A Sad State

Updated: July 20, 2012

By RU Rob

This afternoon, the Rhino Den writing staff and I were engaged in an email conversation about the tragic situation in Aurora, Colorado.  During the discussion there was mention of a related article published by the Onion, a satirical news organization known for its off-beat and always satirical news stories.  I read the article expecting to find a completely unrelated mockery of the situation, but instead found myself drawn in and amazed at the truthfulness of the piece even though it was a complete farce.  As I sat back and digested it, I came to a realization…we live in a very bad state of existence.

The piece starts out: “Americans across the nation confirmed today that, unfortunately, due to their extreme familiarity with the type of tragedy that occurred in a Colorado movie theater last night, they sadly know exactly how the events following the horrific shooting of 12 people will unfold.”

The first thought in my mind is “Holy crap. They’re going there already when the haze left by the smoke grenades has barely cleared?”

But then I kept reading.

“I hate to say it, but we as Americans are basically experts at this kind of thing by now,” said 45-year-old market analyst Jared Gerson, adding that the number of media images of Aurora, CO citizens crying and looking shocked is “pretty much right in line with where it usually is at this point.” “The calls not to politicize the tragedy should be starting in an hour, but by 1:30 p.m. tomorrow the issue will have been politicized. Also, I wouldn’t be surprised if the shooter’s high school classmate is interviewed within 45 minutes.”

Remember, this is a fake story. Not even a hint at truth to be found in here, right? Or is there?

“According to the nation’s citizenry, calls for a mature, thoughtful debate about the role of guns in American society started right on time, and should persist throughout the next week or so. However, the populace noted, the debate will soon spiral out of control and ultimately lead to nothing of any substance, a fact Americans everywhere acknowledged they felt “absolutely horrible” to be aware of.”

Well, we ARE in an election year.

“With scalpel-like precision, the American populace then went on to predict, to the minute, how long it will take for the media to swarm Aurora, CO, how long it will take for them to leave, and exactly when questions will be raised as to whether or not violence in movies and video games had something to do with the act.”

It’s really starting to click now.  How many times in the past have horrendous situations been covered in the media just as they describe?  Has the 24-hour news cycle really become that predictable?  Even as I knew, without a doubt, that this fake news story was just that, it was creating a parallel to every major news story I could remember. I was getting sucked into the reality of this piece.

”The nation’s citizens also confirmed that, any time now, some religious figure or cable news personality will say something unbelievably insensitive about the tragic shooting.”

No shit. Sure enough, my twitter account started going crazy over some d-bag who used the hash-tag #Aurora to sell some celebrity inspired dress.

 Sick?  Yes.  Predictable? It is now.

“Unfortunately, I’ve been through this a lot, and I pretty much have it down to a science when President Obama will visit Colorado, when he will meet with the families of those who lost loved ones, and when he will give his big speech that people will call ‘unifying’ and ‘very presidential,'” Jacksonville resident Amy Brennen, 32, said, speaking for every other person in the country. “Nothing really surprises me when it comes to this kind of thing anymore. And that makes me feel terrible.”

At this point I am thinking to myself: ”Thursday, July 26, 2012 the President will be in Colorado.”

I am sickened by the correctness of this entire piece, but the worst part is its soul-shaking conclusion.

“Oh, and here’s another thing I hate I know,” Brennen continued, “In exactly two weeks this will all be over and it will be like it never happened.”

Wow. How true and how incredibly sad is our news cycle, state of caring, and overall give-a-shit meter for anything other than the next story that we will just toss aside the shattered lives of the hundreds of family and friends lost today?

It’s the same reason why Soldiers killed overseas no longer garners the media attention they once did and the death of the second highest decorated Solider in history, COL Robert Howard, gets almost no press.  It just isn’t news anymore. This is the country with the highest standard of living, median income, and charitable donations in the world. Yet we treat a triple murder-suicide with less interest than a cold hollandaise sauce on eggs benedict that gets sent back and tweeted as “a shitty start to my day.”

Humans in America are simply expendable. By the way…seen that movie yet? It fucking rocks!

To view the entire article by the Onion click here.





  1. James Williams

    July 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Wow… that is almost exactly what we can expect.

  2. SPC

    July 21, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    What. The. Fuck.

  3. Quickburn

    July 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm


  4. RU Rob

    July 22, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Well I guess I was wrong. The President is traveling to Colorado today, 7/22. I guess it was just too much of an opportunity.

  5. Jeff Ousley

    July 23, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Well said, Rob. An all counts.

  6. Johnny Applesauce

    December 15, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I wonder how accurately this will apply to the recent incident in Connecticut. Sigh.

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