Jul 202012
 
 July 20, 2012  Posted by at 6:16 pm Finance

After Jared Loughner opened fire on group of people in an Arizona grocery store early last year, apparently targeting Congreswoman Gabrielle Giffords, I wrote a post called "The Lunatic is in my Head". It questioned the mainstream narrative that we were fed about Loughner being a paranoid schizophrenic who had simply gone untreated for too long, and suddenly snapped. Let me be clear – in my opinion, whether Loughner was a "lunatic" or not is irrelevant to whether he should be held accountable for his despicable actions. There is absolutely NO excuse for such actions, and people like him should (and will) be punished to account for justice.

Fast forward to July 20, 2012, and we find ourselves confronted with a very similar tragedy. Police have identified James Holmes, a 24 year old studying for a P.h.D. in neuroscience at the University of Colorado, as the gunman who killed 12 people and injured 40 others at a Dark Knight movie premier in Denver. Should we chalk this horrendous incident up to the homicidal delusions of an abnormal person in an otherwise "normal" society as well, and then forget about it next week? Is there any connection at all between the actions of Holmes and the societal institutions and ingrained culture that surrounds us?

Perhaps it is time we, as individuals living in such a society, really start to ask ourselves why these incidents are apparently becoming more common throughout the developed world, mainly in the West but also in the East. What's happening in our economies, our corporate sectors, our banking systems and our socipolitical environments is not independent of what's happening in our movie theatres and our schools and our workplaces. Something deeper is happening than just chemical imbalances and misfiring neurons here; something more sinister, and something more widespread. I dare say we owe it to the victims and their families to not only offer them our thoughts and prayers, but to offer them our deeply considered reflection on what just happened.

In that spirit, I would ask readers to consider the following summary and review of the book "Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion " by Mark Ames, written in 2007 by Ed Vulliamy for the Guardian. In the book, Ames compares modern shooting sprees to the murderous outbursts of slaves against those around them, including but not limited to their masters – acute episodes of backlash against a culture of severe oppression and alienation. In the review, however, Vulliamy takes it a step further to suggest that perhaps what we are experiencing through these acts IS our culture, and what it has been for many years now. People like Holmes are not victims, rebels or exceptions – they are the metastasized cells of a cancerous culture.

Once again, I don't want to use this incident as a platform to convince anyone of anything, but simply to present ideas that deserve our consideration in these trying times.

Rage against the American Dream

 

It came as a shock, but then seemed suddenly inevitable: another news bulletin, another school massacre. Almost exactly a year before, I had been in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to report the gunning down of four girls at Westside Middle School. Now, in April 1999, it was a town called Littleton, Colorado, and a school called Columbine High: hardened SWAT officers wiping away tears; bereaved parents, their faces crippled with sorrow; another little town with its soul torn out by yet another 'rage killing'. 'Where's your God now?' the teenaged killer Eric Harris had jibed – with what one girl I spoke to called a 'dumb giggle' – before opening fire and killing her friend Cassie Bernall.

 

Then came the excavation into the world of Columbine's 'Trenchcoat Mafia', its immersion in guns, rap music, Marilyn Manson and violent computer games, and the acclaimed film Bowling for Columbine (2002) by Michael Moore. Now comes a book about the history of 'rage killing' in America that takes its title not from the school massacres that inspired it, but from an expression every American knows. 'Going postal' entered the language after a spate of shootings in the US Postal Service facilities that began in 1986 with a murderous spree by Patrick Sherrill in Edmond, Oklahoma. Ames explains how the shootings coincided with 'semi-privatisation' under Ronald Reagan that turned working for the USPS into a corporate experience like many others in postmodern, post-industrial America. But Ames goes further.

 

There followed many more workplace massacres, the histories of which he traces meticulously, and which he posits as acts of enraged rebellion against a new system of stress, layoffs and impossible expectations which are 'making the world a crueller place' in the new American factory – the office – and at places of supposed study. It is an apolitical insurgency by people who are, he insists, 'sane'.

