The helicopter crash in Phoenix and the New Republic story about a blogger in the military being attacked by chickenhawks at home for telling stories of US military abuses and wild behavior in Iraq are two sides of the same coin. The US is in love with watching chases, explosions and chaos. This is the main course of our TV shows and movies. Yet we don't want to see the chaos, chases and explosions in Iraq! We want to ignore that mess while moronically being entertained by domestic messes. TV news is all about entertaining people at the lowest level: the prying, spying gossips who ignore real crimes while focusing only on little scandals.
A PAIR of US television helicopters covering a police chase collided mid-air on Friday, then crashed to the ground in a blaze of fire and smoke, killing all four people on board, police said.
I hate buzzing helicopters flying overhead. I was twice gassed by a sheriff's helicopter during the Vietnam War years. The military handed out their gear to the police forces at home during the sixties so they could wage war here as well as abroad. And the military gave vomit gas to the parapolice forces and they used this on us until it was stopped because it made the cops sick, too.
I was a medic back then during demonstrations and treated people who were gassed. This chemical would enter the skin and make one very sick. Once, in Tucson, a helicopter dropped it on the street between the police and students refusing to move. The wind blew it into the face of the police who all got very sick. I ran over to the captain and ordered him and his men to follow me to a garden hose nearby and I thoroughly sloshed them done, washing the chemical off. Since then, I don't like helicopters flying overhead. On top of this, they are very noisy.
Since then, the use of helicopters over cities has grown worse. I used to work at 44th St and Park Avenue on the 40th floor of the building next to the Empire State building and the Chrysler building. A helicopter took off from the roof of Grand Central Station and a blade came off and flew into the office of a secretary in the Chrysler building across the street and it decapitated her. The mayor forbade helicopter flights over Manhattan and they could only use the rivers on either side to move up and down. We hear of stories every once and a while of one going down in the East River.
Now there are more and more helicopter tourist services. In the Grand Canyon, there were so many, the sound of these irritating machines were deafening and they crashed into each other once and a while. Back when there were few TV stations and fewer helicopters, they were not a menace but with the advent of the infamous White Bronco Chase, an idiotic moment in US media history, they realized there is gold in them thar moron watchers of TV car chases.
More and more, the news focused on live reports of ongoing police car chases. Police car chases are dangerous by themselves but having a dozen TV helicopters buzzing overhead is twice as dangerous. Since there is a considerable number of bored, low-IQ people out there who are entertained by this childish game, there is a lot of pressure to produce more and more shows and make them more and more dramatic. The police, instead of using their heads, head out the door and rush into chases. The uglier the chase ends, the more violent and the more bodies, the happier the TV station owners are.
This helicopter chase crash was pure gold for them.
Viewers who tuned in to watch the police chase live heard someone aboard one of the helicopters say, 'Oh geez', before seeing a jumble of images as the live broadcast broke up, US media reported.
Reporters wiped away tears as they focused their cameras on the smoldering wreckage of the two TV news helicopters.
9/11 was a fabulous event for all the media outlets. But it had a downside, briefly, namely, the ads urging us to buy stuff were no good. Mega events are not good for selling junk. But with car chases, there can be lots of ads selling fast muscle cars, fast females flashing their assets could sell insurance or ice cream. The bonanza of gaining lots of bored watchers needing tittilation is priceless for the media, anxious to get advertising dollars.
So this beast grows stupider and eats up more and more airspace on TV.
'It's too weird, too close to home,' said Cochran, whose days typically involve focusing his camera on crashes, police standoffs and families struck by tragedy. 'Now I know how everybody else feels.'
I remember this Ray Bradbury story where these aliens would be crowds that rush over to tragedy in order to suck up the life force of whever was in trouble. I used run a street patrol in Park Slope. While I was big on this activity, I ended up taking care of police situations all over the city, it just became a habit. Nearly every time I took care of a crisis such as when a man beat a Chinese couple with a baseball bat (yes, I was in the news each time this happened), there would be a huge crowd watching until I run up and take charge. In the case of the baseball bat guy, I happened to have my practice rattan sword with me and I disarmed him using it. The thing is, people like to gawk. This causes huge traffic tie-ups when there is something going on that attracts attention. Whole cities can be paralyzed by gawkers.
