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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 9, 2013/ 6 Teves, 5774

In the name of humanity, avoid Newtown tapes

By John Kass

John Kass


JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) In an act of mass self-brutalization, Americans reached for their computers Wednesday to summon the sounds of murder.

They were clicking on those 911 audio recordings, those voices of frightened teachers and parents calling for help at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

In the first hour alone, on the Chicago Tribune's website, there were more than 2,500 hits. That number increased exponentially on news sites across the country. The website hosting the recordings for many media outlets crashed repeatedly within the hour.

The desire to hear that fear must have been strong.

But just before the clicking began, I asked a colleague, a former Chicago police reporter, if she planned to listen.

"If I was working on it (as a police reporter), I'd have to," she said, "but I won't listen now, not in my human life."

Not in her human life.

That stuck with me all day, and will for a long while afterward, a casually brilliant truth from a woman who'd seen her share of brutality and senselessness in a professional capacity, yet was still trying to keep a wall around her humanity.

Even as she spoke, America got ready to click and click and click on those terrible, fearful sounds of the morning of Dec. 14, 2012, from Newtown, Conn.

Why?

Did you listen? Did you feel a piece of your soul flaking off?



Most of you already know the facts. The madman, Adam Lanza, 20, first shot his mother to death at home. Then he went to Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he killed 20 first-graders and six adults, including the school's principal.

Many of you may remember the photographs of that day. There is one I'll never forget: a little boy and what looks to be an older sister on the edge of the woods, the trees behind them, the boy looking off camera, to the school and to the unspeakable.

The boy has both hands covering his mouth and nose. His eyes are wide open. The girl has her head down, her arms around him, comforting and protecting him as an older sister might.

Something happened to their human lives that day, and they'll never recover what was lost.

"I have children," said another young woman when I asked her if she'd click on those 911 recordings.

Then she stopped, turned, looked at me and held up her right index finger to make her point.

"I just don't feel the need to listen," she said. "I don't feel I want to hear it. I don't."

But many did, on news websites, over radio and television, eager to hear the words of fear and helplessness on those 911 calls.

The reason could be as simple and as boring as what causes a gaper's block, the cars slowing to a crawl to witness the aftermath of a crash on the side of the road.

On the road we're helpless, trapped by the crawling cars around us. We see the crumpled car and wonder about the lives that were inside it, and the fact that we live is reaffirmed.

But this one is different. It might have something to do with control, stopping and starting and pausing and restarting. Manipulating the audio is an exercise in command, as if by controlling the auditory input we can control what's at the other end. Which was madness.

The murders of the children and their teachers were the expression of Adam Lanza's madness and his evil. And we can't control that.

We are a nation now fascinated by killers, at least fictional ones. Once we were thrilled by cowboys. Now we love our witty cannibals. Popular culture is consumed by them, even as they consume their victims.

You've probably lost count at the number of Hannibal Lecter movies, films that celebrate the clever, literate monster with fine taste in clothes, food, art and human flesh. Another top-rated show is "Dexter," which I've never seen. The hero is a serial killer. The last must-see TV show, now gone, was "Breaking Bad," about a manipulative teacher/drug dealer. I missed that one too.

And another, "CSI (and All its Derivative Offspring)," offers stories of intelligent murderers and cunning investigators who use reason and science to solve the crimes.

To know a people, you must know their entertainments.

The Romans had gladiatorial games. We have crime dramas in which monsters and heroes compete in battles of wits, and the prosecutors tie it all up with the big speech at the end of the show.

This, of course, has little to do with true crime.

Criminals are most often morons, barbarians using fists, chunks of rock, clubs or guns to satisfy their appetites. Many are depressingly stupid. Some are beasts. Few if any are criminal masterminds. They're best trapped in the corner with pointed sticks, not caught in some delicate web as if they were Professor Moriarty.

I didn't want to listen to the Sandy Hook tapes, but they were the subject of this column, so I listened. If you haven't yet heard them, do yourself a favor: Don't, and please protect a piece of that human life of yours.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Comments by clicking here.



