Clearly I’m missing something here. Modern culture can be airheaded, boneheaded and braindead, as I’m often prone to point out at these electronic pages and others have thoroughly diagnosed, but something recently made me wonder if we all might have underestimated how bad it is.
Even as Sophie Elliot’s murderer was preening himself in the witness box last week, the news media was covering him like the new hero of a “reality TV” show. And even as New Zealanders were crying out in disgust that “this murderous butcher was too evil to watch,” the same news broadcasts in which this bloody killer was allowed to star were advertising, guess what, a whole TV series in which the hero is a serial killer -- “a show about an unrepentant mass-murderer who mutilates his victims,” advertised as my friend David McGregor tells me with oh-so-clever lines like "Who put the Laughter into Slaughter" and "Who put the Fun in Funeral."
“Sick” doesn’t fully describe what that says about the culture. That such a show can be paid for, produced and advertised, and obviously finds an audience wide enough to appear at prime time on local TV says something bad about the culture which gives it house room. It’s bad enough that films and TV shows running short on plot ideas resort to having their protagonists hunt for a serial killer or two – in fact it’s almost a sign that you’re about to see something untouched by human minds – but a TV show in which we’re invited to empathise, sympathise and follow around the life, loves and adventures of a psychotic “thrill killer” must be some sort of sign we’re approaching rock bottom.
On this at least I’m with David. I mourn the loss of our civility.