There's an interesting post at Ace's by @rdbrewer4 about the culpability of the media in not only sensationalizing mass murder, but in fomenting further such acts:
Should there be some rough ethical/professional guideline for the coverage of mass murders? Of course CNN and other news outlets are aware that panic and infamy are what many of these mass murderers want and that there is a good chance the next killer is making a mental note right now, "Here is how I can get on TV." But it appears the immediate opportunity to score political points outweighs the risk they might be encouraging another mass killing--an act they would undoubtedly view as causally remote anyway.
Update: Lest anyone think I am seriously calling for treason trials for our less-than-honorable media types, replete with guillotines erected in, say, Dupont Circle, don't be an ass. I would, however, like to try them for fraud in civil court. And bleed them dry monetarily. What little cash they have left. I might give it to the Girl Scouts, but I'd probably give it to the Koch brothers.
What transpired in Newtown, Connecticut today beggars belief. I've been through Newtown as a college student, and Norman Rockwell could not have painted a more exquisite little hamlet. But this would be a howling tragedy in Compton, or Detroit, as well. Slaughtering toddlers, children, is so especially heinous as to cause all of us to take a moment, and grieve for our imperfect species. History is replete with our ability, and often our tendency, to be monsters. But to shoot one's mother in the face, and then slaughter her kindergarten class? I don't know what to say about that.
Forget the political poseurs. They will be, and are, raising their needy heads. I have no desire to enter the fray of gun-free-zones versus heat-packing librarians. I've eaten herring before, and did not particularly care for it.
What we do have, however, is a seriously psychotic individual acting out a rage that is incomprehensible to the vast majority of us. Shooting toddlers. Someone, somewhere, brought this upon this village. I find it inconceivable that this fellow awakened this morning and thought for the first time Today is the day I go berserker.
Again, I do not see this as a gun issue. It is a crazy people issue. I have no facts, I am intuiting here, but I would wager this young fiend, who is by various descriptions autistic, Asbergian, schizophrenic, has a well-documented history of aberrant, dangerous behavior. I am by no means casting aspersions on the autistic. I have friends with autistic children. It is a heart-rending challenge, but it is by no means this. This is something else entirely.
No, there are some dead kittens quietly buried, some violently aggressive behaviors salted away, some red flags screaming Institutionalize this young man! that we, as family members, as community members, are often too loathe to do. We are historically a nation of fixers. We think we can fix that bad hatchling. Also, of late, we are a nation of cringers. We cannot summon the spine to do what sometimes must be done. We have deinstitutionalized every mentally ill person in the nation, to prowl the streets and haunt our commutes. To defecate in our common areas, and terrify our children. Our sense of compassion is noble, but most certainly displaced.
I'm not so much a believer in Good and Evil as I am in Biology. Mother Nature often gives birth to some troublesome mistakes. If you don't believe me visit a Ripley's museum. It's relatively easy to repair a cleft palate. It's not so easy to fix cleft souls. They are harder to detect, and as impossible as quicksilver to get one's hands on. But they indicate, as the medicos say. The flags go up. The shots are sent with regularity across the bow. The question is how do we deal with these indicators as a society?
We are often mocked in the South for locking our crazy aunts in the attic. My family didn't, but I can think of one or two who should have been. There's a good reason you lock the crazy aunt in the attic. I would posit there's a good reason that crazy half uncle never returned from that hunting excursion. If I'm a rancher and my cow gives birth to a two-headed calf I'll either 1) parade it around for money or 2) asphyxiate it. I'm not going to leave it with the herd and pretend it's okay. Because it's not. It's eventually going to kill itself because the one body struggles with satisfying two competing brains. It's cruel to treat it normally.
I figure this Lanza fellow was like that calf. Mom and Dad certainly couldn't parade his abnormalities around for money, but they refused to institutionalize him. And eventually those two minds had had enough. Tough love is a hard thing. I'm glad I've never had to make such choices. I would probably flagellate myself senseless if I institutionalized my child. But I'd sleep like a baby compared to what I would feel if my child had done this thing we witnessed today. That, of course, is assuming I wasn't the first one killed, like Mom.
Just to provide a bit of clarification for the nota bene from my previous post. The most exciting five minutes you'll spend tonight.
It seems Danish tennis star Caroline Wozniacki had the temerity to mock the rather audacious physical qualities of Serena Williams at a recent exhibition match by stuffing her sports bra and whatever those splendid underthings are called. Witnesseth the awesome:
Yes, I left that extra large for you. Now she is being accused of racism by the usual cabal of nomenklatura who exist only to feed parasitically off the misguided guilt of the tattered remants of western civilization.
What did I see? A girl having devilish sport with an adversary. Mocking, and yet in a way praising, Serena's rather splendiferous attributes. (Nota bene: I would hit Serena Williams like Frank Booth on Dorothy Valens). So Caroline is having fun with Serena's body. Not her melanin content. Yet she is a racist.