Previously:



11/18/13 Finally, a man stands up to snoring women
11/13/13 Toronto mayor says he's embarrassed; what about Chicago?
10/31/13 Sen. Bullhead is hooked on outrage
10/21/13 Can a biologist's research shed any light on what's happening in Washington?
10/14/13 Wise men recall how 'elevator men know their building'
10/07/13 President Obama should go moron hunting
10/01/13 Geezer zombies, coming to a reality near you
09/25/13 When politicians misuse words: Oh, the enormity!
09/11/13 Of dogs, Dems and Damascus
08/19/13 Forget the tears. The Jacksons know they got off easy
08/13/13 Bros filling the void --- with 'My Little Pony'
07/31/13 A serial sexter stays in New York's mayoral race. What’s next?
07/26/13 Show some appreciation for the new prince
05/29/13 Mr. President, save us from Xbox One
05/23/13 Tornadoes sound like eerie silence --- then evil
05/15/13 How the unassimilated are transformed into terrorists
05/07/13 Lives lost mean 'Benghazi' should be more than a political buzzword
04/30/13 American football industry is on its deathbed
04/25/13 Boston terror can't be packaged neatly for American audiences
04/18/13 In the world of acts, the urge to help overwhelms
03/11/13 Senate battle between a libertarian whippersnapper, crotchety establishment
02/25/13 If only Jesse Jr. would have read his own book
02/11/13 Secret drone strikes simplify Obama Doctrine
01/29/13 Making a pet project out of Neanderthals
01/17/13 Spielberg stops 'Robopocalypse,' perhaps on orders of evil master robot
01/07/13 Reality TV, how deep can it sink?
11/08/12 Thanks, voters, for caring enough to argue
11/05/12 It's Romney by a head
11/01/12 Sandy swoops in to save Obama. Should it be allowed to?
10/18/12 The other side of the emergency room curtain
10/15/12 Droopy Chia candidates get a do-over
10/04/12 :Schoolchildren's stomachs rumble; drama queens grumble
10/01/12 : Chia Obama vs. Chia Romney: May the best greenfro win
09/25/12 : With bitter campaign in full swing, you need to watch some movies
08/02/12 : Toasting culture's absurdities
04/24/12: Why do you have to sell your privacy to win?
10/13/11: Stupid things men say to pregnant women
09/26/11: Desk zero: ‘Contagion’ lurks just outside office bathroom
09/08/11: Light up your lottery tickets, pass the Hopium
08/31/11: It was only a paper moon , but a legendary hoax
05/27/11: For 2012, it's Obama vs. the smoothies
05/05/11: Is it time to de-friend Pakistan?
04/12/11: China stretches the bounds of decency with cow-human-breast milk
03/23/11: No you're not in control; get over it
02/28/11: Chicago wanted a strongman, and it got one
01/26/11: Oh, c'mon, c'mon, Rahm-bo a victim? That's a stretch
12/13/10: WikiLeaks and Assange pretend there are no consequences
12/09/10: Trendy toys don't stand up to playthings of yore
10/11/10: Obama and his pals need some scarce Hopium for the next election
09/14/10: Obama gets a little bossy with tacit endorsement of Emanuel
08/18/10: Dead Meat walking, but heat to be applied again
07/28/10: No verdict, but Blagojevich trial still has its winners, losers
07/26/10: Obama's fall guy in Shirley Sherrod case is Vilsack the Pooh
07/21/10: Loathing of Steinbrenner softens after his death
07/19/10: Summertime, and the race cards are easy
06/28/10: Does Congress have the guts to fix what court gutted? Honestly, no
12/17/09: Belt-tightening presidential aspirant leaves room for Spam
09/27/09: ACORN can teach the GOP a thing or 2
09/03/09: Blago as author gets it wrong yet again 06/22/09: Obama's latest political play should shock no one
06/17/09: Presidential satire takes Hopium break
06/11/09: E-Verify works, so, of course, let's not use it
06/09/09: First Lady Macbeth's the man, so in your face, Eminem
06/02/09: Judge Sotomayor would think me most unwise
05/12/09: Parents, enjoy this time, in all its creepiness
03/18/09: Stem cell policy shift brings a sinking feeling
03/09/09: Name That Blago Book contest names its winner
03/05/09: Contest: Name Blagojevich's book
02/16/09: Dems undercut aid for U.S. workers
01/20/09: Let the carving begin on Tombstone's tomb
01/12/09: Obama serves Reid taste of Chicago Way
01/02/09: Jesters don't pick up the race card in a nationally televised news conference and slam it into the face of every Dem in the Senate, a palm heel strike to the tip of the nose, leaving all of them watery-eyed, their lips stinging
12/24/08: Governor waxes poetic, but Combine rolls on
12/23/08: Got corruption? Get Jesse Junior G-Man
12/18/08: Will ‘feditis’ spread to Obama and Daley?
12/15/08: Man behind curtain is wizard of Rod, Rahm

© 2012, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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