Wednesday, July 25, 2012

the killer inside

when did fresh-faced boy james holmes become crazed killer james holmes?

murderers, maniacs and movie myths


thanks probably to a steady diet of "chiller theater", i've been fascinated by sociopaths for a long time. thankfully, most of them don't fall into the well-worn hollywood trope, i.e.; the hannibal-lecter-style genius super-predator.

however, unlike most real life homicidal maniacs, james holmes comes closer to the movie myth than most, since, unless he's suffered a recent drastic personality change into sociopathy, he has somehow managed to suppress his homicidal tendencies while advancing to a high degree of intellectual accomplishment.

but until his manifesto is found and/or holmes starts talking, this is all i'm ready to say about him. it is probably too early even to assume he's a sociopath.

see also:

"almost famous"

Sunday, July 22, 2012

ritual sacrifices

while there's no sense to be found in a senseless massacre, these tragedies do happen for a reason. they happen because americans have collectively decided that our way of life is worth at least one or two senseless massacres a year.

if it's possible to prevent another massacre by further restricting which people can buy which guns, we've decided that it's not worth it.

if it's possible to prevent another massacre by further restricting which manufacturers can sell which guns, we've decided that it's not worth it.

if it's possible to prevent another massacre by further restricting which people can buy and sell body armor, we've decided that it's not worth it.

if it's possible to prevent another massacre by better tracking the violence-prone and the unstable, we've decided that it's not worth it.

if it's possible to prevent another massacre by building more mental health facilities, we've decided that it's not worth it.

if it's possible to prevent another massacre by reducing the violent content of our media, we've decided that it's not worth it.

if it's possible to prevent another massacre by tightening security in public spaces, well, we're in the eleventh year of an experiment in doing just that.

if it's possible to prevent another massacre by expanding the government's police powers, again, we're in the eleventh year of an experiment in doing that too.

the one thing that we've decided that's worth doing, in lieu of most of the above, is engaging in a well-practiced national ritual: the nonstop replay of the crime; the mourning of the victims; the dissection of the killer; lastly, the hollow demands and promises of action, before returning numbly to whatever it is we do between the massacres. the ritual is necessary because we refuse admit to ourselves that we won't do anything else. the victims are the necessary sacrifices that allow the rest of us to continue enjoying the american way of life. the ritual is the necessary trade-off that allows us to trade away the guilt.

it is of course possible that there is actually nothing we can do or agree upon that will prevent another massacre, but who really believes that? so if this latest tragedy goes by without our acting meaningfully to prevent the next, it's because we've decided that it's not worth it — or maybe we think that it's worth at least one more senseless massacre.

Friday, July 13, 2012

have you seen me?

it's 2012 ... do you know where your CEOs are?


Thursday, July 12, 2012

the wrong boys

"the evidence shows that mr. paterno was made aware of the 1998 investigation of sandusky, followed it closely, but failed to take any action, even though sandusky had been a key member of his coaching staff for almost 30 years, and had an office just steps away from mr. paterno's," the report's conclusion reads.

"at the very least, mr. paterno could have alerted the entire football staff, in order to prevent sandusky from bringing another child into the lasch building. messrs. spanier, schultz, paterno and curley also failed to alert the board of trustees about the 1998 investigation or take any further action against mr. sandusky. none of them even spoke to sandusky about his conduct.

"in short, nothing was done and sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity."