Underground Film Journal

Posted In » Online Cinema

Short Film: Coverage

By Mike Everleth ⋅ September 11, 2011

9/11 and sexual dysfunction go hand in… Well, hand with something else in Jef Taylor‘s wicked and brilliant media satire Coverage. Instead of a guy being depressed by the relentlessly repetitive news footage of that dark day, it has quite the opposite effect on his libido.

Why this particular short film speaks to me personally is that it very smartly avoids offering commentary on the actual events of 9/11. One could substitute lots of tragic events in for the TV coverage that Taylor’s lead actor compulsively watches over and over. To me, that’s the over-arching point about our current media climate that the film strikes on in its own smart fashion that’s especially striking on today’s tenth anniversary of the attacks.

Woman buttoning up shirt after having sex with husband

To go off on a bit of a rant here, the media’s modern wallowing in horrific tragedy is, I believe, crushing our country’s soul.

9/11 was a catastrophically awful day. I was living and working in NYC then and wasn’t too far from the Twin Towers hit. It wasn’t a very pleasant day for me, but nowhere near as devastating for me as it was for those who lost their lives and for their loved ones.

The news should mention and remark on 9/11’s events in a tasteful and restrained fashion so the rest of the country doesn’t forget. And for those who were personally affected by 9/11, this is their day. They should be able to mark the occasion in whatever way they wish and the media should leave them the hell alone.

But this relentless trafficking in sorrow on TV and the Internet is actually doing us a horrible disservice. These days, the news is all about making us sad and dwell on tragedy. 9/11, Princess Diana, Michael Jackson — these are all topics I felt like I couldn’t get away from just this week.

This used to be a country where we dreamed about — and made happen — things like going to the moon. Now all the news wants to sell me are reports that Jackie said that JFK thought LBJ was a loser.

No wonder our infrastructure is collapsing, the economy sucks and the only thing our political parties can get done is bickering. Who dreams about doing anything big when we’re constantly reminded about everything bad?

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