I had some notion that I'd whip up a rant or something, but I'm listening to John & Mary (CD courtesy of The Alabama Sister) and it's just too soothing for rant-writing. So, in the general spirit of rambling, ill-written, self-aggrandizing rants, the following may be considered notes towards the development of a rant (Guaranteed 100% original-insight free):
As awful as the VA Tech shooting was, several times as many victims died this week so far in Iraq.
The shooter's boyifestos don't merit distribution. I'm as curious as anyone, but what's it tell us? He's just another chump who thought the world owed him a suck job. As this Guardian editorial says, school shootings have become a genre, and in this case working in the genre represents an astonishing failure of imagination. That's the best you could think of? A copycat crime? A petulant, meanspirited suicide? And make no mistake, gun fetishists: if you think video games about guns or movies about guns had more to do with this than, y'know, GUNS, then you're so desperate. And you don't need to be. Your precious guns will stay legal, because exactly two congress persons aren't turning tricks for the NRA. The dissonance on guns in our culture is amazing. Here in Alabama the street legality of cop-killer weapons was recently upheld after four cops were murdered for serving a (misdemeanor) warrant, but dildos are BANNED. This is everything you need to know about the Alabama state of mind.
As a highschooler I imagined myself walking through the school halls and shooting people at random. I didn't want to think about this; I just did. All the time. You know why I didn't actually do it? Because I had a sense of what my options were. Options like: suck it up until puberty's over. Once puberty ended those daydreams fled, never to return, and good riddance.
Martin Amis wrote an article about a then-current case in which some guys killed a woman while chanting catch phrases from a horror movie. Amis watched the same movie and found it only inspired him to avoid crappy horror movies. To paraphrase his conclusions, the guys didn't kill because they had a crap movie in their heads; they did it because they didn't have much else in their heads. If you've got a good number of ideas in your head then there's an ideological pecking order working things out in your cranium. Ideas like
"Let's kill someone cuz a character in a crap movie did it"
"Let's shoot people at random because I'm not getting suck jobs"
"Let's break into a school, rape and kill students, then commit suicide because it's better to have a few minutes of monstrous pleasure and then cease than to live a grueling long life"
"Let's blow ourselves up along with a bunch of infidels because a 'man of god' told me to and it's better to have a few minutes of monstrous pleasure and then cease than to live a grueling long life"
find their place in the pecking order real quick. The place is in the barrel.
Phew. Glad I got that off my chest. I'm so glad I'm not even going to revise it for clarity or anything.
Edit: In the proud tradition of NBC News, I'd like to point out that I've used the term "suck job" with extreme sensitivity.