Our country has a serious gun epidemic.
We’re all aware of it, and it seems that almost weekly now we’re presented with yet another account of a mass shooter wreaking havoc among innocent civilians. We talk about gun control. We talk about mental illness. We talk about religious extremism. But we always seem to skirt around the underlying issue. By doing so we often cause harm to more innocent lives.
There’re so many “red herring” distractions to mass shootings, but the real issue lies much deeper in our society. Through our language, the media, our laws, and our acceptance of gendered norms, we manage to allow these massacres to continue and instead place undue pressure on mental illness. Sufferers of mental illness are often the target, although statistics show they are rarely violent people. The issue lies elsewhere: within toxic masculinity and the need to seek control.
Another Mass Shooting, Always One Group to Blame
Mental illness is commonly brought up after a mass shooting. News anchors will emphasize the importance of mental illness awareness, and will suggest laws to evaluate the mental stability of gun owners. It’s an easy target to paint: those that kill others must be crazy.
The word “crazy” is used so loosely in our society, but it’s with this type of language that we perpetuate the stigma around mental illness. Entertainment and television were large perpetrators of spreading harmful stereotypes for a long time, but that is slowly changing in fictional media. News-centered media is still behind the times, however.
It’s taken us a long time to get where we are today in mental illness treatment and care. According to Bradley University’s research about 18% of the American population admits to suffering from some sort of mental illness. Of those 43.6 million people, only 6.7 million sought and received treatment for their varying ailments. Those who did seek treatment found that it was extremely beneficial, but still only a fraction of those suffering seek out the help they need.
Language and negative connotation are one of the main reasons people avoid seeking help. Despite that fact that only 3-5% of violent acts are committed by sufferers of mental illness, the issue is always brought up around cases of murder and shootings. The mental health of the shooter is put into question, and the media is quick to jump on the blame train; to distance themselves from the “crazy” or “unstable” population.
“We aren’t responsible for this, because we’re not insane.” Continue reading
What Happened to Comic Book Resources?
“Change is good.” That’s a slogan I very vividly remember from a McDonald’s commercial around the turn of the century. A classroom full of kindergartners is shocked to find out that the Golden Arches are now serving white meat chicken nuggets, and are silent as one of their members takes the first tentative bite. Once she speaks those three words they break out into cheers, ecstatic that their beloved nuggets are just as delicious as before. Change is good. Or, more accurately, it can be.
This past Tuesday I was going through my handful of comic book news sites only to find that Comic Book Resources [also known as CBR], the fourth and last on the list, was borderline unrecognizable. Instead of seeing-
-like I was used to, I was greeted with-
While I was taken aback by the seemingly sudden redesign, the truth is that if I’d been more observant I would have seen this coming from a long way off. Continue reading →
Posted in comics, internet, news, Uncategorized, writing
Tagged Albert Ching, Axel-In-Charge, CBR, column, Comic Book Resources, comic books, comments, criticism, design, editor, feature, forum, In Your Face Jam, internet, journalism, list articles, listicles, news, pipeline, redesign, site, The Buy Pile, The Mission, Tilting At Windmills, Valnet