Why We're Drawn To Watching Tragic Events

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When the videos began to circulate of the Virginia shooting of two WDBJ-7 employees, the online response was immediate: Don't watch these videos.

Don't share them, don't retweet them, don't sensationalize this act of public violence.

The fact that people even felt they need to say this, dredged a familiar question: Should we engage in such dark entertainment? And why are we drawn to it?


Ty Burr, film critic for The Boston Globe. He tweets @TyBurr.


The Boston Globe: Virginia Shooter’s Actions Staged For The Widest Possible Audience

  • "The videos, when they come, are evidence and, as such, important. They’re also the darkest form of entertainment: testaments to death that make us feel, ever so briefly, alive. We tell ourselves we’re better than that. And yet, why are we so drawn to watching it?"


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