The incident in Nice, France where a terrorist plowed into a Bastille Day crowd, killing (as of this writing) at least 84 people, crept up on me kind of like the terrorist attack last year in Paris did.
Late in the afternoon on Thursday, I saw on my Tweet Deck page that I use to keep track of the Big Brother season (which is often easier to crunch information to me than the feeds are) that there had been an incident in Nice. As is often the case with news out of France the past 20 years (Princess Diana’s death comes to mind), the news and the magnitude of what breaks is understated at first, or so it seems. Maybe something gets lost in the French to English translation?
Then around 6:30pm or so my time (US East coast time), the numbers came in that at least 60 were killed in the incident, with the number climbing through the night past 70, then past 80. That got my attention, sadly.
These incidents have gotten to point where the senseless killing has begun to desensitize me. Even the big US networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, an Fox) didn’t break into programming to provide coverage, whereas CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News carried it extensively. It reminds me of how the space shuttle launches back in the 80’s got so routine that they were barely covered anymore as news, and then the Challenger disaster happened in 1986, and everyone started caring again for the wrong reasons.
Terrorism has become routine. Even CNN’s anchors were saying last night something like, “80 dead in Nice, but let’s take a commercial break, and we’ll get right back to the breaking news.” Then they run those sad ASPCA commercials of pets crying out for care, love, and attention. Almost made ME want to cry, but not for the reasons and emotions that were being prompted out of me.
The question is, how and why did it get so routine, and are we fully aware of the dangers of sleepwalking through this sort of thing?