The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, by Heinrich Böll

The opening page of this novella comes with a little hint as to what the contents will be like:

“The characters and action in this story are purely fictitious. Should the description of certain journalistic practices result in a resemblance to the practices of Bild-Zeitung, such resemblance is neither intentional, nor fortuitous, but unavoidable.”

Bild-Zeitung being a popular tabloid at the time.

In the first couple pages we also find out that a journalist for The News, the fictionalized version of the tabloid, has been murdered, and who murdered them. The rest of the novella goes on to show us exactly the kind of activity that lead to that murder.

The sub title to this novella is listed as: “How Violence Develops And Where It Can Lead”

The horrible twisting of the truth, and altering of statements in order to print a sensational story that will attract readers (who cares whose life it ruins) is very reflective of the kind of trash, click-bait writing we get today, from almost every major news source in America.

This story was infuriating to read because it is so entirely believable, and might as well be the telling of a true story. The way it was written, in a sort of documentary, pulled back and sterile way, somehow made the events even more horrible.

This was a very quick and effective read, and is one more drop of evidence in the bucket of Capitalism Ruins Everything. If reporters and magazines get more money when they print shocking stories, and have zero consequences for printing lies, you can guess where that will lead…

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