This is utter, craven bullshit of the highest order, and I have had enough. I personally reserve the right to mock anyone, on any issue I choose, and if you choose to take offense I truly do not care. I don't care what your one-drop count is, or if you embrace anal sodomy, or if you worship a paedopheliac butcher. I'm going to mock you. Just as I mock my own cracker brethren. This is called humor, and it is the safety valve of over-pressurized societies.
You don't get a pass from me. There is no Get Out of the Bath House Free card. There is no Fear of Fatwah card. There is no indolent reparations bullshit card that will ever sway me. You? You? You were born to be mocked. We all are. Get over yourselves. You are all Scut Farkus, long overdue for a punch in your damned noses.
Here's a novel idea: grow a spine, and some dignity to accompany it. You might also engage in some interval training, because I'm on to you, and I'm after you. Better still, let us sit down for a game of chance. I have a nice, fresh deck of cards here. It doesn't have a race card, it doesn't have a queer card, it doesn't have a naked 9-year-old wife card. Odds are I will beat you at chance, and I will beat you at reason. I will chase you down in the woods with my ancient heart if necessary, and beat you there. Senseless. With a bootful of your sodden ideas.
Having bared my soul, I must say as addendum the extraordinary Ms. Wozniacki might question that Danish heritage. Lech Welesa just texted me, and claimed her.
I mentioned Pearl Harbor Day to some coworkers today. Most had no real idea what I was talking about. Hipsters. They know pearl necklaces, they don't know Pearl Harbor. Well it was a perfidious thing, I said, and they dutifully Googled "perfidious."
This got me to thinking again about what the Senator had done in the Big One. I don't know, precisely. No one will. That generation wore their PTSD on their livers instead of their sleeves. Not saying that's better, it just is what it was. I know this:
He shaved four months off his age and enlisted two months before graduating high school. After basic he ended up in an intelligence company based in Gander, Newfoundland. But first he went to jump school at Ft. Benning. Because he was going to be jumping into Greenland.
I found 82nd Airborne patches in his military stash after he died. My best guess is he was embedded with an 82nd class at Benning. Pretended to be 82nd for his ultimate billet. Because as far as I know Benning was (is?) the only jump school. But what records I have do not indicate he was ever an All-American.
What he did was jump into Greenland at intervals and knock out German weather stations. Radio shacks. Greenland was by international convention neutral territory during WWII. But the Nazis needed weather stations as far west as possible for the U-boat wolfpacks, and they weren't going to be building them in Anne of Green Gables' backyard. Hence Greenland. It was remote, isolated, a few hours west of Norway. They weren't supposed to be there, and neither were we. But he told us he hunted them down.
He never mentioned killing anyone. Only that the first German he saw was when he crested a snow drift and came face to face with a Kraut about his age. 18. They sized each other up, and both slowly backed away. The mutual unspoken agreement was we never saw each other, and we're both pissing ourselves in fear. This extremely rational meeting of the minds was interrupted when the Senator's sergeant crested the snow drift, and blasted the kid.
From there I only heard vague tales of grenading radio shacks and shooting polar bears. The bears were shot to feed the dogsled teams. The dogs had real meat. Because they were more valuable than the GIs. The soldiers had canned reserve rations stamped 1917. They fed the bear to the dogs, they ate the dog food, and they tossed the reserve rations. Circle of life.
After a year of this glorious living the Senator was sent to Officer Candidate School. Back to Benning. I'm not sure how a 19-year-old high school drop-out with a year of service earned a slot at OCS. Some college grad boy, or some long-time veteran, perhaps, got screwed. In the middle of an existential death struggle. I can only surmise a drop-out gets bumped to the head of the class for doing very special things. And in Greenland that could only mean killin'. And I don't mean polar bears.
To pu this in perspective, my father's older brother, with two exemplary years in the Army Air Corps, had only risen to the rank of PFC. And by all accounts Uncle Bob was a hoss.
At any rate, Pearl Harbor Day is the day Americans shot their cuffs, hiked their britches, snapped their suspenders, and decided to rule the world. The day before we were isolationist goobers. Half-starved sweet potato gnawers, vendors of wormholed apples. The day after we were a mighty juggernaut in the making. Builders of battleships and tanks and aeroplanes, slaughterers of livestock, creators of steel and aluminium. We planted Victory gardens in our backyards, and bayonets in the bad guys' bellies. We were never the same people again.
To close, the Senator never saw a Japanese person until he was a JAG officer in Tokyo during the Korean War. At that point, five years after the war, they were still a starving, scavenging, pathetic race of people. Much as we were in 1940. His letters home indicate no malice toward the Japanese at that point. A certain sadness, mos def.
When you've seen enough, I suppose you've seen enough.