Instapunk on school shootings
He's going to town on the issues surrounding this....
First, a a defense of the decision to air the killer's video. As might be expected, about ten times as intelligent as anything the MSM could come up with in their own defense.
"Almost all of what Americans know about psychopathic, paranoid, and schizophrenic personalities, they've learned from the movies. But guess what? Not all stone killers do Katherine Hepburn impressions, smack their lips in the presence of potential victims, or exude the charisma of Robert de Niro in Taxi Driver. Very few of them are genius misanthropes who have read every book ever written and know more about escape science than Houdini. Most of them are, in fact, as dreary, uninteresting, forgettable, and tediously monomaniacal as Dylan Klebold, Lee Harvey Oswald, Ted Kaszinski, and Cho Seung-Hui. The degree of danger tracks with their degree of nonentity. How are we supposed to recognize madness in the vacuous and boring? There's only one way. By looking at it. Up close. In detail. Again and again. Until we truly appreciate and internalize the appalling contradiction of Adolf Eichmann -- that deep evil is frequently grey, dull, undifferentiated, faceless, and downright mundane until it takes monstrous action against unsuspecting innocents."
And here, from his multimedia novel (Long before most of us heard the term multimedia)
"DANIEL:... The society of Ameria exists in a state of universal abortion—which is to say that the Baby Boomers will not produce a generation of adults. Their offspring will grow to physical maturity and eventually to senility as superannuated children, locked forever in the absolute selfishness of the infant mind which has never been created as a self in the first place. ...
PATRICK. We are still waiting for the beauty.
DANIEL. The beauty? Oh, yes. The beauty. I would say that the whole presents three distinct faces of beauty. The first is the beauty of poetic justice. The second is the beauty of perfect irony. The third is the beauty of a new birth, the emergence of a new form of being.
PATRICK: Now that you mention it, I do believe I see the irony. Here is a generation of parents who have been so consumed with their own desires and appetites throughout their lives that they embarked on a secret experiment—the attempt to sire a new generation without accepting the responsibility for raising them. Let the teachers teach them, let the television babysit them, let the mall and the mass media introduce them to the culture they would inherit. Meanwhile, the parents were free to do as they wanted. Free to be self-serving film producers, network executives, teachers, advertising copywriters, attorneys, politicians, journalists, and businessmen. Free to add their own little molehill of ugliness to the mountain of bad influence their children would have to surmount in order to raise themselves. Because this was a generation of parents who had also developed their own definition of freedom, meaning that freedom consisted of their right to act in their own self-interest even as they sought to limit the freedom of anyone who got in their way. Such a novel definition of freedom had to be accompanied by an equally novel definition of virtue—that whatever they did in their own self-interest was virtuous because they were the ones doing it, and whatever anyone else did in their own self-interest was something that needed to be regulated by the government.
ROGER: There was, to be fair, some guilt involved.
PATRICK: But a guilt denied. That’s why the irony is, as Daniel has suggested, so perfect. For the wave of denial has been the size of a tsunami. Parents who could not hold a hundred-word conversation with their own children professed a love and commitment to their kidz which was nauseating in its saccharine, self-serving hypocrisy. Citizens of the richest nation in recorded history, they lamented the declining standard of living that required both parents to hold full-time jobs, lest they be reduced to the penurious state of living without that second VCR, that third television, that fourth movie channel, that fifth trip this month to the restaurant. In penance—and in proof of their love for the kidz—they bought the little bastards off, with hundred-and-forty dollar sneakers, TVs, computers, cell phones, and all the baggy designer togs a kid might need to hide out in. And when anything went wrong with their little darlings, they were savage in their denunciation of the violence in the movies, the sex on MTV, the incompetence in the classroom, the easy availability of drugs, the danger of guns, and the dearth of fit role models for the sullen, resentful slugs they had spawned."