Our Desire For Disaster Porn

Oct 31 2012 @ 12:21pm

Enhanced-buzz-19650-1351691188-2

Shafer explains where it comes from:

What impels us to watch, to hunger for more disaster and mayhem, and to keep on watching long after we’ve learned all there is to know? Wake Forest University English Professor Eric C. Wilson gathers some clues in his new book, Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can’t Look Away. We never feel more alive than in times of distress, danger, and calamity, Wilson writes, whether we experience it directly or at a televised remove, watch it dramatized in a movie, or read it in a novel. He cites a psychologist to theorize that our morbid curiosity has an evolutionary function: Being well-informed about dangers and potential dangers helps us survive; finding points of empathy through which we can connect with those who have suffered allow us to build lasting bonds.

(Image from Buzzfeed's list of "25 Shocking Before & After Photos Of Hurricane Sandy's Destruction)