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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Thursday, April 19, 2007


With regards to the tragedy at Virginia Tech, it is nauseating observing how supercilious journalists, who frequently denounce bloggers as parasites hitching a ride on traditional news media, make fools of themselves spamming VT student blogs for news leads. Read the comments on icantread01's post, "Madness on Campus."

Kerry Purcell's message from the Boston Herald takes the trophy for the most moronic post:

Hi, I hope that you and Kate are doing okay. I would love to chat with you about this horrific event. I understand that phones are not working well but maybe you can shoot me an email. I was wondering if blogging, MySpace, Facebook and Friendster are the best way to communicate while the phones are tangled.

Stay safe and I hope Kate recovers quickly.

Take care,
Kerry Purcell

"shoot me an email."
Nice choice of words, Ms. Purcell.

Andrew Sullivan of The Atlantic Online (rightly) cautions against fixating on Cho's violent writings:

But how many other college students have written things so creepy their teachers were worried about their sanity?  Say it's two per sizeable college in the United States; that's thousands of students who wrote really disturbing stuff, and didn't shoot anyone.  I recall my college creative writing classes, in which my most notable short story prompted several students and a very well-meaning teacher to approach me with offers of sympathy and help for my tortured issues about class, my father, and the Catholic Church.  I was almost unable to bring myself to tell all those lovely, helpful people, that I had no such issues; in the grand traditions of fiction writers everywhere, I had made it all up

All right, I confess; I did allow one particularly cute specimen to console me with a few drinks at the New Deck Tavern.  But that's a story for another day, and probably, another blog.

The point is that even if all mass-murderers did write scary prose, or make sweeping apocalyptic statements, or otherwise give some signal of their impending meltdown, the signal wouldn't do us any good, because mass murderers are really, really rare.  You'll have a thousand false positives for one false negative.  In hindsight, we can always pick out some clue to what was about to happen.  That doesn't mean that we can, or should, see those things beforehand.

Samuel Beckett, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969, similarly wrote disturbing imagery. In Molloy, he had the namesake narrator knock, and later, repeatedly pound with his fist, on his aged mother's skull to obtain money from her. The acclaimed Asian-American writer and Professor of English at Boston University, Ha Jin, penned such violent short short stories in his postgraduate creative writing course that classmates were creeped out. Contemporary Indian-American author, Jhumpa Lahiri was a classmate of Ha Jin; she recalled how his tales of rape and murder often enraged or frightened female students. The lyrics of the album, "Murder Ballads," Nick Cave's parody of the violence in rap music, make even the most hardcore gangster rap fan blanch. Did any of these luminaries turn out to be serial killers?

Note: I am not trying to defend the artistic merit of Cho Seung-Hui's two plays, "Mr. Brownstone" and "Richard McBeef"; I can't — they are appallingly bad.

And then, there are these revolting leeches who latch on to this tragedy as a means to further their private agendas. Virginia Governor, Tim Kaine, decried,

People who want to take this within 24 hours of the event and make it their political hobby horse to ride, I've got nothing but loathing for them.

This comment is also relevant to many of the EuroWankers across the pond, with their snooty, "I told you so." An excerpt from "Europe, Please Stop Moralizing":

"Those Europeans are so evolved," writes John Wolfington of Philadelphia. "Why should we listen to people who joyously embraced totalitarianism and waged two world wars? After all that, there are still people in Europe who, to this day, cannot summon up the testicular fortitude necessary to effectively intervene and stop genocide in Bosnia in their own backyard.

         Like flies to shit.

I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all  (Job 16: 2).


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