Generally, I like to watch old movies and Gia likes to watch reality programming. Not Survivor, I'm talking about Court TV or MSNBC Investigates and such. She eats that shit up.
But every once in a while she sucks me into one of her programs. She did it this past Sunday night when MSNBC premiered the documentary Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father. While not normally my cup of tea, this was a pretty impressive feat of film making about an incredibly powerful and disturbing subject.
I don't want to get into the exact subject matter because it's shocking, and I'm gonna talk about keeping it from you in a little bit. But first I'm gonna come clean with the results of some recent soul searching.
I don't have one.
A soul that is. At least in some situations. Take this film. It was shocking and heartbreaking and it made Gia openly weep. It made me look at her like an alien from another planet. It's not that I can't recognize the tragedy in the situation. No...I can see that. It's just that I can't bring myself to feel any worse for the victims of the crimes shown in this film than I do for any of the hundreds and thousands of victims of similar crimes that occur all the fucking time.
Am I supposed to care more because the initial victim of this film was the childhood friend of a boy who would later become a documentary filmmaker? That just doesn't make any sense to me. What about the nameless woman who was killed by her psycho ex-boyfriend that was on the news tonight? Shouldn't I have just as much empathy for her and her family?
A little over eleven years ago, Princess Diana of Wales died in a tragic car accident and the whole world mourned. Well, the whole world except me. I didn't know the woman and people die in tragic car accidents every single day. Some of them have left behind even more people that actually cared about them than Princess Di did that day. And I have been affected by certain celebrity deaths, but not this one. I tried to explain that to people, but everyone just thought I was cold.
And I really don't think I am. It's just that I don't know how much I can bring myself to get worked up over tragedies just because the persons involved were well known or because a film was made about them. I just can't separate them from other lesser-known tragedies.
But I would be interested to hear what y'all think about this? Am I just a soulless husk of a man who needs therapy, or I am just a bit too rational about the whole subject of tragedy? The world needs to know.
Oh, and about the film. We weren't aware of the subject matter prior to watching the film, and about an hour or so into the film something occurred that I can only somewhat callously call a "big twist". It certainly was shocking to us, and Gia was absolutely devastated. But the cynic in me wonders if a documentary about real-life tragedy is any place for a cheap gimmick. If you've seen the film, you know what I'm talking about.
If you haven't seen it and...I can't believe I'm typing this...you don't mind some spoilers, you can read about the story here or elsewhere on the web.
___________________________________________________Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the cynical bastards are doing it.