 

In the education system, the stress endured by pupils' parents 'doesn't so much trickle down, it rains down from parent to child, like acid rain'. Ames draws a direct line between slave rebellions and rage killing, arguing that 'the modern American work culture derives from the same sources that defined slavery's official work culture'.

 

But the idea that developing forms of modernity and postmodernity devour, reduce and alienate their pawns to the point of violence is as old as modern social analysis. And other problems arise in Ames's argument, among them the fact that there have not, so far as I know, been many, if any, cases of 'rage massacre' in the sweatshops of Asia or indeed along the chain of Mexican export assembly plants, or maquiladoras, on the United States's southern frontier, where conditions are far worse than those in the US itself.

 

What Ames is writing about is a largely American phenomenon, and mostly a white one – with black ghetto gun killing another, though related, matter. Ames scorns the way 'Americans wanted to blame everything but Columbine High for the massacre' – citing 'a violent culture, Marilyn Manson, the internet' and the gun lobby. He wants the mainstream to be responsible, not its bogeymen.

 

Of course he has a point when it comes to the alienation, stress, pressure, bullying and loneliness endemic in modern America – imitated all over the world, markedly in Britain and Asia – and the violence they detonate. But what could be more quintessential to establishment America's perversion of its own culture than the factors Ames dismisses: violence in the media, on the internet, in mass music, all of it highly lucrative?

 

Is there really such a distance between the hardcore rap lyrics that incite violence and the entertainment industry that nurtures them? Or between Hollywood violence and extreme violence on the web and in computer games designed along Silicon Valley? What if rage killing were actually an affirmation of – not a 'rebellion' against – American culture?

 

The mediocre genius of postmodern mass culture is that it creates what appears to be dissent, in order to absorb it at a profit. A more interesting volume would collate these outrages, as Ames has done, and demonstrate how they were actually inspired by creatures of that same, highly established, mass and new digital media, that same postmodern, post-industrial culture against which Ames thinks they were directed.

 

This was pointed out to me, a year before Going Postal was conceived, by David Grossman, a former army psychologist who had tutored soldiers in the psychological art of killing in Vietnam, and had come to live in Jonesboro. By the time of the massacre there, he was a college tutor in 'killology', and he told me how what he called the 'continued stimulus and conditioned response' to ensure that a soldier would kill were 'manifest all over mainstream American civilian society, on television, in the rap music, in computer games'. During his experiments, children accomplished at cyber-killing became eager and skilful marksmen on a clay-pigeon shoot.

 

But how far do we want to go in 'understanding' rage killers, and defining their rampages in terms of 'rebellion'? We in Britain tend to regard American rage killing as something of a video game in itself – a passage in that fantasy mental screen narrative we call 'Americana'. But what if we bring it home? Covering Jonesboro and Columbine were coloured for me by the unforgettable honour of having previously met an extraordinary man called Mick North, whose daughter was killed, along with 15 other children, at Dunblane primary school in 1996 by Thomas Hamilton, who had a grudge against the local scouts, against parents of children at the school and against the local police, all two of them. Do we really want to 'understand' what Hamilton did in terms of 'alienation' from our admittedly rotten and 'postal' society? And if we don't, does that make us 'Outraged of Tunbridge Wells?' No, it doesn't. Closing Ames's book and trying to think of Hamilton as any kind of revolutionary or victim … sorry, it just doesn't work.

Home Forums Rage Against the American Dream

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  • #8464

    ashvin
    Participant

    After Jared Loughner opened fire on group of people in an Arizona grocery store early last year, apparently targeting Congreswoman Gabrielle Giffords,
    [See the full post at: Rage Against the American Dream]

    #4755

    Surly1
    Member

    And thus the nut of it:

    “Is there really such a distance between the hardcore rap lyrics that incite violence and the entertainment industry that nurtures them? Or between Hollywood violence and extreme violence on the web and in computer games designed along Silicon Valley? What if rage killing were actually an affirmation of – not a ‘rebellion’ against – American culture?”

