Apparently there were many people in the theater who thought that a man entering the theater wearing body armor and a gas mask, carrying a huge assault rifle and throwing cannisters of chemicals into the audience was "part of the show". Are Americans supposed to have become so used to the idea of armed violence that they would expect a live depiction of terrorism to be "part of the show"? Think about it. Images and representations of goblins, ghosts and witches were used to scare previous generations. In the modern world we are led to accept representations of shadowy figures in body armor, sporting assault rifles and chemical bombs as the now version of someone jumping out and shouting "boo". This is an astonishing transformation of what we accept as "entertainment".
The other things that has struck me in the aftermath of this tragedy is how eager some people are to go on television and recount seeing other people shot, bloodied and dying, as if they were describing a fender bender in the grocery store parking lot. There is one young woman who is ubiquitous now on cable tv , "the gun was five feet from my face", who must have retold her story a hundred times for the cameras already. I hope it is just a nervousness reaction to the terror that is making her be so talkative about what happened to her and the rest of the people in that theater, and not some attraction to the notoriety, but who knows? And there are others , who talk so matter of factly about the shooting of 72 people. I have seen very few people show the sort of obvious emotion that would make one think they had reflected on the fact that they had experienced the unthinkable.
This new world of "everyone is a media performer" is a strange place.