Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Leading The League In Crazies

What the fuck, people. America may be losing its industrial dominance, building up huge trade deficits, and falling behind in the global education war, but this beyond-disturbing Amish school rampage by Charles Carl Roberts is further proof, if any was needed, that we still lead the world in the output of crazy & senseless violence, and we're right up there in producing deranged homicidal maniacs who use three names. What used to be the sole preserve of disgruntled postal workers has now alarmingly spread across almost all strata of society, with spasms of raging violence becoming all too commonplace at offices and schools and even seemingly noncombustible gatherings like weddings & baby showers.

When I heard the news, my first reaction was that nothing good ever happens in a place called Bart Township. Then when I heard the guy was a milkman, I thought, yes, another piece of the puzzle falls into place. The next day I see the cover of the always-amusingly-tasteless New York Post, and the headlines trumpeted the fact that the crimes were committed by a "mad milkman." Besides the nice alliterative effect, why is his occupation relevant in this context? Is it somehow more shocking when mad milkmen attack? Would it be less disturbing or unsettling if the guy was a sous chef or building super? When I go on my inevitable crime spree, will my headline be Deranged Proofreader Writes Bad Ending; 2 Left Dead In Botched Midtown Holdup?

But enuf about me. Back to Mr. Roberts the Mad Milkman. (Insert bad Mr. Roberts' Neighborhood and Dead Milkmen jokes here.) Ya know, there's no way a suicide note can be construed as anything other than an anguished cry for help. And the whole arsenal thing is another big yellow Post-it note that sez "HELP ME" in black magic marker.

It seems school is where it all goes very wrong very early for an awful lot of people. At the least you're gonna end up thinking about those years an awful lot more than it's worth. Maybe it's the fluoride in the water supply, the rampant alcohol & drug abuse, or the easy access to handguns & rifles (The human costs of a gun culture). Maybe it's the ruthless economic darwinism or the soul-crushing dog-eat-dogism of our society. But something has gone amiss here in our noble little social experiment we call America.

When you look at this recent spate of killing sprees, you can be forgiven for asking, well, is God still ultimately in control of his minions down here? Or perhaps all those bearded German theologians and existential philosophers were right after all and God is dead. Whatever the case, at the very least, it seems his phone has been off the hook a lot lately.

Maybe He's just not that into us anymore.

Killer was angry with himself and God.

"Big sky looked down on all the people looking up at the big sky.
Everybody pushing one another around
Big sky feels sad when he sees the children scream and cry
But the big sky's too big to let it get him down.
Big sky too big to cry
Big sky too high to see
People like you and me
One day we'll be free, we won't care, just you see
til that day can be, don't let it get you down.
When I feel that the world is too much for me
I think of the big sky, and nothing matters much to me.
Big sky looked down on all the people who think they got problems
They get depressed and they hold their head in their hands and cry.
People lift up their hands and they look up to the big sky
But big sky is too big to sympathize
Big sky's too occupied
Though he would like to try
And he feels bad inside
Big sky's too big to cry.
One day we'll be free, we won't care, just you wait and see
til that day can be, don't let it get you down.
When I feel that the world is too much for me
I think of the big sky, and nothing matters much to me."
Kinks (ray davies)

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