at a bus stop. Down right scary and sad...

  2. สติ สมาธิเท่านั้นที่สามารถยับยั้งสิ่งที่เลวร้ายแม้แต่ที่ว่าความรักที่ไม่ถูกต้อง

  3. Right there with you. I can't handle watching the news. My son used to be friendly with a kid whose mom and dad worked as local news anchors. Spending time with those folks in person really unnerved me. Their self importance and insincerity... ack. Their kid was nice tho.

  4. One of the Best and least expected side-effects of living where you don't really speak the language is not listening to or understanding the news.
    We do watch World news, BBC etc but there is less ( if this is possible) murder and mayhem when they have to narrow it down to the World and not just a town or city.
    I grew up friends with a boy whose father was a news caster ( more like Tom Browkaw or Peter Jennings used to be ..) they were very down to earth and nice .. I guess the times changing made that difference ..

  5. blood is becoming cheaper year by year.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...