    IN the late 60s, H. Rap Brown was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and for a short time served as Minister of Justice for the Black Panther Party. He was best known for saying, “violence is as American as cherry pie,” which outraged– OUTRAGED!!– middle America.

    Since we know no history, see no history, and learn no history (Gore Vidal once famously referred to this country as “The United States of Amnesia,” we forget or ignore the fact that the land we walk on, live on and endlessly subdivide for profit was purchased with blood, mostly that of native peoples. To say nothing of the war crimes committed daily against native peoples around the world in defense of the Happy Motoring lifestyle.

    Our media culture glorifies violence, and every decade or so, the violence incipient in this culture comes storming home. Note the story management by the MSM to avoid calling the killer a “terrorist.” David Sirota in Salon today:
    “Not surprisingly, police and reporters have been quick to tell us the opposite — that the suspected shooter was likely just a ‘lone wolf’ and that ‘this act does not appear to be linked to radical terrorism or anything related to Islamic terrorism,’ as ABC News put it. This newspeak is supposed to reassure us that this is anything but terrorism — that terrorism is something that happens only in faraway places or huge cosmopolitan cities, not in an Anytown, USA, in the American heartland; that terrorism never comes at the hands of a ’24-year-old white American male’ named ‘James Holmes’; it comes only at the hands of dark-skinned “evildoers” with hard-to-pronounce names; that terrorism comes only from calculating operatives who represent organized political interests, not from “crazy” individuals who calculatedly act on their own ideology or psychopathy. In this, we are expected to be sedated by such reassurances, to ignore the ever-growing list of such “lone wolves,” and to reject a much wider definition of terrorism, no matter how much the reality of shooting after shooting after shooting screams at us to accept it.”

    #4756

    Greenpa
    Participant

    https://littlebloginthebigwoods.blogspot.com/

    Sorry, but it’s far simpler than all this. They just want to be celebrities. All the endless discussion- is just what they wanted.

    #4757

    ashvin
    Participant

    Greenpa post=4421 wrote: https://littlebloginthebigwoods.blogspot.com/

    Sorry, but it’s far simpler than all this. They just want to be celebrities. All the endless discussion- is just what they wanted.

    I’d bet if we polled a bunch of Americans asking them who the Arizona shooter was last year, less than half of them would remember the guy’s name, especially before today. Hell, I barely remembered what it was and I wrote an article about it. In today’s world of YouTube, Facebook and an infinite number of spinoffs of American Idol and America’s Got Talent, there are easier ways to get 15 minutes of fame. No doubt that our culture’s twisted promotion of star f*cking pride has a role to play in the cancer, but it not even close to the whole story here.

    No, I believe this type of deeply-rooted anger/rage goes beyond a simple need for short-lived publicity. A guy studying for his doctorate in neuroscience suddenly turns into an insatiable media hound? To me, what we are seeing is the type of mentality that truly separates an individual from his/her soul (or whatever you want to call the moral impulse), and it is endemic to modern cultures. I could be wrong that this is what is going on with this specific guy, but if not him, then others who have come along before and will come again in the near future.

    #4758

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    Ashvin,

    You’re right to inquire as to whether the values espoused by our societal institutions are somehow driving this kind of deviant behavior, but I think you’re way off in suggesting that the violent imagery of popular “culture” is somehow at work here.

    Humanity is a violent species. By some measures, we are far less violent today than any other time in history.

    Holmes and others like him are not “rage killers.” The man planned this, and then executed his plan.

    There is, indeed, a deeper problem here. And that problem clearly arises from our societal values. But I lay the blame at the feet of the neoliberal meme that “there is no society, only a collection of individuals.” The methodical atomization of society has killed empathy, resulting in a nation of sociopaths and narcissists that are incapable of understanding the pain they inflict on others because they are so busy nursing their own.

