April 15th, 2013

3 min read

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JoeRuff's avatar
So this is an essay I wrote last time something really horrible happened, and tonight after a few drinks I finished it.

December 17th, 2012

So I'm sitting in Panera, eavesdropping on a nearby table as they talk
about the recent tragedy in Connecticut. There's one guy and two
girls, all in their mid twenties, all quite good looking and all quite
stereotypically dumb.

You can tell some people are idiots just by the sound of their voice.

I hear them cycle through just about every talking point they've
recently seen on the news. Informing each other of all the new grisly
developments, in grisly detail. They even take a minute to bash the
insensitivity of the media, ignoring the fact that they've been eating
this shit up for 36 hours and counting.

I'm torn between my anger with the press for giving this psychopath
exactly the kind of national attention he was looking for and outrage
at the public for their endless appetite for such stories. Chicken or
the egg, I suppose.

The guy at the table hasn't said much. If I had to guess, he's just
trying to figure out a way to get the two girls into bed at the same

It occurs to me now at the ripe old age of twenty-three that, "growing
up" is a great big joke. We hope that with the arrival of Adulthood we
will be bestowed with some great wisdom. Some previously untapped pool
of knowledge that will make the right decisions abundantly and forever
clear, both for ourselves and the world at large. We rest easy in the
knowledge that the grown ups are in charge and therefore everything
will be okay. What we learn however is that the very idea of the adult
is a great illusion, put forth by a bunch of new parents who were and
have always been figuring it out as they went along.

Some people figure out more than others.

The girls have soon moved onto complaining about the parents of their
dance students who apparently are all so fucking stupid and more or
less settle on the fact that the whole world is against them and it's
becoming an increasingly cantankerous adversary.

They soon get up to leave, and I once again pretend to be very
interested in my paper coffee cup. The guy throws a casual arm around
the girl on his right, then a few steps later reaches for the girl on
his left.

I watch them stroll through the parking lot, their steps in unison and
I hope it all works out for him.

In this world, it would be comforting to know that at least someone
got everything they wanted.

Another table sits down and you can probably guess what they're talking about.
© 2013 - 2021 JoeRuff
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Chickenman-16's avatar
I'm not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to stuff like this (I have no idea what happened on the 15th), but I'm kinda confused about the message behind this post. Can you explain?

You said that the fact that the public has an appetite for these kind of stories upsets you. I understand how they're giving (from what it seems, a murderer) publicity, but is it wrong to fell bad or shocked when you hear about people getting killed on the news and stuff? I don't know maybe that not what you're saying. Hope you answere!
JoeRuff's avatar
Yesterday, someone set off bombs at the Boston Marathon. Most of this essay was written a few days after a school shooting in Connecticut. It's perfectly normal to feel bad and shocked when something horrible happens, but people also get a kind of thrill from hearing fucked up stories, and they want to talk about them endlessly.

The news actually did a walkthrough, where they explained how and where every one of the 20 people who died in Connecticut were killed, and I just can't figure out how that's something anyone needs to know or see. And people will complain about the media's insensitivity, and proclivity towards violent stories, but they're only giving us the kind of news we want. This essay is about that, and the fact that the world is and always has been run by children, making it up as they go along.
Chickenman-16's avatar
Oh whoops, I thought the bombing happened on the 16th! Sorry, timezone difference means we got the news a day late.

Well I completely agree with you, that 'walkthrough' thing sounds like a load of crap, though I've never seen any news coverage that was that unnecessarily graphic. I can't say I've met anyone with a want to hear these kind of stories either, if anyone mentions it in conversations we tend to drift away from it pretty fast, saying things like "Yeah, how sad", and just moving on. I don't know , maybe I just need to get out more. It's not like hearing these kind of stories is entertaining, anyway.

And about people not growing up, people choose to be comfortable about being ignorant about things. Maybe it's because they've adopted certain beliefs or something, but lot of the not-so-good people out there never seem to question if what they do is right or wrong, and because of that, never really 'grow'.

Anyways, /rant