The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

April 17, 2007

I'm Just Askin'...

AN ENTIRE NATION, JOINED BY MUCH OF AN ENTIRE PLANET, IS GRIEVING THE VIRGINIA TECH SHOOTING DEATHS OF 32 PEOPLE.

I'm no different. And the main question is "Why?"

It's a question that can never be directly and completely answered, no matter how many CNN Situation Room interviews, Oprah Winfrey shows or whatever try to respond.

Why did a 23-year-old South Korean student go on a killing rampage the way he did? Your newspapers will be filled Wednesday with theories, experts pontificating, talk-shows talking.

You know the drill. You'll be inundated. Predictably, you won't be able to process it all, so you will turn it off. You'll be sad, but unable to comprehend. You'll shut down.

This is one of those questions that's as easy to answer as where did we come from, is there a God, why do people commit suicide. This kind of thing just IS nowadays, it appears.

On Tuesday, U.S. President George W. Bush tried to comfort the nation while the rest of the world looked on, their mouths still agape at the horror.

He tried to comfort the students and family and friends of those who died. That is his job, I guess, to appear strong and caring. His sound bytes will spread like wildfire across the Globe.

It's the most shallow, hollow of things coming from the most shallow, hollow of world leaders.

Not that I don't believe he cares or that he isn't saddened. But it was only a day or two ago, before the shootings, that he was still talking -- yes, still -- about the "War on Terror."

He was still harping the old party line, something about how these terrorists want to destroy America, trying indirectly still to place unfounded fear into the hearts of a country, so many years after 9-11.

He'll never slay the ghosts that will forever paint him as among the worst U.S. presidents. His insistence that Iraq had WMDs; his unsuccessful attempt at tracking down Osama Bin Laden.

His invasion of Iraq, filled with photo opps and meaningless victories; the eventual hanging of a bit player the U.S. had once propped up to get its oil, Saddam Hussein.

The deaths of thousands of U.S. troops in a war that can never be won. The turning on him, finally and at long last, by a nation he somehow hoodwinked into electing him twice.

All of that, all of that fearmongering over far-off Muslim countries that are only striking out at his right-wing, far-right religious croneyism and insatiable appetite for their oil...

...And he can't prevent the kind of thing that happened in his own country on Monday. He can only try to console the minions with calls that they turn to prayer.

Hmmm...does the question occur, where is the REAL terrorist threat?

Is it within America, where this South Korean guy went down to the 5 and dime store and picked up the two guns he killed 32 people with, hardly a question asked about his suitability to own firearms?

Or is it the Weapons of Mass Destruction that weren't in Iraq or the cult figure hero that is Osama Bin Laden, which the largest military force in the world couldn't track down?

On Tuesday, Bush told the Virginia Tech crowd how he and First Lady Laura Bush had come to express their sympathy "on a day of sadness for our entire nation."

He said how impossible it was to make sense of such violence and suffering.

"Those whose lives were taken did nothing to deserve their fate. They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now they're gone, and they leave behind grieving families...and a grieving nation."

And then this: "I ask you to reach out to those who ache for sons and daughters who will never come home."

Appropriate and well-chosen words, indeed. I wonder when, or if, he will ever say and truly mean those same words about the thousands of troops who will never come home from Iraq.

*For a YouTube clip of Michael Moore talking to then-NRA chairman-or-whatever-he-was Charlton Heston about gun control in America (from Bowling for Columbine), please go to bottom of blog*


16 comments:

  1. horrible mind numbingly horrible...

    My main issue are the faces and images being splashed accross our tv screen and computer screens, no feeling, it feels like "entertainment" gore sells papers.

    What is it going to take before the US look at gun control, you a have an entire country living in fear, of their nighbours, of muslims, killer bees, and other races... scraed out of their wits, due to their media.... the last thing you want to do is give a panicked person a gun...

    Thanks WW... well writen and feeling... very human.

    ReplyDelete
  2. These massacres seem to be happening more and more in schools. I, too, want to know why. I want to understand what makes a person want to do something like this. I want to understand their mind and motives. The truth is that I probably never will as long as I remain sane because acts such as this one could only be made by an insane mind. I have to believe that only insanity can cause someone to cold-heartedly murder innocent people. Someone who harms the innocent for no reason, must not be a resonable person. Right? Please tell me I'm right, because I really don't understand any of this.

    I also agree with Aidan's comment about gun control laws. It is way too easy to get a gun and that really should change... and fast.