    #4759

    ashvin
    Participant

    Tao Jonesing post=4423 wrote: Ashvin,

    You’re right to inquire as to whether the values espoused by our societal institutions are somehow driving this kind of deviant behavior, but I think you’re way off in suggesting that the violent imagery of popular “culture” is somehow at work here.

    Humanity is a violent species. By some measures, we are far less violent today than any other time in history.

    I wasn’t suggesting the pop culture imagery is the cause of senseless violent actions… it is just a reflection of a senselessly violent culture. Why else are these industries and themes so profitable? And premeditation doesn’t make the violence any less borne out of rage/anger. In fact, it means the person was acting less on “heat of the moment” emotions and more on calculated desires that have festered for quite some time.

    In his book, Ames points out that there were times in American history where almost everyone carried around a concealed weapon with them in public, but you still never got the kind of mass execution sprees we have seen since the 1980s. That could be because it was easier for others to defend themselves, but I think it is deeper than that. Something has definitely changed, and I believe that neoliberal values are certainly a part of it, as you point out. But I don’t think we should just write it off as something that has always existed, and something that won’t continue to get worse as societal conditions make the self-absorbed desires of individuals, borne out of fear and anger, even worse.

    #4763

    Tao Jonesing
    Participant

    “I wasn’t suggesting the pop culture imagery is the cause of senseless violent actions… it is just a reflection of a senselessly violent culture. Why else are these industries and themes so profitable?”

    They’re so profitable because violence is part of the human condition and always has been. It’s deeper than the present instantiation of “culture” and may be found in ancient “cultures”, as well.

    “And premeditation doesn’t make the violence any less borne out of rage/anger. In fact, it means the person was acting less on “heat of the moment” emotions and more on calculated desires that have festered for quite some time. “

    You’re on the scent here, but you don’t quite have it yet. The premeditation required a complete inversion of the norms this kid based his life on. Until this action, Holmes appears to have played by the rules to a fault. I view his actions as BOTH embracing the true societal values (i.e., screw everybody but me) and a rejection of them (i.e., screw you).

    “But I don’t think we should just write it off as something that has always existed, and something that won’t continue to get worse as societal conditions make the self-absorbed desires of individuals, borne out of fear and anger, even worse.”

    That’s not what I’m suggesting. Let me try to spell it out because I clearly have been too cryptic.

    A central premise of Judaism, Christianity (Catholicism, really) and Classical Liberalism is the importance of the collective to the individual’s identity. Where Judaism and Christianity explicitly have forms of excommunication from the collective, secular Classical Liberalism had a de facto analog (reputation). Neoliberalism seeks to extinguish the “communistic fiction” that underlies Judaism, Christianity and their first secular analog Classical Liberalism, and excommunication is a purely economic (and automatic) phenomenon: once you’re hopelessly in debt, you’re no longer part of the polis. Under the rules of Judaism, Christianity and Classical Liberalism, it is impossible to play by those rules and still get excommunicated. The rules of neoliberalism are designed to use up and excommunicate anybody who plays by them. When true believers get abused this way, they can face an existential crisis that leads to the kind of thing we saw this morning. Holmes is indeed a product of the neoliberal culture, which became embedded in the American psyche in the 1970s.

    #4764

    Glennda
    Participant

    Conservatives impacted CA, starting in the 70s when Gov. Regan opened the doors of mental hospitals. Since then local counties and cities, have been responsible for the mentally ill. What do they do with them? Why just wait till they have broken a law and then throw them in jail. (Jails are like businesses, don’t fix it or business will decline.)

    Sometimes an ordinance exists that can lead a schizophrenic or brain-damaged-by-amphetamines person to be put in a mental hospital. They even stay there for 72 hours, occasionally longer, if they are put on meds in a longer term facility. Then they are given a bus ticket back to their city or where-ever, where they can toss the meds.

