Tuesday, January 5, 2010

House Of Horrors: Don't Glorify The Criminals!

Christchurch's House of Horrors: good riddance...but should we celebrate?Christchurch's “House of Horrors” (where Jason Somerville killed and interred two victims) has finally gone up in smoke after four arson attempts.
 Mayor Bob Parker says the murders traumatised the community and the building's demise will be a huge relief to all.
In journalese, "traumatised" is an over-used synonym for "upset": after all, how many locals actually suffered 'emotional or psychological injury from an extremely stressful or life-threatening situation'? And "community" usually means nosey locals with a vested interest.
The house was destroyed in a criminal act. Rather than an occasion for general relief and social closure, it's breaking the law – plain and simple. When lawbreakers rape, we don't praise their public spirit. Why the feeling that the arsonist has done everyone a favour?
Murderer and house owner Jason Somerville should not profit from his crime, but nor should the mortgage company suffer because it unknowingly entered into a loan agreement with a killer. And let's not forget the neighbours, whose adjoining house was destroyed too.
As for Mayor Parker's suggestion of a memorial park on-site, how many parks would appear in NZ if every murder was immortalised this way? Well, 58 in 2008 alone (and awaiting 2009's figures)! A park may be a nice suggestion for Parker's voters - it may even be seen as a catharsis for his "traumatised community". But surely if they need catharsis, they should seek some counselling. The only truly traumatised ones are the members of the families involved.
I suggest the "community" gets real, moves on, finds something new to gossip about...and doesn't praise the arsonist: after all, whose place will be next?
(...with thanks to Tim Wilson, TV One)

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