    As far as Bush goes... all I can say is, what is America thinking??? Why is this man still in power? A much better leader (at least in my opinion) got the boot for accepting a blowjob and this dimwitted asshole continues to rule the most powerful nation in the world with that smug look on his face while he continues to kill thousands upon thousands of innocent people. I don't understand the American people who continue to allow this war to continue and this madman to stay in power. I wonder if I don't understand them for the same reason I don't understand these crazed gunmen who go on killing rampages... because they're insane.

    ReplyDelete
  3. My cousin Dale said the very same thing about Bush today.

    Two intelligent men, a thousand miles apart, with the exact same thought.

    If only more people would come to the same conclusion, we might have something.

    Very well written and well thought out post, Chris.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Aidan:

    I think we're going to print the pictures of as many of the dead as are available in our paper Wednesday.

    What could be more powerful than that? Thirty two fucking people killed as they were trying to teach or learn, to improve their knowledge and understanding of the world, to get ahead...

    The gun control...surprisingly Dubya said nothing about that, huh? Not a fucking word.

    No wonder Americans, that beautiful people, are living in fear, scared out of their wits.

    Who wouldn't be?

    Anna:

    Columbine, of course, in the U.S. Canada's most famous have happened in your province.

    There is no answer about why, but it's obviously crazed, confused people who can't cope with what they envision the world to be.

    Insane, yes. But why? What aren't such people getting that they need to get? What fear grips their minds so much they have to do something like this?

    I'll tell you you're right, but it's beyond that...they're like caged rats, they can't cope, and they implode.

    I think a lot of it IS the gun control or lack of same in the U.S.

    I don't at all get the Bush thing either...I just don't.

    Laurie:

    It will mean a lot more coming from Americans. I'm an outsider, like any Canadian, but I'm not.

    America sneezes, and the whole world says gezunheit or God Bless. That's the way it is.

    ReplyDelete
  5. 32 people, with names, their families, and all the potential that once laid before them would be more powerful, but there are some things words and images cannot capture...

    I hope my words before did not sound like i was detracting from the loss of life. I just hate seeing people profit from other misery.

    You cannot justify a semi automatic weapon, it has no purpose other than to kill and Maim people... It needs to stop. there is too much money wrapped up in weapons manufacture and the NRA.. they will never change.

    thanks again WW

    ReplyDelete
  6. Excellent post.
    PBS and Frontline are examining post 9/11 America all week and it has been amazing. The Right Wing looks at the War on Terror in the same vein as the Cold War. When Reagan became President who would have ever believed that the USSR could be driven into bankruptcy?

    Together America and Al Qaeda have (ironically) now co-created a Civil War in Iraq. Theocrats on either side are all convinced that God is on their side. Strategists in the US are still confounded that Iraqis are more attached to their sects and clans than the idea of a country and the Terrorists are using this to their advantage.

    Unfortunately many American politicians and their lobbyists don't know why the rest of the world thinks that it is unhealthy for ONE country to dictate global policy.

    It was best summised by a Bosnian leader who explained that because the US is now virtually free to pursue it's own agenda, it has a huge conflict of interest between the Corporations and the Authentic Reformers who believe that saving the world is a moral imperative and not an option.

    I watched Bush address the school memorial service at V Tech. I was reminded of Katrina and how despite George's excellent photo ops the rescue of N'Orleans was a dismal failure.

    History will not be kind to Dubya but conspiracy nuts can relax. This isn't a man who is orchestrating an evil dark-op underworld coalition of Corporations. Nope.

    This guy just stands where he is told to stand and reads what he is supposed to read.

    Remember the stunned look on his face when he was interrupted while reading to the Kindergarten class when the planes hit the twin towers.

    Hold that image.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Aidan:

    I didn't perceive your original comments suggested a lack of caring on your part.

    The sad fact is, when something like this happens, CNN's ratings shoot up beyond the stratosphere.

    We look for, but can never find, some sort of answer for all of this. So we listen to all the talking heads, all offering this opinion or that.

    But it's just a bunch of hot air. The real answer -- gun control and, overall, a return to basic sanity -- is so right under our noses, but it gets lost in the shuffle.

    HE:

    I think you're right...the American power base of right-wingers and corporations that have Bush as their puppet actually don't realize they're wrong.

    They believe in what they're doing as fervently as they believe in one religion and one God and, in the most extreme cases, the Rapture and all that crap.