Police swarmed into the park and started pushing bystanders back as TV cameramen struggled to get one last look at their colleagues.
Several dozen reporters eventually crowded into the gated entrance of the park and set up their cameras in the baking afternoon sun, weeping into their cell phones and hugging each other between live shots.
This is pure voyeur vulturism. I have noticed over the years that humans enjoy the release of inner doubts and tensions when there is violence and then they may cry and hug each other. Then, instead of doing something smart that would prevent these painful events, they redouble their efforts to make these events happen again and again. This is why we go through the same moronic cycle with our wars. The joy of chest beating, the happiness of killing and not being killed in return, bombing everyone from the sky and then laughing because this proves we are gods, when the ugly mess comes rolling back to engulf us, we then shut down and refuse to look at it. Instead of gawking, we drive past as fast as possible.
Instead of thinking about our wars, we think about anything but that. We rush off to gawk at car chases while ignoring car explosions in Baghdad.
The New Republic's anonymous "Baghdad Diarist" identified himself yesterday as Scott Thomas Beauchamp, an Army private in Iraq, and disputed as "maddening" accusations that he had invented his accounts of cruelty by American soldiers.
The magazine's editor, Franklin Foer, disclosed in an interview that Beauchamp is married to a New Republic staffer, and that is "part of the reason why we found him to be a credible writer." Foer also said Beauchamp "has put himself in significant jeopardy" and "lost his lifeline to the rest of the world" because military officials have taken away his laptop, cellphone and e-mail privileges.
As both the military and the magazine investigate Beauchamp's allegations, a personal blog surfaced in which Beauchamp said last year that each morning he feels "retarded for joining the army," "a little more liberal than the day before" and "a tool for global corporations.
The military hides 99% of what they do because what our soldiers do is often very ugly and often, illegal. In grinding occupations of other people's countries, we are always very, very brutal and out of control. I have seen videos of soldiers simply emptying their guns into anyone and everyone on the street below when a sniper shoots at them. You Tube has been quite instructive about what is really going on which is why the military is now reducing the ability of soldiers to access the internet because the Pentagon wants to hide our activities.
And the mainstream media doesn't want to know it, either. It is bad for advertisers! Seeing our own ugly faces in Iraq committing Nazi-level war crimes doesn't induce people to go to the mall or buy fast cars! Anything that brings feelings of guilt are verboten on US TV.
Beauchamp's writing was challenged by the Weekly Standard and conservative bloggers after he wrote vividly, and profanely, of soldiers mocking a woman disfigured by an injury, getting their kicks by running over dogs with Bradley Fighting Vehicles and playing with Iraqi children's skulls taken from a mass grave.
Our President and the DNC's candidate last election both belong to a satanic ritual cult that plays with skulls including a child's skull. The media never investigates this nor do they broadcast this significant fact. It is very high on the 'verboten' list! The TV comedian, Colbert, was asked to do some helpful propaganda about all this, he mocked researchers who track the various interlocking satanic ritualist covens that are at the dark heart of our ruling elites. With all the interest in the media over the latest drunken driving of ditzy divas, one would imagine they would happily cover the drunken nude orgies at the Bohemian Grove get-together. But no, this voyeurism suddenly goes blind when the camera turns towards the Real Rulers.
The right wing bloated bloggers who sit at home, attacking anyone and everyone who tries to talk about the illegal war, who tries to talk about the ruling class, who tries to uncover what is really going on, are powerful people petted by the rulers. They can lie to their heart's content and never suffer any slings and arrows from the mainstream media. When left wing bloggers point out factual errors, this is ignored. But any sort of 'research' by this mob of cowards gets full press treatment. One would imagine, with the majority of citizens against the war, this would stop at last.
But it goes onwards just as it did during the Vietnam war. Anti-war people rarely got to write editorials. And if they talked about imperialism and the right of the Vietnamese to fight us, never, ever was such a point of view allowed. If a movie star said it, this got negative press coverage, note how Jane Fonda was treated! To this day, no one in the media defends her nor are writers like myself allowed to publish something that defends her! So the right wing bloggers slog onwards, gaining access to the top pages in the news media while the mass of us non-right wing writers storm and yell outside.