    I have seen this happen over and over again with one ongoing relative. So where is the “safety net” of kindness and concern? Oh, that is too expensive and might infringe on some personal rights. Locally a young man murdered a man with a flower pot, when he was trying to get into his house where the “supposed girl friend” was. This schizophrenic’s family had been trying to get him help, but he kept being returned to the community.

    I wonder – perhaps this incident of the shooting spree (why are guns so easy to get?) is a mirror of the violence of our society, but I think it is also a mirror of the uncaring, neglectful, drop-them-off-the back-of-the-truck, attitude our society has towards our needy citizens, whether their needs are economic or mental health treatment or drug treatment.

    #4768

    It could well be argued that Americans are the most cold blooded killers the earth has ever known. We wage wars while accepting tax cuts, to make our children and grandchildren pay for it. We consume obliviously, insatiably while our government practices rape, pillage, plunder and dominate tactics in “lesser” nations. We yawn when we hear our President sits down every Tuesday with his advisors to decide who is going to die. We drop bombs from drones on kids sitting around a bonfire in Yemen, ho hum, and then are outraged, OUTRAGED! when some young person shoots some people in a theatre, here in the states. How dare he!?! How dare any of us, living the American dream, striving without limit, at the expense of the weak and the vulnerable globally, as if God bestowed our affluence? What is this Holmes but reflecting US back at ourselves?

    He is a cold blooded killer. A kind of American Icon in shadow.

    http://www.offthegridmpls.blogspot.com

    #4772

    ashvin
    Participant

    Tao Jonesing post=4428 wrote: I view his actions as BOTH embracing the true societal values (i.e., screw everybody but me) and a rejection of them (i.e., screw you).

    I think we’re talking about the same underlying thing for the most part. Ames portrayed the past rampages as rebellion against a repressive, enslaving culture, and Vulliamy portrayed the actions as fully embracing the shadow American iconic culture, as WHD put it. I believe both portrayals are accurate to an extent, and both aspects of our cultural values can lead to a person being fully “excommunicated” from others and him/herself, or more accurately his/her moral identity.

    Glennda also raises a good point. I tend to view traditional labels of mental illness with a lot of skepticism, but at the same time I recognize that a lot of people who are truly afflicted with some sort of debilitating condition are rejected by societal institutions and left to fend for themselves. That will become even more true as economic conditions worsen and the political climate becomes even more splintered. Our concern for the “least of these” in this country has always been severely lacking to non-existent.

    42for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44“Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ 45“Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ Matt. 25

    #4775

    istt
    Member

    This type of behavior has always been present. As the world becomes more populated the more times we will see this type of atrocity occur. It is like rats in a cage. When it gets to the point that there is not enough space to comfortably exist violence ensues. Societies who have the luxury of space can be tolerant of this kind of anomaly. But places like China, that don’t have such a luxury, exact quick and just punishment, no questions asked, no psychoanalysis used. A bad apple that needs to be removed so he doesn’t do it again. The US and much of western society is getting closer to this reality.

    There is no question that all of the violence portrayed in film, video games and literature is a solid link to this type of expression but let’s be clear, this type of violence is random and happens in every culture. It is just a question of frequency and degree. Whatever you nurture you will get more of.

    #4780

    Anonymous

    Conversely, this could have been a staged psyop event using a preprogrammed patsy for the purpose of delegitimising gun ownership, to coincide with the imminent ratification of that UN treaty concerning gun registration.
    Reports indicate that the suspect was armed with gas grenades and armored with expensive professional gear, more stashed in his home, which he might not have been able to procure or afford without help.
    One eyewitness vaguely mentions a second shooter.
    Also, there was a six year old child there, at a midnight screening of an ultraviolent movie?
    The common narrative of culturally embedded rage psychosis is more relevant at this time, although the establishment will exploit this tragedy to push gun control anyway. The gun control angle was predictably being played to capitalise on the sense of vulnerability.

