Genocide Getting You Down?

In no small part because of the Gitlin book I’ve been reading recently, I’ve recently been thinking a lot about the way that media gives us a cheap and easy way to get intense little bursts of feeling (which you might otherwise have to work pretty hard for) on command. I’ve been paying a lot of attention to my feelings as I am exposed to media.

Maybe I’m sensative because I don’t watch television and I don’t normally watch movies anymore either. I can’t remember the last time I went to a movie theater and I don’t think I’ve sat down to watch a movie since last September. Except on airplanes.

On the planes from New York City to Australia, I had the opportunity to watch a number of movies. I’ve read a good deal on the Rwandan genocide so I decided to check out Hotel Rwanda. The movie, like anything that deals with genocide, is a pretty emotional experience. Afterwards, a little drained, I looked through the movie choices for something more humorous and fun.

I value the ability to produce all sorts of information the right of people to choose from it. That said, I’m slightly worried by the fact that it’s so easy to say things like, "wow, this genocide stuff is getting me down, lets move on to something funny."