Thursday, April 19, 2007

Another Way to Deal With the Virginia Loser

I haven't been watching the news the last day or so because I always think after the first 12 hours of a story like this there is no more news.

But even more, whenever I turn on the TV, I see them showing this creep's picture or video or reading his "manifesto." Then debating whether they should or shouldn't.

They claim it has "educational value." That it will help us learn to "spot the warning signs."


Was there anything surprising about this prick? When you heard someone had killed 32 people, you could have, right then, described this guy. You could probably have done a spot-on imitation of him. If this were a movie, I wouldn't have cast him because he was too hammy and stereotypical.

If he had talked and acted like, say, John Cho, and was genial and handsome and funny... and then turned around and started shooting, then yeah, we should definitely study that tape for clues.

But he didn't. He was an asshole and a dud, with a message that made no sense. So why air it? And if you air it, why debate airing it?

Here's a third option.

These shitheads think the only way they'll get "the respect they deserve" is to kill a lot of people. Then they'll become famous. (You can't spell "infamous" without "famous.") Their word will finally get out.

I think NBC should have just reported that they'd received this package, the circumstances of its sending and its receipt, how it was handed over, and described what was inside. That's all that's journalistically necessary.

Then: Whenever possible, anchors should have used phrases like "laughable" and "ridiculous" and "incompetent" to describe it. They could say things like, "While waiting for the FBI to arrive we watched the tape and, I'm sorry, even given the tragedy we had to laugh, this guy was that stupid-looking." Or, "And wait, get this: He wrote, '30 Rockefeller Avenue. What is he, from Mars? What an idiot!" Or "He was actually one of the few people on Earth who looked like he had bad breath."

This way, other loser assholes watching will see that whatever humiliation they're feeling, it gets even worse after death. So when someone tells them that the path to respect is counseling or therapy, maybe they'll believe it.

One more thing: There's a reason I used the word "Loser" in the headline and not"Killer." To me, and perhaps only to me, a "killer" is someone with intent and cunning, however misguided. This guy wasn't a killer. The guns did all the killing. He was just the pathetic moron waving them around.

That makes this even more tragic.


norm said...

I was also baffled by the police looking for "clues".

gina said...

I agree.

peeky said...

His grandmother called him an "idiot" which I enjoyed.

Sean Tisdall said...

You know what? Maybe this comes from the ranks of bell tower candidates, but fuck the loser haters. We don't learn anything from publishing his video, true, but we need some sympathy for these people, horribly isolated by society. The freaks and geeks and losers and weirdos need love like any other person, and scrutinizing the people to whom love has been denied is piling heartlessness upon heartlessness... I hope Michael that your writings have shown you the folly of such mean-spirited stupidity, but I fear they may not have. And in the event that this post is lost to the angels of your 'that's not what should appear on my blog,' then at least it will be a saddened cry to the heavens for lost love, for lost sensuality, and most importantly, for lost humanity, and for lost humanity. Shame on all of you who felt thirty-one losses. You are the true losers. I leave this to you Michael to delete or keep, but I have cried in text and am satisfied.

Michael Markowitz said...

I am posting your comment because to hide it would be irresponsible.

norm said...

I'm not sure what to make of Sean's post, but, oddly enough, I think I agree with some parts of it.(not the parts where he rips you, I think your views are justified)

But, something went very wrong inside the shooter kid and he was sick as hell.
I heard someone say there were signs he'd been molested.
I don't know what that's like, but I think there'd have to be even more to it....some kind of additional mental or emotional problem.
Nothing excuses what he did, but I feel sorry for his parents and even a little bit for him.
I've been avoiding a lot of the coverage recently, so I may not have all the facts, but it seems like there were 31 victims of gun violence and 1 victim of mental illness.

Michael Markowitz said...

Yes, clearly there was something wrong with this kid. But where does it stop? We have to be able to punish some murderers and feel 100% good about it. And if we can't do it with this guy, who can we do it with? Some acts insanity will not excuse.

It's like when someone kills the president or a movie star and they claim insanity. Well, of course! No one kills a celebrity for SANE reasons. Except for murder for financial gain, EVERY murder can have its root in some form of mental illness... and even murder for profit can be caused by mental defect or abuse (as witness PROFIT, the great TV show)

All my life, I've tried to find the root cause of issues, but lately I find they're being used as a shield against responsibility. Worse, they're used selectively. At the risk of jeopardizing my PC credentials:

Whenever someone discusses the language in rap music (and by the way, my iPod is JAMMED with explicit rap and hip hop), a pundit says something like, "But rather than condemn the language, we need to understand the causes of the rage that produces the language."

Why did no one try to understand the causes of the rage that made Don Imus or Michael Richards use their language? Surely their words came from some sickness or rage. Did we cut them any slack because they were obviously disturbed? What about Mel Gibson? Clearly there is something awry. Now poor Alec Baldwin is being barbecued alive. No one is going to try to understand his rage (and by the way, without excusing his tone or language, is there any parent who would like to be recorded while yelling at his/her child and have it put on the Internet?)

Why does O.J. get reviled, but the woman who ran over her husband again and again get to sit with Oprah? Lorena Bobbitt cuts off her husband's penis, and HE'S the national pariah!

Either everyone gets "understood" and pitied on an equal playing field, or we have to tell people where the line is so they know how to stay to one side of it.

Sean Tisdall said...

I knew I had to come back to this discussion. But I'm not gonna say a word. The president is. Ladies and gentlemen: Josaiah Bartlet.

Michael Markowitz said...

Tragically, instead of Martin Sheen in "The West Wing" our president is Martin Sheen in "The Dead Zone"