The Aurora Tragedy: Have We Found Every Way to Exploit It?

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The Aurora Tragedy: Have We Found Every Way to Exploit It?

By Eric D. Snider | Think Pieces | August 1, 2012 | Comments ()


The Aurora Tragedy: Have We Found Every Way to Exploit It?
by the Entertainment Media

All of America is still reeling from the shocking murders committed at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater on July 20, and we here at the Entertainment Media are no exception. The tragedy raises many difficult questions, some of which may never be answered. But the one we wrestle with the most is this: Are we doing everything we can to use this awful incident as a means of drawing attention to ourselves?

Are we wringing our hands enough? Are we making sufficient use of such words as "horrific," "massacre," and "rampage"? Are we adequately conveying to our readers the false notion that we have anything useful to say about it?

In short, are we marshaling all of our resources to ensure that this malicious act of evil becomes a lightning rod for debate, division, and page views?

For the most part, we can stand proudly behind our coverage thus far. We believe that our round-the-clock efforts to spout inane theories, substance-free analysis, and tenuous connections have borne fruit.

We've asked whether violent entertainment led to a crazy person opening fire at an entertainment venue, the same way we would wonder if a massacre at a supermarket was caused by violent groceries.

We've asked if the shooter was inspired by the violence in The Dark Knight Rises itself, a movie the shooter had not seen.

We've noted how sad it is that The Dark Knight Rises will forever be associated with this tragedy, while ensuring it will be by persistently calling it "The Dark Knight Rises shooting."

We've questioned whether the tragedy would have an impact on the Oscar chances of The Dark Knight Rises -- a film that previously had not been seriously mentioned in Oscar conversations anyway -- while simultaneously lamenting the necessity of even discussing such distasteful subjects.

We've suggested that what happened at a screening of this Batman movie might affect the next Superman movie.

We seriously suggested that! With a straight face!

We hired a guy to draw Batman crying tears of blood, for @&#*@'s sake!

But still we lie awake nights asking ourselves: Have we done enough?

Could there be a connection between Heath Ledger's death and this sad event, some kind of "Batman curse"? No, there couldn't be, obviously -- but have we at least posed the question in an attention-grabbing headline? No. No, we have not. We have failed you there.

What of the potential that movie theaters will soon be heavily guarded fortresses with metal detectors and security screenings? No sane person believes that this will take place -- but have we outrageously insinuated that it might? Yes. Not enough, though. We could do better.

Why haven't we reached out to representatives of the hair-dye industry to see if they feel any remorse knowing that the killer had colored his hair red?

Why haven't we speculated on the possible connection between the murders and the high price of movie candy?

Why haven't we asked DC Comics whether they'll be incorporating these events into the Batman comic books, and then chided them for insensitivity regardless of which answer they gave?

Yes, there is still much work to be done as we hold this senseless tragedy upside-down and try to shake every last headline and page view from it. Those of us who are part of the Entertainment Media will not rest until we have done so. After all, if we won't put on somber, introspective faces and pretend to be dispassionate seekers of truth while saying the dumbest things imaginable, who will?

Eric D. Snider has been a movie critic since 1999 and has work featured at,, and maintains his own website which features his famous Snide Remarks. With Jeff Bayer, he hosts the Movie BS Podcast.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Pete

    Wait until it's revealed that Holmes snapped because of Snider's fake TDKR review.

  • BlackRabbit

    And wherever you stumble, Fox News will be there to raise the Moron Banner high, rest assured.

  • cinekat

    Sad but true. Also, very well written.
    Having said that, here in Europe the shootings have gotten brief, concise media coverage - a mention here, a paragraph there. It pales, however, with what is occurring daily in Syria or Afghanistan for instance - regarding both media exposure and body counts. I suppose our general reaction is: "Oh, that's terrible. Those poor families... ok, we've got it. We've got it. Now why are are they not focusing on ongoing tragic events elsewhere?"

  • klingonfree

    Not everything is about the great collective "we." Just...just shut up.

  • Slash

    Most superhero movies (and many "action" movies, for that matter) are about mass murderers (or wannabe mass murderers), so I think Hollywood has kinda already beat everybody else to the punch here. I mean, there were mass murderers before Hollywood existed as an entity, but Hollywood really ran with it. I can't find out (via Google) what the first cinematic depiction of mass murder was. I'm guessing a movie about Nazis.

  • ,

    Likely something silent with cowboys slaughtering Indians.

  • Eric D. Snider, you're my hero.

  • David Sorenson

    Back in my day, a tragedy wasn't fully exploited until Lenny Briscoe made a pun about it in the opening of the Law & Order episode that totally wasn't based off of it in any way, shape or form.

  • Pentadactyl

    ripped off from the headlines

  • lMattW

    For the record, The Watch is a much better movie than The Dark Knight Rises.

  • TheGreatUnstainer

    I was wondering when this would go meta.

  • Shyamallamadindong

    I hate people.

  • ,


    And don't forget to blame the Tea Party. Because everything is political.

  • dahlia6

    See, I was just going to blame this on Obama, even though I hate Mitt Romney with the fiery passion of a thousand blazing suns, but I don't want to be seen as too knee-jerk or derivative. I want my self-righteous indignation to mean something, damnit!

  • Fredo

    I feel dirty just reading that.

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