Join 100,427 users already on read.cash

Why I will not be tuning in to Jeffrey Dahmer's Monster on Netflix

7 9
Avatar for Trifecta
Written by   89
3 months ago

A few days ago, there was a flurry on WhatsApp because of an incident that had occurred a couple streets away from ours. Some men were sitting together under a tree playing cards, some other men passed by, there was a drive by, a dust up, the men playing cards scattered, and when the smoke cleared, the shell of one man was left lying in the streets.

Years gone by, this story would have led to the community reacting in horror. A few days ago when the incident occurred, there were pictures and videos on WhatsApp, a few excited whispers, and that was it. Later that day, after the body was removed, life continued for the rest of the community as it had been a few hours before. This, in my opinion, is what sensationalism does. It sells and it desensitizes us. We are no longer horrified by terrible things because it's now all just entertainment.

Further, living as we do in an era of quick snaps and 15 second videos, our attention span has been cut so short that we no longer dwell on issues of critical concern. Nothing is deserving of anything more than passing attention or a mention. And so, Jeffrey Dahmer.

Jeffrey Dahmer, a serial killer who lived in Milwaukee, US, was a real life cannibal who preyed on young men. His story is disgusting, and to me, there is no entertainment value in the horror of his shenanigans or in the trauma endured by his neighbors, those who reported the matter to the police, and by the family members of the victim. But, I guess, big networks are finding ways to monetize our growing appetite for more horrifying, increasingly gory content. And today, we are entertained by the most depraved among us.

My friends, it's scary that as a society, we are no longer simply desensitized by horror but that some of us crave more and more and more of it to elicit an emotional response. And so, when the Jeffrey Dahmer series, Monster, was released, it immediately shot to number one on Netflix's list of trending shows and there were multiple comments on social media about persons who claimed to be 'transfixed' by the unfolding scenes. Earlier today in fact, LetsCinema tweeted that Monster had moved up the ranks to become the 9th most watched Netflix series of all time. Imagine that.

Just like that, we have become cannibals ourselves, feasting on the pain of others, claiming to commiserate with the stories of the victims, arguing weakly that stories like these serve to boost our awareness as a community about the crazies who live among us, like we didn't already know this, when really, the truth that we won't admit is that we watch shows like these simply because we're entertained by them.

We don't care about the victims or their loved ones who, incidentally, have described the film as 'retraumatizing'. We don't care about awareness. We care about the entertainment. And here's why I'd argue this. I'd hazard a guess that if we were to compare numbers for the people tuning into the show for 'awareness' with those logging in to maybe an online seminar, a TED talk, or collecting pamphlets warning us about creepy strangers, we'd find that the numbers disproportionately favor the show building a shrine to a monster. I don't know, maybe the special effects hit home harder.

And then when the show is over and the credits roll up, we clear away our excess popcorn, discard our empty bottles of soda, and return to life as usual, as it was a few hours before. And we're even more desensitized.

But here's the thing. If this is where we are in 2022, if this is what we need to move the needle, to feel horrified, to capture our attention, then how what will we need to see a few years from today? Years gone by...

Yesterday, an acquaintance of mine asked me about the Monster series. His friends had tuned in and were raving about it. It's the modern day Nightmare on Elm Street. He wanted to know what I thought. My response was simple. I've heard of the show. I won't be watching. This is not the food I propose to feed my soul with. And no, my friends, to be clear, I don't only watch documentaries, RomComs and family dramas. I love a fair mix of all shows. But this, in my view, is too heavy for my palate. Enough is enough.

Resources

5
$ 0.06
$ 0.03 from @Princessbusayo
$ 0.02 from @DocLayla
$ 0.01 from @Micontingsabit
Sponsors of Trifecta
empty
empty
Avatar for Trifecta
Written by   89
3 months ago
Enjoyed this article?  Earn Bitcoin Cash by sharing it! Explain
...and you will also help the author collect more tips.

Comments

Deep. I haven't really giving that much thought either. People care now about things that don't matter than they do for things that matter,carefree in a bad way. I know of couple of sites where a person can watch gory stuffs. It really is entertainment today!

$ 0.01
3 months ago

It is because we are become so desensitized. I think that this form of numbing by entertainment is really dangerous for society.

$ 0.00
3 months ago

I agree.

$ 0.00
3 months ago

Yeah, true. From the looks of it, its content is pretty disturbing. It it doesn't help, it would just trigger many people's trauma.

$ 0.01
3 months ago

Exactly, particularly the trauma of those who lived through this. I see no entertainment value in it, and I think there are better ways to be informed of the things the show purports to warn against.

$ 0.00
3 months ago

Thanks for pointi ng this out. Me and my husband watched this too, I wasn't entertained but I am more like scared that there are other people idolizing him. It was just sick.

$ 0.01
3 months ago

Yep, there was a lot of hype around the show. I guess we sometimes have to be careful what we tap into. Thanks for stopping by.

$ 0.00
3 months ago