bigjohn

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Insensitive ‘snaps’ !

Posted by Big John on April 18, 2013

Having attended two family members’ funerals in recent months, I have to say that I would have been very upset and angry if someone had taken photographs of my grieving relatives and friends when they were showing understandable emotion, and then published them for the world to see; so I wonder how the late Margaret Thatcher’s family feels after the media’s gross intrusion into what should have been very private moments.

I’m afraid that showing people in distress is all too common these days, like when some idiot of a reporter sticks a microphone under some weeping woman’s nose and asks … “How do you feel now that you know your husband and children died in the crash” … or some other such crass question.

I suppose that it is just another part of the “recreational grief” or “mourning sickness” phenomenon which now prevails in this country, and which, when it comes to the ‘press’ coverage of some tragic events, is quite rightly described as …

… “Grief Porn” !

6 Responses to “Insensitive ‘snaps’ !”

  1. Katie said

    Grief Porn, One of the subjects I shout back to the TV about. How the heck do you think they feel? TV reporter. Saw it a lot with the Boston Marathon bombing. I want to know a lot about it but only when they have some new information.
    Katie atBankerchick Scratchings

  2. Rummuser said

    I would call it Grief Voyeurism.

  3. Once a family achieves fame or notoriety, it loses all rights to privacy, as many “celebs” have discovered to their cost, first courting publicity and then becoming enmeshed in it.

    Some families become permanent victims of the media – the Royal Family, for example – while others become victims only for the duration of one member’s fame. I imagine that with Thatcher’s funeral over and done with, her family will now quietly slide into obscurity again. The funeral, however, was a national and therefore media “event” and the family could not expect its privacy to be respected, at least within the frame of what was a very public ritual.

    There is another aspect to this which I think has been overlooked. Britain (and other “developed” nations) moved very quickly from life in small communities, where everyone knew everyone else and their business, to life in big cities where people often do not even know the names of their next door neighbours. We think we have become used to this but I suspect it entrains a certain feeling of alienation and isolation.

    In the small community, we participate in the joys and miseries of our neighbours and know all the intimate details. In the city, we are merely observers of events happening to strangers. Perhaps we have a hunger for the missing participation and try to fill the void by “owning” other people’s grief. A good example of that was the funeral of Princess Diana: thousands of people followed the cortege, threw flowers, wept openly, listened to the church service on loud-speakers, etc., as though they were attending the funeral of a close friend or family member.

    When the media obtrudes into people’s grief, we are repelled by their apparent insensitivity but fascinated by the details they reveal. How otherwise would we know enough about it in order to deprecate it? We criticise the media but we still read the newspaper or watch the TV interview. It is hypocritical to blame those who provide what we desire to consume.

  4. Big John said

    Welcome Katie, and thanks for the comment. My wife also does a lot of shouting at the TV. :-)

    Yes, Ramana, “Voyeurism” fits just as well.

    What you say is all very true ‘Tiger, and of course the Thatcher family must have expected to be photographed at such a ‘grand event’, but surely it was beyond all decency to subject them to such a “gross intrusion” as the “Mummy” shot on the front page of The Daily Mail !

  5. Grannymar said

    When The Baroness arranged the whole shindig, was she thinking of her children or her own glory? The whole thing was WAYYYYYYY! overboard and unfortunately we will have rerun after rerun at the close of the year.

  6. Ginnie said

    What has happened to our sense of respect and compassion? Maybe we never had it but that lack is so much more apparent in this electronic age. I agree that the public thrives on this “voyeurism” and of course that means more sales, more money to be had and thereby lies the culprit…GREED. It tops all other emotions and is a disgrace !

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