Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Who's To Blame?

It seems like just about the time one figures that things can't get any weirder in this life, something or someone comes along and makes it so.  That's what happened this Friday in Aurora, CO. 

In case you've had your head stuck in the sand all day and haven't heard, some idiot with delusions of his own infamy and loaded to the gills with weaponry opened fire during the midnight screening of the movie 'Dark Knight Rises'.  The casualties number less than 100 at this writin', but there are a number of dead. 

One of my favorite writers, and a friend, Kurt Sutter, posted on twitter that he felt very sad about what happened there in Colorado and how something like it makes him question the use of violence in his storytelling.  I paraphrase what he said on the Twitter, by the way.   Later, when he posted his weekly WTFSutter update on YouTube, he asked people to go to a movie.  That was all he said.  It was the way he said it that told me more than the words he spoke.

And that's what led me to write this blog today.  Maybe I'm tryin' to find a little perspective in this nightmare mess.  Maybe I'm just ventin'.  Maybe it's a combination of the two.    Hey, it's my blog, welcome to it.  I never said it would have all the answers. 

I'm going to risk gettin' called a brown noser suckin' up to Sutter's, Chris Nolan's, and every other creative thinker in entertainment by sayin' this.  Hey, I've been called worse.  Go ahead with the slings and arrows if that makes all y'all feel better.  

The entertainment industry is NOT the cause of what happened in Aurora!  

Historically speakin', we can trace violence against others all the way back to the beginnin' of Mankind.  Remember Cain and Abel?  Brother slayin' brother?  Yup, that was the first such atrocity.  The Bible itself is full of stories of Mankind doin' some pretty nasty shit to innocents just because that person or persons thought it was a good idea. 

From the time of that first murder, human beings have been capable of dreamin' up some pretty horrendous stuff long before entertainment media came to be.  Wars, classism, assassinations, oppression over other countries, slavery, holocaustic eradiacation of an entire ethnic group - our history is full of blood and gore and violence. 

When these things happen - and with all too frequent occurrence these days -  we yearn for order, peace, and for someone to DO SOMETHING to keep it from happening again.  Mark my words, in the days and weeks and months to come, there will be all kinds of movements to put a stop to this kind of thing once and for all.  Mandates will be made, laws will attempt to be passed 'for our own protection', people will lose yet another choice in favor of the greater good.

I say, let's take a long look at the facts of the matter before we cut off our noses to spite our faces.

First, there is no doubt in my mind that this idiot (I'd say somethin' a little more colorful, but am tryin' to be a little less R rated) is a few cards short of a full deck.  Now before all the mental health advocates get their drawers in a wad, hear me out.  It takes someone who has lost their grip on their faculties to pull something like this.  Let's face it, people who have their heads screwed on tight don't walk into a public emporium with a shotgun, a handgun, and a frackin' assualt rifle and start shootin'.  OK?  It's just not somethin' a 'normal' person does. 

And this is not to say the idiot in question is dumb.  Most mentally ill people are not dumb.  I know this for a fact havin' endured me mum's own descent into the world of paranoia over the last few decades.  People like her are able to make their behavior seem 'normal' because they are smart enough to know not to give themselves away. 

In the Aurora case, we have a guy who has some kind of love (obsession or what have you) about comics.  So much so that he colors his hair red and pulls a bloody massacre that would make any major comic book criminal kingpin proud.  He calls himself 'The Joker' to police.  Considerin' that he pulled this off at a showing of the latest entry in the 'Batman' franchise makes him pretty damn cagey in the smarts department, and indicates that he's shootin' (no pun intended) for an insanity defense.  He's probably off to a damn good start. 

Point of order here, anyone who has ever read a DC Batman comic, watched the original Batman tv series, or the animated series, or saw the 1989 Batman movie knows that the character of 'The Joker' had green hair.  Methinks the man confused a lesser charcter from the DC comics universe, known as 'The Creeper' who had yellow skin, green hair and some red fur on his back.  'The Joker' had rouge red lips and chalk white skin.  Just a little comic trivia to throw out there. 

The man also planned this kind of thing out for some time, buyin' his guns over a period of two months, and to all reports, through legal means.  He didn't do this on the spur of the moment.  He was careful not to call a lot of attention to his plans until he carried them out.  Again, an indication that he meticulously plotted this out. 

OK, Lowecat, if you're so frackin' smart, WHY in the Hell did he do this? 

