Cultural Commentator

How the Hell Does a Culture Editor Handle the Events in Boston?

Cultural Commentator

How the Hell Does a Culture Editor Handle the Events in Boston?

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It’s days like the one we’re having today, and weeks like the one we just had, that makes an entertainment media guy like myself feel like a real piece of shit. There are hordes of law enforcement types in the Boston area, at this very instant, who are risking their lives by going after some screwball with explosives strapped to his chest, so they can bring a sense of closure to the terrible week that city and this country has just endured. And meanwhile, I just posted something about Thierry Mulger’s return to his eponymous line. Wha?

It’s an interesting dilemma (existential crisis) I face every time a large-scale tragedy unfolds. On Monday, immediately after the marathon bombing, while the rest of the country’s media outlets kicked into overdrive covering the horror and heroism of the day’s events, I was left with a post about some “synth-y new track everyone has to check out,” which suddenly felt about a thousand times more pointless than it normally does. I felt the same way after the ungodly events in Aurora and Newtown. How can I possibly do my job in the wake of such unthinkable terror? Should I just log out of WordPress and call it a day? Probably.

But following the Aurora shooting, I didn’t do that. Because it happened in the cultural sphere, at a midnight screening of the year’s most anticipated film, I tried to play pop psychologist and capture it in my little entertainment bubble. That way, I could at least feature something about the shooting on my website’s homepage and feel like I’m being a real journalist type. The result was a little ditty called  “How Will the Colorado Shooting Affect Going to the Movies?” The answer to that essential question was: it won’t, and it didn’t. But hey, at least I got to infuse my website, normally populated by “hot rising stars” and “sweet fashion models,” with a little gravitas, some heart.

Like most of you, I’ve been following Twitter breathlessly since events crescendoed in Watertown late last night. On my way to work this morning, every single tweet on my feed was in some way related to the standoff with the marathon bombing suspect. If the new Man of Steel trailer dropped this morning instead of a few days ago, would anyone give a rip? There was a movie happening on our smartphones! In real time! With no end in sight! But now, just a few hours later, with still no end in sight, some of my entertainment media type brethren are starting to emerge from their self-imposed blurgatrory. The good folks over at SlashFilm just shouted out the new Thor poster. (It’s boring.) And wow, breaking news: Entertainment Weekly is reporting that ‘Big Bang Theory’ REPEAT beats ‘American Idol’. That’s big, manhunt or no manhunt.

I’m aware that after a while, when Boston gets back to being Boston and not some Grand Guignol theater for everyone to gaze lustily upon, that I’ll no longer feel this way. My totally revealing profile on Imogen Poots will gain back some of its relevancy (especially when she like, becomes the huge star she’s for sure destined to be). But until that time comes, maybe I’ll just hang back, ease up off all the important fashion and entertainment news that’s trickling through the wire, and most importantly, not look for a culture-related hook on the Boston tragedy and its aftermath, just for the sake of keeping my website relevant in a time of  real and palpable sadness.

Oh, wait.