Monday, July 11, 2011

Why I Didn't Pay Attention To the Casey Anthony Trial

It's been a few days now since the verdict came down in the "trial of the decade." Perhaps you're one of the rare people who have no clue who Casey Anthony is. If that is the case, I am envious. The only things that I know about her and the court case are this:

1) Her 3 year old daughter went missing and she didn't report it to police for a whole month. Caylee was found dead several months later.

2) She was arrested and there was a big trial

3) The media frenzy around the trial rivalled the Simpson trial

4) Anthony was found not guilty, will serve about 2 weeks in jail for a lesser charge and then will be released.

5) Millions of people worldwide were outraged at the verdict.

When I look at that list, it turns out I do know a fair amount about the case...and this comes from someone who PURPOSELY AVOIDED the coverage like it was the plague. And why is that? Because to me there is something macabre or at least unsettling about millions of people worldwide fixated on a murder trial.

Let me be clear. Little Caylee Anthony's death was a great tragedy, awfully sad to be sure. However, in saying that, how many hundreds or thousands more children are also murdered each year worldwide, yet we aren't glued to CNN every night listening to pundits erupt in outrage over their plights, are we?

CNN and other networks cover trials like this because they know that murder sells. People will watch and their advertising revenue will go up. So that explains the media coverage.

But what about us? What is it about us that makes us watch story after story about murders, or for that matter other crimes or wars or natural disasters? There seems to be a natural fixation that sets in when we see an ambulance rush by or when we come across a car wreck on the highway.

What is my point? Firstly, it is not to stick our heads in the sand and pretend that the world is all happy-go-lucky. But why become so fixated on tragedies if it is going to serve no purpose but to fill our heads with images and descriptions of atrocities? I think that if we didn't have such an almost-fascination towards the negative or violence, then the nightly news coverage would be much different than it is today. Tune into the 6 o'clock news tomorrow (something I rarely do) and the first five stories will be about a local murder, a local theft, a fatal car accident, a disease outbreak and the conflict in Libya.

Let me be clear: there is a real need for action and compassion in both our local communities and globally. We can do our part to ease pain, foster peace, and raise justice issues. We should not stand idly by as we see atrocities and pain around us.

But I'll ask you a question that I need to ask myself: Wouldn't it be better to ACT, or even stop and PRAY, rather than spending too many valuable minutes on

I will not get caught up in the almost-entertainment-like coverage of all that's wrong in the world.

Mark Andrew Alward


BeautyMark3d said...

I disagree, I don’t think coverage of murder trials or updates on the war is simply an opportunity to boost revenue. If you want your stories about firemen saving kittens out of trees, read The Record. CNN brings everyone, worldwide, the latest breaking news. I would certainly want to know about the (hypothetical) murder that happens in my neighbourhood. I don’t watch CNN or read online because I am fascinated with death, I watch/read because I like to know what is going on in this world. As for your question of how our time is spent, possibly better spent, I say this… I believe in God and I respect those who believe that praying will move mountains. However, I would challenge that time spent… I would say, wouldn’t it be better to actually DO something, than just pray? So, we are at odds there. Moving on, I believe that this case was so significant to so many people because Casey and her parents oozed of guilt. They tried everything in the book to make their daughter look innocent. Their time was poorly spent. Rather than trying to find Caylee, they tried to clear Casey’s name. I like the world was so tuned in because it was clear that something was very wrong and we wanted to know when a new piece of evidence was discovered or if the police were any closer to putting the guilty person away. The people of this world can be very passionate and when they set their sights on something, they will band together and fight for justice. Caylee has yet to receive that, so I think this is far from over…

*Side note: Casey could have at the VERY least been charged with neglect; her daughter apparently drowned… Where was she to prevent this? Caylee was missing and instead of putting every ounce of her being into finding her daughter, she partied and danced the nights away. If nothing else, she is guilty of being a horrible self absorbed person... But I doubt that is all she's guilty of.

Just my opinion...

BeautyMark3d said...

spelling mistake:

I *think* the world was so... not "like"... Dont know where that one came from!

Jay Moore said...

I like where you're going with this. Keep going.

Mark Andrew said...

1) Kayla: Thanks for your comments, I appreciate you taking the time to voice them. I still think that the media focuses too much on the negative first and foremost. How about a world where we do have newspapers and broadcasts that DO feature positive stories prominently, and then briefly mentions all ths crap that happens in the world on the back page? Why is it the other way around??? I respect that you read/watch the news because you want to know what's going on, but frankly I already know that there are shitty/horrific things going on in the world without having to watch them or read about them all the time.

We are not at odds as you would suggest concerning prayer. That's why I wrote we need to both pray and ACT. However, the question should be asked: "What is prayer exactly?" If it is praying to an unseen person in the sky who may or may not answer our prayers, then I find that less productive. However, I believe that prayer is the conscious sending of energy - which we are all made up of - to a person or situation in an effort to bring them healing and peace. I believe that this kind of prayer can shift the energy in a negative situation to a more positive one.

Continuing, of the little that I've read, sure it looks like Ms. Anthony was quite guilty. I just wasn't as caught up in it as you were, and I don't mean that as an insult to you. Also, I agree with your statement that "The people of this world can be very passionate and when they set their sights on something, they will band together and fight for justice." Absolutely. I just wonder if being glued to a particular sensationalized case in Florida (or whichever state it was in) is as productive as finding out what injustices are happening on our streets and in our neighbourhoods. I know I need to do a whole lot more to make my little world a better place, and I do that first by loving the friends that are around me. Thanks again for your comments.

Lori's Test Site said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

I'm someone who knew nothing about this. I don't watch the news and it wasn't something discussed at work. Very sad.

People tend to put their attention on the horrible events in life. When events like the above happen I remind people that yes it is a tragedy that a child was murdered, but billions were loved and hugged by their parents.

What we put our attention on we create more of the same. Does that mean we are all responsible for what happened to Casey? In a way we are. The more I study and read about the inter-connectedness of everyone and everything the more convinced of this I am.

Several fascinating experiments since the 70's have shown this to be true. In Israel during the early 80's a group of people were shown how to meditate and focus on feelings of peace, not just personal peace but a more pervasive overall feeling of peace, and during that time terrorist attacks and verbal rhetoric were reduced significantly. When the experiment was stopped the violence return to it's usual levels. A similar experiment was done in Washington DC with the intent to reduce crime. the same results happened. I could go on and on.

Focus on the love and we will bring more love. Focus on the tragedy and we will bring more tragedy.