In the referenced thread, Phoenix32890 wrote:
Personally, I think that the site IS gross, but for many, may be a tensional outlet. For months now, everywhere you turned, you were faced with the picture of that empty, shell, looking at nothing.
After awhile, I found that after having that picture being foisted on me so many times on TV, and in the newspapers, I reacted to it with hostility, rather than compassion. It made me realize the disgusting political game that was being played out in the media, with Terri's unfeeling, unthinking body as its figurehead..
Says it all, really.
Nobody would have felt the urge or need to make light of someone's individual suffering - of Terri's, Michael's or Terri's parents' private suffering - if that had been all there was.
Instead, there was political hysteria and a veritable media frenzy, which clamored a soap series/reality-TV style sequence of he said-she said's, amplified through the propaganda channels of various political currents that wanted to make hay of the case.
As with any case where political racketeers foist the mediatized exploitation of an individual's case onto the general public relentlessly and hysterically, with ever wilder conspiracy theories peddled by groups pressing for ever more disproportional attacks on the rule of law, eventually people get desensitized to the suffering of the individual in question and start reacting, in anger and incredulity at this nonsense thats suddenly just everywhere on TV, in the papers and the net, to the hysteria surrounding it.
It's a paradoxical cycle we as audience keep ourselves in. The media creates hypes such as that about OJ, Michael Jackson or Terri Schiavo because they know we will tune in, which means they can make extra money. The politicians dive into said hypes because they know that such hyper-personalised narratives attract our attention and passion much better than abstract talk about the economy. But at the same time these hypes are so surreal that in the end, we need to find a way to distance ourselves from it in order to retain our sanity.
Cracking jokes, for one, is a logical way for people to deal with their exasperation and incredulity about it all. Not about Terri's fate itself, but about the crazied true believers praying (or preying?) outside Michael's home, about the President flying in especially to DC to enact legislation when for most foreign policy crises he cant be bothered to, about a myriad of websites peddling the most incredible theories about the evil of this one citizen - just another person like any of us - who had the misfortune of suddenly being elevated into poster child status, about a Congress full of opportunists whipping the subject up, about the whole sick, burlesque circus around it. Its just another version of muttering Oh for Chrissakes under one's breath.