The ghouls watching Nik Wallenda

Yes, that would be you. The people lining Wacker and Wabash on the chance Nik Wallenda will plunge to his death this afternoon. The people gathered at tightrope-watching parties in nearby offices and condos. The businesses that are open to accommodate the macabre.

I roundly disagree with Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, who said:  "You have a man who's staring at the heart of darkness and he walks toward it. I don't think you have to be sick to find that exciting. It is exciting."

Swell. Let's sell tickets to beheadings--that's exciting. Let's televise criminal executions--that's exciting. Let's open up intensive care units and have pools to bet on who's the next to die--that's exciting.

To get in line to watch someone take a stupid risk and possibly die is sick. There's no other word for it.

Even sicker are the Chicago officials who bent the law to allow this bloodthirsty travesty to go on. What possibly could have motivated them? The "good" PR that it would garner around the world?

Maybe instead of all the publicity that the media are giving to this circus, one reporter would ask and investigate: Who is making money off this stunt? Where are the investigative reporters?

Here's a recounting of the Wallenda family's performances and deaths.

For information on my award-winning historical novel, "Madness: The War of 1812," visit:

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  • "Staring into the heart of darkness"? Isn't that what Cheney's cardiologist did?

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