    They may hear the other side or the other sides, but they don't listen. They're beyond listening.

    I do hold that image of Bush reading to schoolchildren. The question is, how has he survived that moment for this long?

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's not easy to comment on your post in just this little blog frame here. I think we would need at least some hours to put all things in perspective (and that sure would be an animated discussion, I can imagine. Note : I like to discuss and to argue in friendship, it is like mind stretching). And there are a lot of perspectives, and questions to be asked. Only on the subject of this tragedy, the newspaper I read filled 7 pages and that's just a start. Gun control as Aidan says, is one thing, 2. what about a global stop on gun production, 3. what about all the guns that are already circulating in the world, 4. what if all guns were destroyed (and bombs etc.), back to the knives,swords, ...? Can agression be stopped ? etc, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hmmm, good post WW, you make some great points especially regarding our delusionary leadership(?).

    Not only have we armed our courthouses, and our airplanes, we are now 'talking' of arming our teachers ... as though that is the solution!

    Far from evolving into a cultured nation, or seeking 'social clues’ from other nations, we are regressing back to the ugly wild west.

    When our leadership behaves like playground bullies we can only expect it to filter down.

    Immensely sad. Painfully true.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Why did that guy do it? Because he was obviously an effing dickhead. (that is my intelligent answer).

    ReplyDelete
  11. But the really important thing is, Australia still holds the record for the world's worst spree-killing. Heard of Martin Bryant? Google him. Bush should be taking the same sort of action we took after that massacre - it's called GUN CONTROL. But that's never been something high on America's priorties. Given the increasing frequency of spree-killings (particulary in schools, as noted by Anna), it needs to be looked at. Sure, guns don't kill people, but they make it a heck of a lot easier for people to kill people! Do you think this guy would have killed 32 people if he'd had to stab them or strangle them? No way. GUN CONTROL, and PEOPLE CONTROL. Get on it, Dubya!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hildegarde:

    You're positively correct, of course. There's no way this issue can be dealt with in this forum.

    Gun control will never come about because all the governments, specifically the U.S., have their own arms race going all the time and it's a zillion-dollar industry within the military establishment.

    To me, that's like the power base is going out to have steak every night and they can't very well allow the minions to starve, so they throw us scraps in the form of little handguns that we can buy and play with...and kill with.

    You make those available to societies and people who have no way of understanding what's happening and who can't cope with all the craziness, like this South Korean guy, and bingo, bango bongo -- 32 wasted, just like that.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Bibi:

    Excellent comments, thanks for expanding the context.

    Maybe that's what SHOULD happen. They're not going to abolish the guns, but they can't stop these kinds of killings either.

    So yeah, have every classroom and dorm stocked with machine guns and make teachers wear bullet-proof vests. We can't stop the crazies, and we know they're going to have guns, so let's shoot them before they shoot us.

    I agree entirely with what you said about the bully mentality filtering down to the masses.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lee:

    I guess that's pretty apparent. But we now know he was committed to a mental institution in 2005.

    How could he be set free...and then be allowed to go buy guns, legally?

    Like, how can this be? There were signs for years and months this guy was a looney.

    It's nuts.

    Stace:

    Exactly -- PEOPLE CONTROL coupled with GUN CONTROL. But it ain't gonna happen.

    CNN referenced a recent poll which suggested Americans don't WANT gun control. They did, but now they don't.

    I expect it's Bush's continued fearmongering about the War on Terror.

    It's like his mantra is, let's scare the sh*t out of the entire planet to keep the arms buildup going, let's force everybody to have a gun...

    You and Hildegarde are right to raise the spectre of a return to knives and clubs...there's no doubt guns are the No. 1 killer, as HE pointed out in his post.

    ReplyDelete
  15. what i can't believe is how the news is actually playing this guys little video clips and showing the photographs he took of himself... over and over and over again! its exactly what he wanted!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Angel:

    Yep, I think it's a sinister mind-control plot. They've got to keep their coverage going not only to sustain their ratings and to keep those commercial opportunities coming in, but also the great psychiatrist in the sky orders that such stuff be shown over and over and over to so burn the horror into our minds that we shut down and, because of the overexposure to it all, we forget about it.

    Which is just what they want to do -- blind us to the ugliness that they're not dealing with.

    ReplyDelete

If you choose to use anonymous to comment, it is only fair that I reserve the right to obliterate your comment from my blog.