7:30 P.M.

• Upset window display designer sets up a "Christmas" scene featuring dismembered figures, with meat spilling out around the stumps, and ketchup spraying like blood from where the jugular vein would be.

* * *

8 P.M.

• A woman is seen split in two from the top of her skull to her rib cage.

• A man assaults stage performers with a BB gun, deliberately aiming for and striking an eyeball.

* * *

8:30 P.M.

• In a fantasy "play" sequence, a boy imagines his toys engaged in a gun battle. At the end, he rakes the prone "bodies" of his toy "enemies" with automatic-weapons fire; they quiver and bounce as the bullets strike. Their "stuffing" puffs out from the bullet holes.

• The same boy and his father are abducted at gunpoint by a criminal gang.

This sequence of scenes were from consecutive, animated programs on network, over-the-air television, during what used to be termed "family hour." The broadcasts had been postponed to a later week, since news broadcasts regarding the Sandy Hook atrocity had preempted them during their intended original broadcast date.

If popular media may be thought of as a mirror to a nation's values or psyche, could there be any correlation, perhaps, between the atrocity and the "culture" that it had pre-empted?