It's a very short article so you might like to click through and read the whole thing. And, as I write, there are 107 comments where it's published on Alternet. Seems to have stirred up a lot of emotion.
Our entire way of life -- from our exploitative economy to our foreign policy -- is violent.
As Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's posthumous infamy turns 10 on April 20, I wish I were surprised that Columbine-like shootings are still happening, or even that our national discussion about violence hasn't yet matured past gun control and video games.
I wish I were surprised, but sadly, I'd be surprised if it were any different because we still refuse to ask the most uncomfortable questions.
For example, isn't violence a predictable byproduct of our economy? When torture victims are waterboarded, they freak out. When a winner-take-all economy tortures society, should we be shocked that a few lunatics go over the edge?
For three decades, we converted our economy into one that enriches the rich and stresses out everyone else. Paychecks dwindled, debts accumulated, health-care bills spiked. We now spend more hours working or seeking work, and fewer hours on parenting, family time and rest -- all while schools and mental-health services deteriorate.
Considering this, shouldn't we expect the recent Associated Press story telling us "the American home is becoming more violent" because of the recession? Shouldn't we expect the new Department of Homeland Security report saying that "the economic downturn" is "invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements"? And, ultimately, shouldn't we expect the deep alienation that may lead the occasional troubled kid to turn video-game fantasies into real-world terror?
Monday, April 20, 2009
Why people "snap"
An article with this title really caught my attention today: "Is There Any Wonder Some People Snap Like in Binghamton and at Columbine?" I've thought that myself quite a number of times over the years. Take a look: