Virtually every talking head in the business goes through this obtuse and convoluted exploration of the motivation of mass murderers each time this happens. The other day, it was the Empire State Building. Not too long ago, it was an attempted massacre at a homosexual liberation office (or whatever parlance might render it). A bit farther back, and some jackass attacked a bunch of Sikhs, as though that would ever be reasonable in the continental United States. Am I implying that it would be reasonable in the territories, or Hawaii, or Alaska? Of course not. Sikhs are among the most inoffensive subsets imaginable. How about Aurora? Did that make sense? Or the Giffords shooting? Did Columbine make sense? Did this guy make sense?
The more efficient and effective the killer, the more likely they are to be characterized by the term, pseudo-commando. And while that's a cute way of getting posthumous revenge of an ontological sort on a killer, the explanation is flatly wrong. We know better in the mystical business. The seemingly crazed, seemingly random shooter is not locked into a psychology of revenge and obliteration; this rage has direction and purpose and clear intent. There are no innocent victims from the standpoint of a killer like Seung-Hui Cho
whose weird life experience in the American Public Educational system (APE for short) was characterized by years of labeling, special education, and sickeningly repetitive rounds of behavioral modification. Add to this the sense of total societal alienation brought on by his general difficulties with social interaction, and girls become as inaccessible as guys. Such a character ends up with no emotional or sexual outlets, no or few friends and little in the way of anything to keep him from training for war and destroying his enemies.
monolithic organism. Think of an ant farm, and think of how we commonly see only ants, rather than thousands of separate identities. Who has kept an ant farm and named each individual ant, tracking their movements and their day-to-day personal struggles and triumphs?
indie rock and a variety of literary movements and genres like the Beats and more modern therapeutic and soothing nihilisms like what springs from the word processor of Palahniuk or the late David Foster Wallace. Let's be clear - some of the escapists that offer people struggling with the nausea of daily existence can appear to be every bit as crazy as those who eventually act out. But it seems that for a high percentage of the alienated and disenfranchised, the opportunity to read or hear or watch someone else struggling with the hardly bearable irritation of living is sufficient. Bullets are not required in order for most of us to feel justified. To the tiny percentage of people prone to acting out violently against the controlling systems and structures, however, the people in the world are not validated or validating in their struggles for normalcy, acceptance or balance. They are as likely to be seen as cogs in a machine, or agents in a matrix. We can readily be seen as part of the prison - the bars themselves.
precisely this way. We are a faceless, soulless mass, and we are the enemy, our ranks forever closing him off from the possibility of inclusion. Hope is lost; connection is impossible or at least very unlikely. And if one is surrounded by beings that seem set on preventing the fulfillment of our most basic human desires, then it makes sense for one to eventually decide to make a point about one's isolation and alienation. Arguments of this sort are best written in blood, and the more that blood is perceived by the social organism to be "innocent", the better. So the mass murderer becomes drawn to philosophies of annihilation and destruction - white supremacy, Islamofascism, anarchism, conspiracy-thinking and other ideologies that deny meaning or significance to social integration and cooperation while exalting the perfect isolation of the lone, right-thinking individual.
We think little enough of things that underlie the bulk of these events, concentrating instead on our own thoroughly predictable narcissistic responses: It could have been us or those close to us in each case. This kind of revolutionary activity is so extreme, it takes careful consideration to even detect the casus belli and the secret declaration behind each act of terrible, vengeful independence. To shoot up a venue or location; to butcher one's co-workers, one's fellow audience members, one's classmates is to engage in the supreme statement of "Fuck You" imaginable.
The baffling thing to so many who are fed up with "the System" in whatever form they perceive it to take is the fact that these people attack relatively inoffensive targets. Clearly, shooting one's boss makes a far better impact on the mainstream consciousness than shooting the guy from cubicle 290. Even if said guy was an asshole who screwed you out of a promotion - or else always stole the last apple danish - the real obstacle to immediate success is always the person holding the keys to the executive washroom. There is no literal link between slaughtering middle or upper management and an improved working environment, but if one is going to take one for the team and go out in a blaze of so-called glory, at least kill somebody who deserves it in the view of a certain percentage of Americans. How many would mourn the loss of a major CEO or a reviled political figure, after all? The mainstream media would trumpet the usual platitudes and soundbites, but the revolutionary message would be far better carried and its underground influence would be significant indeed.
But that is the point, isn't it? The whole motivation of the mass murderer becomes obvious when we realize that the killings are essentially target-less. Or that, more correctly, all persons are valid and equal targets; everybody is equally deserving of death in the mass murderer's mind. We all have it coming. Such a decision is reflective of some deeply internalized state in which the social organism itself is the enemy.
individual who seems to the majority of people to be crazy is in fact of the same opinion regarding the rest of us. A brief interview with folks of this bent reveals this fact in glaring - and frightening - detail. In a real sense, the unconscious and manipulative systems utilized by pseudo-democracy to control individuals results in an equally unconscious and uncontrolled revolutionary response. The bottom line? They can see the strings, the pulley systems, the levers and chains and gilded cages the rest of us can't, and from a very early age it drives them to madness. What for many of us are simply social systems, microcultures and rituals of daily life and daily interactions are for them unoriginal and programmed subroutines that clearly identify the majority of the masses as somehow less than human. As such, our role in trapping these folks - in oppressing and limiting them - is met with violent outrage.
So that's why.
In the Hermetic world, we speak of such things with certainty and clarity of vision: Men are what they have always been and women too. The ability to simultaneously understand and believe conflicting concepts is the union of opposites. When the oppositional concepts cannot resolve due to faults or flaws in either the individual or his or her environment, then chaos results. It may be that the mass murderer's mind tries to resolve the individual with the collective and ends up with a novel - and destructive - answer. The cure for this is of course a total overhaul of civilization as we know it. Either that, or we learn to tolerate living in a world where something like a trip to the grocery store may result in death or a debilitating injury.