    Naturally, AJ is convinced that its a staged event:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoTH2b7hQM4

    Eric Holder did promise to use brainwashing techniques to bend the public towards accepting gun control.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYyqBxD-3xw
    This view of Holder’s, apart from indoctrinating kids to denounce gun owners and precriminalising gun use, also involves the idea that gun-fuelled rage-psychosis is propagated by the MSM and popular culture in general, constantly desensitizing the public to glorified gun violence.

    #4781

    Golden Oxen
    Participant

    This rant brought to mind the famous book and made into movie “In Cold Blood”, written by Truman Capote.

    I had the good fortune to listen to an interview with Capote in which he described his years of study of the famous Starkweather murders and the two perpetrators of the heinous crime.

    Mr Capote spent endless amounts of time and energy interviewing the two murderers and become convinced of the innocence of one of them and tried desperately to save his life. Of the barbaric one he felt was guilty and led the other into the crime he had the following to say. I cannot quote it but it was to the effect he was convinced there was something missing in his head. He said people like that had something cut from their brain like it was a sponge. They had no pity, feelings , remorse, conscience, moral compass, nothing. He said they had a big void or hole in their head and that any redemption for them or understanding for them was impossible.

    His solution for that type was one I remembered vividly. He thought as soon as it became apparent a person was one of them they should be placed in a large barb wired guarded city with others of the same affliction where they could perform their maniacal vicious deeds on one another without harm to the general population.
    It is a most interesting book and movie for anyone desiring an in depth view of the senseless, mindless, depraved killer type.

    #4782

    Hircus
    Participant

    Glennda post=4429 wrote: why are guns so easy to get?

    Glennda,

    I know this is a bit of a rhetorical question, but I thought I’d answer it in a different (non-political) way:

    1. Firearms of all types are, at this time, a well-established technology. He basic designs haven’t changed in over 100 years.
    2. They are incredibly simple to manufacture and are very reliable — for $300 you can buy a new gun that is of decent quality.
    3. They are really very low-tech, and can be made with pretty basic materials. More akin to hand-tools than iPhones.
    4. They don’t really wear out — tons of people have firearms from their grandparents that they still use.
    5. They’re still the best tool to quickly and instantly kill most animals.

    #4784

    Otto Matic
    Member

    “He said people like that had something cut from their brain like it was a sponge. They had no pity, feelings , remorse, conscience, moral compass, nothing. He said they had a big void or hole in their head and that any redemption for them or understanding for them was impossible.”

    Good description of the .01% at the top. As a group, lizards are referred to as a ‘lounge’.

    We are owned and ruled by a Lounge of Lizards with …no pity, no feelings , no remorse, no conscience, no moral compass, no NOTHING. They operate on the reptilian principle of kill or be killed.

    Dmitry Orlov did a piece called Peak Oil Oppositional Disorder: Neurosis or Psychosis?

    Covered a little bit of All Things Psychotic including group or cultural psychosis of broad swaths of an entire countries.

    “…estimated 50 million people in the US were taking psychotropic medications (antidepressants, tranquilizers, antipsychotics..)”

    Gee, I wonder if ‘the Joker’ was a user.

    I’m sure Big Fascist Pharma doesn’t want that story line coming out.

    That’s almost one in six Ah-merican ‘consumers’ (no more citizens here) is strung out on psychotropic medications.

    What a delightful thought.

    I will bet it’s much higher in certain high stress occupations. Some psychotropic medications enhance and greatly amplify suicidal tendencies.

    It has been reported that it only takes about 15% of a group changing it’s opinion or focus to basically sway the entire herd in a different direction.

    Let’s see, 50 million psychotropic medications users is about that very magical number (15%) to sway the other 250 million Americans right over the Edge with them I guess.

    There are probably a lot more choices now than just the Red or Blue Pill.

    Life is so complicated these days.

    #4785

    Otto Matic
    Member

    Oh, and the Batman killer had ordered more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition which were purchased online.

