Thursday, April 19, 2007

Does It Really Matter?

I wasn't going to comment on the whole Virginia Tech School shooting, mainly because it's too horrid to think/write about. I would however like to address the fact that whenever tragedies like this happen, everyone and their mother tries to find someone to throw the blame on, other than the people who did it. They want to psychologise everything, in order to understand why the person did what they did. So they over investigate every little detail and find someone or something in the media to pin it on. For instance, with the Columbine shootings, they blamed Marilyn Manson, because people who listen to his music become homicidal maniacs apparently, The Matrix, because they wore trench coats......(as we all know, fashion kills), and cult movie classic Heathers, because it depicted two high school students going around killing their classmates.

Now they are trying to blame the Virginia shooting on a Japanese movie called "Oldboy". The premise of the movie is that a man is unjustly imprisoned for 15 years, and when he gets out he goes on a rampage against his captor. In one scene he subdues a gang of henchmen with only a hammer. One of the pictures that the shooter sent to the NBC building, was of him holding a hammer in the same pose as the character in this film. So, even though this man didn't do anything to these poor people with a hammer.....this movie is to be blamed because of one picture......

Do we really need a reason for why this man did this horrible thing so badly, that we have to blame the tiniest and most insignificant things for his choice and his behaviour? Isn't it bad enough that he did it? Blame his mental instability if you have to blame something.


Vacuum Boots said...

Well said. I agree, although I understand why society at large needs to explain things to themselves. That's "our" way of coping and giving ourselves the impression that we have the power to stop these kinds of tragedies so we can feel at ease about the entire thing and ultimately let it fade from our minds and hearts. Of course we do have the power to change lives and stop SOME of the inward/outward violence, but it doesn't start with the blame game, it starts with compassion. I don't want to mention the shooter by name because that gives him more power, but I think it's clear that the man needed some serious in-patient therapy. Mental Illness is still shunned and shamed in our culture and is overlooked in a lot of cases. In most cases a person with mental illness already feels isolated within their own mind and just desperately wants to be heard. And of course, some of the mental illness cases stems from environment. So there are bigger problems than a bloody movie.
I think the best chance we as a society have at making any difference in regards to the violent landscape WE’VE CREATED (through the media, our insatiable wants and most of all by our money-driven selfishness) is by taking an approach of compassion and understanding. And that means for the families and school, as well as the murderer. I personally want to focus my energies on the families, why aren't they on the cover of the newspaper? What we focus our attention on will only grow stronger. All this MEDIA attention on the inner working of the shooter's mind is most likely showing some other sick isolated child how to become infamous, go down in history and most of all FINALLY BE HEARD. We should all remember that while we're overdosing on CNN's live feeds and snatching up tabloids.

Impossible Prince said...

Well said, I completely agree. That was pretty much my reasoning for not mentioning the culprits name. I think that trying to figure out why a person did something after they have died, is kinda pointless. It's like when someone commits suicide, the top question is always "why did they do it? We'll never know know why tragedies like this happen unless people start speaking up about their problems, and whoever they speak to doesn't judge them for being truthful.