Let’s Roll!

In recent months anyone who surfs the news programs has been subjected to Lisa Beamer’s teary face on every outlet worth mentioning. …

…All right, one might say, but what exactly is so terrible about that? It may be unseemly, but at worst the only sin of Lisa Beamer and her media patrons is banality. That’s entirely too facile and too generous. There is an irreducibly private dimension to real grief, a point at which one’s own words and the kind intentions of others all run to ground and we can only bear what follows in silence. And that silence is not a bad thing; it’s a measure of respect, for oneself and for what is lost, as well as an acknowledgment of the hard things we all must bear on our own eventually. The media’s incessant flogging of Beamer’s story, and her eager collaboration in it, amount to a grotesque comment on the very idea of grief and loss. They take catastrophic personal tragedy and cheapen it by making it feel like a publicity stunt — a set of gestures repeatedly enacted for the cameras. AlterNet