A chara, Your strident editorial on "new levels of thuggery" last week makes us consider again our attitudes to crime and violence in society in general.
You seem to be greatly surprised at the Ballybunion incident, but I for one am not. It goes without saying, and it's so obvious to all that for some time now, that we have been exposed to increasing levels of all kinds of sordid violence on television, the big screen and through computer games.
People have been conditioned and desensitised to the extent that their resolve is weakened and they see it as just part of life. A great contradiction exists in the manner in which the media as an institution treats the subject of violence with the result that the lines of demarcation between fact and fiction, good and evil have been blurred. This has culminated recently in the "success", if you can call it that, of the crime soap Love/Hate which by all accounts has a cult following.
This is quiet a new phenomenon here at least but a very dangerous development surely in that the portrayal of gratuitous violence is seen as entertainment in itself and its exponents are real heroes or celebrities and are being lauded and lionized by the free press everywhere in a completely uncritical way without any consideration of the consequences.
To put it another way, the very worst excesses of the criminal underworld in this country are deemed worthy and of merit to be recreated and represented to us ad nauseam and repeatedly on a Sunday night in the name of entertainment. They further tell us that up to one million people tune in to this offering, with all its lurid low life. I wonder who is counting anyway!
Now, is that the way to show real solidarity with the helpless victims of crime; to trade on their misery for career advancement and commercial success, to remind them of their traumatic experiences, and to glamourise those who wreaked havoc on their innocent lives?
Have much more to say, but editor expand your firing line and get real!
M ó Ríada,