The Guardian wrote on the front page of its website today that America is “searching its soul” following the latest shooting tragedy. Journalists love their emotive rhetoric at times like this. As though certain events grant them a special dispensation to report their vague sensations in grave tones. In brooding interventions even the most irreligious titles like The Guardian will play priest and pretend to know the ineffable. America has a soul? As if such infantile personification were relevant and useful, reducing our image of that country to the reading level of the latest gun victims. As if there was something actually “there” or anything to find. Anything, that is, besides a crocked Facebook page, the gun in the handbag and the bible on the dressing table, like a morning-after pill.
* A Charlie Brooker Newswipe from a mass shooting years back.