People & Ideas

Feb 6, 2014

Razer’s class warfare: when there are not tears left

We have become so inured to pain, violence, racism and abuse as infotainment that we can't find the compassion in our conscious minds to cry for the pain of others.

Helen Razer — Writer and broadcaster

Helen Razer

Writer and broadcaster

I don’t get sad about sad public events anymore; I made a conscious judgement not to cry about these things nearly a year ago. It was shortly after I looked in the face of a distraught Adam Goodes on TV that I made the decision.

The man who would become Australian of the Year did a good job of rationally explaining the pain he had felt when a teenage girl used his ethnicity as insult, but this was as nothing when set against the eloquent pain on his face.

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5 thoughts on “Razer’s class warfare: when there are not tears left

  1. paddy

    You’re back on form with this piece Helen.
    Thank you.

  2. BoxingCandle

    Rivetingly evocative piece, Helen.
    I almost cried…

  3. Kathryn Eckersley

    I’m not a huge fan of the term compassion fatigue, but it is the best descriptor I’ve found for the state of needing to not allow ourselves to care, to feel about every piece of tragedy that crosses our paths. It is an uncomfortable realisation to come to, but I’m learning that I can’t care equally about all injustices if I want to still have the emotional capital left over to actually get out and do something about them. Life in a constant state of varying levels of outrage or grief is exhausting.

  4. Liamj

    Yes, infotainment has real and nontrivial costs.
    Modern media is able to deliver many more horrors than any individual can act on, our base bias for novelty & thrills keeps us watching, picking individual issues out of the swarm is too hard, just click on to next thrill.
    Like any and all commons, unmoderated exploitation of information commons for profit & thrills results in desertification.

    What to do? Turn off, tune out, surface into the real nonsymbolic world.

  5. Polly Valentine

    The list of topics: adam goodes, child abuse, JonBenet Ramsey, Woody Allen what strange poetry.

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