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Harvey Does Houston: The Internet Loves Tragedy Porn

This morning as I sat at my desk, my privileged ass sipped on hot coffee and enjoyed a hot breakfast and watched intently as a reporter interviewed a woman that just arrived in a shelter after spending days in misery trying to survive in the flooded aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.”

She shivered.

She stood with her arms embracing her children as the newslady continued to bombard her with stupid ass questions that had obvious answers. “How do you feel?” the reporter inquired. Clearly peeved, the lady tried to maintain a level of respect and answer politely with her truth. “How are your kids?” the reporter followed up – shoving the big ass microphone into her mouth.

And that was what set the woman off.

Clearly frustrated and pissed and irate because she just spent the last few days trying not to die in a fucking hurricane, she berated the journalist for sticking a motherfucking microphone in her face and pretending to be concerned for her family’s gawd damned welfare. The woman accurately deduced that the journalist and the news medium she worked for only wanted to make money off her family’s misery. And I sat there in a weird way enjoying the way the woman was ripping into the news lady while even cheering her on in my head like, “Yeah, get her ass!

That’s when I realized that I was no better than the reporter. I was finding fulfillment in not being informed of the happenings in Houston but by the satisfaction of fooling myself to feeling like I cared. It’s the same high people seek when they give money to homeless people. It’s the same likes people seek when they post on Facebook asking for the prayers of the people affected by Hurricane Harvey.

The internet loves tragedy.

It’s a twisted ass form of pornography. People become selfish beings that get high off of people’s lows. And for the last few days, social media timelines have been filled up with everyone using Hurricane Harvey and what it had done to people in Texas as material for social engagement.  Memes, conspiracy theories, prayers, articles, questions, and whatever else, are using Harvey as an energy source until the next news event that preys on people’s suffering.

The point of all this is we should think about what makes us all of the sudden charitable in these times. We must beware of our selfish intentions. We must understand what our actions actually do. Sharing a meme or offering a word of blessing does nothing but make us feel warm and fuzzy inside. Make your actions mean something. And let your motives be pure and selfless.


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About Halsted Jones

I'm a #Writer not a fighter ■ Joyously kicking down pillow forts on my quest to do the write thing.

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