No More Fifteen Minutes of Fame

It was in the1960s that avant garde  artist, Andy Warhol, famously predicted that with the beginning of the rise of the telecommunication age – “everyone will have their fifteen minutes of fame”.  And although most people will never experience being celebrities in their lifetime, nevertheless more have and continue to do so, especially now with the rise of social media (internet, cable, etc.). In particular, this “fifteen minutes of fame” is the hope of the younger generation; that what they do will go “viral” around the world.  And for a small segment of youth (who are either mentally ill, drug addicted, easily manipulated, barbarically evil, or a combo of any of the above) one of the surest ways to go from unknown to known is to commit mass murder. In the book, The Copycat Effect: How The Media And Popular Culture Trigger The Mayhem In Tomorrow’s Headlines, the authors detail how closely future mass shooters follow the non-stop news coverage of previous mass shooters and learn how to make sure their name, picture, and message is front and center in all the media.  This has resulted in law enforcement agencies requesting that all media refrain from giving the killer’s name, showing the killer’s photo, or relaying the killer’s message.  And there is precedence for this working.  I recall when watching baseball on television, it became the thing for fans to run out on the field and get their “fifteen minutes of fame”.  But then the networks decided not to show such individuals on camera anymore, and I haven’t seen another fan on the field in over forty years.
It is interesting that in the Bible, wicked Absalom, being the second-born son to David (Amnon was the first-born) realized early in life that he would not be king (along with all the resulting fame that goes with it), so he built a monument to himself.  The Scripture says in II Samuel 18:18, Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king’s dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom’s place.   Today, that structure of pure vanity is still standing, just outside the south-eastern wall of the old city. The bottom line?  Every generation is going to have their murderous Absaloms and what the media has to learn is – don’t assist them in building their monuments to self.

Did you know the safest place on earth also has the most guns per person!  Switzerland is the world’s gun capital.  It has more firepower per citizen than any other nation, yet it also has the lowest global homicide rate.  All Swiss are expected to have firearms at  home (and it was this Swiss passion for guns – their quantity of weapons, their expert marksmanship, and their determination to defend their homeland to the last round – that persuaded Hitler an invasion wasn’t worth the cost and he should concentrate on countries with more strict gun laws.)   In Switzerland, every town has a gun range with youth receiving early training.  As well, there are very limited bans on carrying weapons; meaning tourists find themselves competing with guns in public for places to hang their coats or chairs on which to sit.  Now I’m not advocating the same for Canada, but sometimes guns are not the problem but the solution.  The Oregon college where nine believers were recently murdered, proudly advertised itself to the community as a “gun-free” zone and in so doing led these lambs to their slaughter.