    Think about the obsessive compulsive impulse it took to think that was a good idea. A good strategic planning move.

    If The Joker had gone down to his local bank and taken out $6,000 dollars in cash, the little snitches at the bank would have dropped a dime on him to The Authorities in a heart beat.

    Now you know what the Owners have in store for global finance and humanity at large, they are cut from the same cloth as Batman Boy’s costume.

    #4797

    SqueakyRat
    Member

    Once upon a time, I was well launched toward a high-flying academic career. Then suddenly I wasn’t. After some years of scuffling as a teaching peon, there came a period of real poverty, something I had never actually experienced before. During that time, I came to realize that being poor in America is what I call an ontological wound: I actually had a sense of not existing as I had before, simply because there were so many things in the culture I could no longer participate in. America’s culture, such as it is, is so thoroughly commercialized that without money you are, as someone said in this thread, excommunicated. There’s a recent film in which the hero, living in a society in which access to everything is mediated by an electronic identity swipe card, gets cut off by the system. He can’t get into his apartment building, he can’t make a phone call, he can’t access his bank account, he can’t take a train, he can’t do much of anything. So he falls into a kind of subterranean underworld of similarly identity-less people. It was a little like that for me. It’s a very eerie sensation.

    #4809

    David Peter
    Member

    “The Dark Knight Rises”

    Are we “free to choose” to give our attention to advertising, TV shows, movies, etc ?

    For the most part, in our “consumer society”, is it true that when we desire the objects ( including GUNS ) being presented to us, we WANT them, but we do not NEED them ?

    Perhaps we miss the point that coincidentally, the “superheroes” being portrayed together with the “objects of desire” want them too.

    René Girard is recognised worldwide for his ideas about human behavior and human culture, and he perhaps would reach the conclusion that primarily we are desiring THE VERY BEING of those SUPER BEINGS.

    This ontological sickness, this metaphysical desire, is “a fascination with the being of others as if they possessed the secret of freedom” [ from the article “The Ontological Obsessions of Radical Thought 1” by Stephen Gardner published in Volume 10 of Contagion by Michigan State University in Spring 2003 ].

    When we freely choose to adulate Batman, for example ( adults included ), perhaps we secretly desire to be like him, to possess the secret of his supposed freedom, of his supposed autonomy, of his supposed power.

    Evidently many of our self-created idols are violent.

    Do our hearts yearn to possess the secrets of violence?

    Do Hollywood and the advertising industry give us what we desire ( deserve ) ?

    Is violence is being served out to us at our own seeking it out ?

    When we hand over our ( scarce ? ) hard-earned produce and get produce in return, what kinds of “American Dream” are we getting, whether that be as material goods ( e.g. guns ) or spiritual goods (e.g. violence ) ?

    #4823

    Purplefrog
    Member

    Isn’t amazing how similar these people are, who commit these acts? Move back a bit and consider the society of which we are a part. Do not the acts of the corporation, the banks, the government agencies show the same ruthlessness? There is a similarity here, perhaps even a congruence.

    Evil is a fractal. This is a spiritual issue. What that means and what we do about it, I’m clueless, except for me.

    #4826

    pansceptic
    Member

    In 1989 Jack Katz released “Seductions of Crime”, an empirical study of the motivations of murderers (he went to prisons and interviewed a statistically significant number of convicts).

    One of his key findings was what he called “righteous slaughter”; he learned that many of the convicts had killed in what they regarded as a defense of important values. For example, what seemed to be a silly killing over the location of a fence turned out to be (in the killer’s mind) a defense of the inviolability of private property rights. Many of the cases of spouses killing an unfaithful partner or their illicit lover were viewed by the killers as a necessary defense of the sacredness of marriage vows or an unforgiveable betrayal of social contract to be faithful.