That, my friends, is the million dollar question.  Only he knows why he did it.  And we may not ever get a straight answer from him. 

As always happens in a case like this, the family of the accused are shocked and saddened by what their loved one has done.  Friends, neighbors, co - workers describe him as a 'shy guy', a 'quiet person'.  Sound familiar?  Think back to all the horrendous acts of violence and mayhem that have made national headlines over the last few years, 'he/sh/it's the last person you'd ever suspect of doing this kind of thing!" 

Was he a fan who took his love for the genre a little too far?  It's possible.  Unfortunately, there are people out there who go overboard.  As a result, those few make it more difficult for those of us who have a love for something to interact with the creative types that make these fantasy worlds possible.  Then again, it could've just been a horrible co - incidence that his decision to make a name for himself happened to occur during the debut of this particular movie.

When you think about it, he could've picked any film that has come out lately for his evil deed.  He could've picked 'The Avengers', 'Ghostrider 2', 'Captain America', 'Dark Shadows',  or any other movie that has come out this year.  Why a movie?  Why not a stadium full of people at a ball game (football, basketball, baseball)?  Metal detectors at those events, baby.  You can't even sneak in your own snacks anymore to those things.  You get patted down and swiped with a wand before you can step foot inside one of those things.  With enclosed stadiums for most sports (baseball and football still have outdoor fields of play), one would find it difficult to get a hot air balloon or a derigible over one of those things to cause mayhem.

But just like the commercial character of the same name, mayhem has a habit of finding places to wreak havoc.  Sometimes it's a small place, like the Amish schoolhouse, or a large public gathering like a school or a movie theatre.  Many schools now require their students to submit to random searches of backpacks to make sure they're not packin' heat thanks to all the school shootin's that occurred in the past.  Some businesses, too.  Think of all the times someone has gotten fired and come back loaded for bear, so to speak. 

The answer, my friends, is not to lay blame on the entertainment industry.  It is not to go overboard in tryin' to make the world a safer place in which to live, either. 

Back in my elementary school days, I read a book called 'Follow My Leader'.  Forget offhand the name of the author.  The premise of the book was a young man gets blinded in an accident, and goes to a special school where he learns to exist in the sighted world without sight.  Eventually he gets a guide dog.  Early in his schoolin', the young man comes up against a sharp corner and gets an ouchie.   He cries out that the sharp corner should be padded so people like him don't get hurt.   His teacher replies, "You can't expect to go through Life expecting the world to be done over for your benefit.  Now that you know where the sharp corner is, it's up to you to avoid it."

Therefore, we can't expect laws to govern protect us from everything.   Hell, if that were the case, we'd all be livin' in our own little bullet proof bubble.  Hurriedly enactin' stricter gun laws won't change what happened.  Nor will mandatin' the entertainment industry to become all 'G' rated.  Nor will herdin' up every person who is just a bit more different than the rest of us gonna change anything. 

The answer, dear friends, lies in ourselves.  We need to be more vigiliant in these modern times.  The era of bein' able to leave your front door unlocked and feel safe is long gone.  Maybe it never really existed except as an idea to strive for. 

It's up to all of us to use the common sense God gave us to recall that millions of people go to work or school every day WITHOUT BEING SHOT AT!   Millions of people go to theatre, film, concerts, exhibits WITHOUT BEING SHOT AT!  For all the heinous events such as Friday's, there are hundreds of days in between when Life as we know it goes on. 

This epistle/diatribe doesn't mean I don't feel sad about what happened.  Loss of a loved one, whether expected or not, is difficult.  Hell, I know that first hand!  I'm incensed that someone would have so little respect for Life as to randomly gun down innocent people who never even looked cross eyed at him for NO FRACKIN' GOOD REASON!  

And if the rat bastard gets off on an insanity plea, I hope that there's an especially heated and nasty spot in Hell for the likes of him. 

But in the meantime, I'm still going to create - both on this blog and in my fiction.  I'm still goin' to support the programs that interest me by watchin' 'em, whether they are violent or not.  I'm still gonna listen to rock music from Alice Cooper, KISS, Bon Jovi, Mellencamp, Springsteen, and the like because I like it. 

We should all continue to go about the daily business of Life, and not let hysteria overtake common sense.  Hysterical laws and regulations aren't going to heal the wounds.  It will only make things worse.