As a journalist for almost four decades, I believe I’m experienced enough to know what the information system is, what it should be, the impact of its influence, and the effects it has on people at large.
All the World’s a stage, just as Shakespeare said, and although the people who populate it (the stage, not the world) truly are the players, so to speak, to a significant degree the media (especially TV, newspapers, etc.) are the closest to being the primary cast. (In any activity there always has to be a leader.)
It’s with this premise in mind that I take issue with the direction in which some issues are being presented regarding seniors. My beef, specifically, is the presentation of the older, senior citizen, being cast as a “hero” of sorts in situations that are plainly dangerous and potentially deadly.
I continue to be appalled at the way the “talking heads” on TV treated such incidents where older people plainly stepped in where they shouldn’t, highlighting their activity as brave, heroic, and Spartan!
Take the lady who ventured back into the school board room and attempted to knock the gun from the hand of a pistol-pointing, deranged man holding the school board hostage in Panama City. She failed in her attempt and could plainly have been shot to death on the spot.
Crazy! Yes, I say, she was as stupid and unimaginative as the gunman himself. Whimpering on the floor, it is by the Grace of God that she was not disposed of at the scene.
She was lucky.
And what about the woman in London who tore into a gang of weapon-bearing bandits that were attempting to rob a drug store on a street corner. How stupid she was.
It is by the grace of the Almighty, again, that one of those clubs were not directed at her head or some other part of her body that would have left her dead or paralyzed forever.
And, in reality, what did she accomplish? It wasn’t she who actually disrupted the break-in attempt, it was the fact that the roll-down window protection began falling into place, foiling the robbers’ attempts to get inside, not the purse swinging “savior” that the TV talking heads made her out to be.
She is lucky to be alive today.
Yet, the media made her out to be a hero.
What is the message? It’s plainly encouragement to older, inexperienced citizens to enter such frays, to get involved in dangerous or deadly skirmishes, to become someone who might make the evening news or appear in a photograph in the morning or weekly papers.
It’s the wrong message. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Senior citizens should be more careful about what they wade into, and media sources should stop making it look adventurous and heroic. For as long as it is made to look like the “thing to do,” older citizens, who are sometimes more impressionable that some, will consider it so.
Shame of those who though it was funny or in any way helpful in the end. Seniors are implored to observe, not participate. Let the police handle such dangerous events and circumstances. That’s what they are for.
They should stay on the sidelines and continue to be the natural resources that they are, alive and well.
And although it’s the anchors or talking heads that spout forth the diatribe, we must be aware that it’s seldom their own choosing. They are merely repeating what the “news” writers and producers are giving them to say.
So, you see, it is up to the seniors, the older people who should be the practical characters on the world stage to be informed and reject some of this nonsense, and act accordingly.