    Those are the empirically derived facts, I will now conjecture…Possibly in his mind the Batman killer was performing a Purification. Maybe he percieved everyone who drove to the theater as guilty of supporting the killing of anyone in the Middle East who has the temerity to demand something other than paper dollars for oil. Or perhaps he was disgusted that American’s relentless, voracious consumption is causing an end-of-the-Cretaceous level extinction event. Or maybe just expressing how he felt about people who support the movie’s dark, violent vision with their dollars. He has clammed up for now, but perhaps he will eventually explain his motives, if he is conscious of them.

    #4827

    snuffy
    Participant

    One more for the books…

    I have been in my own little world,fishing,working on trying teaching a 12 year old,all the manly things a absent father should…when this weird one comes out of school and goes sideways…

    I have heard all the anti-firearm ones start to chant for more gun control…..

    I have heard all the firearm folk spewing the anti-Obama rhetoric about taking away firearms

    …..[Really,they so soon forget what happened the last time,when the Assault-Weapon Bancost the dems power for 20 years,and changed not a single thing]….

    Politicians remember those sort of things.O-man will do some kind of control but not until after the election,and not unless he sweeps both houses.

    This will sound a little cold and hard,but this young man was very, very, bright [you are not a student where he was w/o some serious mental horsepower] …he chose firearms as a way to self-destruct.

    We should be happy he did,and not use some easily obtainable things,like nerve chemicals or explosive gases,or[god-forbid]Re-combined DNA tinker-toys to take out a city,or a half a state.

    Wait to see the copy-cat nutcakes who will follow.

    We live in a psychotic society who rewards,and glorifies, the very worst type of behaviors.The competitive bloodlust,used and magnified,is what drives large portions of american society business,entertainment ect… [think high level business of all type]When you hit a certain level…that’s the way the game is played…everyone else is prey.If you don’t want to cut your competitors heart out and eat it raw,[with a little salt for flavor]your not serious about the game.It permeates our society…the lone wolf,who comes into town and cleans house…

    I worry more about when the limited self-imposed restraints we use to live together in this society are seriously weakened,or gone,just how far south will the majority go…and how many will ” Hoist the Jolly Rodger and start slitting throats”…as the saying goes.More than many dream, I fear….wanting to be the hero in their own apocalyptic film.

    I have no answers..So much of it is all sick and twisted now. I am bright enough to know the less I interact with society,the less chance I have of meeting one of the sick puppies that seem to be filling the screens we view society by…

    Bee good,or
    Bee careful

    snuffy

    TAE summery-guy…Did you get my e-mail?

    #4828

    Supergravity
    Participant

    Considering the timing of this event, definitely influencing the UN gun treaty vote, and the incongruities concerning the motive and means, it may yet be a staged event.
    There’s an eyewitness account of the shooters entry into the theatre, suggesting that instead of forcing the emergency exit the suspect was deliberately let inside, and also unverified accounts of multiple shooters, gas canisters coming from different directions.

    https://www.wkyc.com/news/article/252995/396/Witness-Someone-let-gunman-inside-Colorado-movie-theater-

    Its also a valid argument that since the exposed operation fast & furious was intended to enable mass killing and gun violence along the mexican border, precisely in order to create anti-gun sentiment, the same ruthless parties within government could create this kind of staged event as well.

    Its possible that the suspect is merely a lone gunman psychotic rather than a patsy under mind control who might not even be the shooter, but its clear that the reason why such gunmen have methodic or characteristic similarities is because all of them were conditioned and preprogrammed to violence in some way, either by the media or by mk ultra.

    #4967

    Babble
    Participant

    Conspiracy theories = bullshit.
    Americans glorify violence in movies, games, TV. When someone’s mind slips to insanity it goes for what is familiar.

    2nd amendment: First it states the need for a well regulated militia (this means an army). Then it states the right of the people to bear arms. This means a defensive force which is the army, not individuals. Even so, arms at the time were simple single shot pistols and rifles. They could not and would not sanction today’s assault weapons for non military which are a lot different and more lethal. Anyone who thinks so is just stupid and this includes several people on the Supreme court.

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