Wednesday, May 28, 2014

America's Psycho

 "(R)est assured this will all happen again very soon" - Michael Moore

With the latest act of fatal violence -- the shooting death of, now, four people in the Jewish Museum of Brussels last weekend -- thoughts turn again, or should, to the state of global mental health.

No, Elliot Rodger was not the latest ... He won't be the last.  As America weeps again, and wonders what went wrong again, and clams up for a change this time, on anything having to do with the Second Amendment -- even Michael Moore clammed up, not deigning to repeat his message of over ten years ago, in Bowling for Columbine -- we are only beginning to skate around the tip of what is actually the iceberg ...

Elliot Rodger was a sick, pained soul.  Stereotypically "tortured", almost "poetic", in his musings.  His dark manifesto, had it been written, say, a century and a half ago ... penned anonymously, and/or "discovered" ... who knows?  Might have become a literary classic, in the Dostoevsky or Knut Hamsen vein.

As a writer, I myself am tortured:  panged with jealousy, twisted, unnerved, by the guy's naive, sadly wasted talent!

... Creepy or not, in this respect, Mahbod Moghadam may have been spot on:  Elliot Rodger was (could've been) a beautiful "writer".  Frankly, we're lucky that he vented regularly ... safely, behind a pen and a keyboard, letting off many pages, and scripted videos, of steam.  Had he not afforded himself of these outlets, one has to wonder how much sooner his deranged fiction -- all those perceived slights, and delusions of some sort of "magnificence" -- might have occurred.

In any case, like all good American Psychos, Rodger pulled the trigger on himself in the end.

The Belgian killer -- the killer of Semites -- is still out there.  It's been suggested that this was a "professional" job, not in fact a random racial incident; and certainly, if the gunman in this case was some sort of targeted score settler, not particularly an issue of mental health.

So we'll leave that one for now.  Re-shine the spotlight on America.  Ask, WHAT are the stresses, the frustrations, the root causes of our epidemic?  Is it drugs?  The prescriptions we're hawked on TV each night?  The force-feeding of chemicals into the brains of our "hyper", attention deprived young children?

The constant -- CONSTANT -- barrage of "news" and useless "infotainment"?  The lack of exercise or (physical) play?  The deadly food options?  The lazy dependence on electronic voices telling us which way to turn?  The "deposits" required, the payment methods demanded, the increasing requirement of usernames and passwords ... the need to "opt-out", instead of being asked to opt IN?

Is it the frustration of trying to reach another human being on the telephone, or increasingly, in real life ... in actual face time, not via some "app"?  WHAT is driving us crazy here??

WHY are we Americans psycho?

It's not about access to guns, necessarily.  In a way, the NRA song and dance is true:  Guns don't kill people.  It's the people who have intent to kill ... Too often, like Elliot Rodger, flailing towards whichever weapon of choice comes in handy:  a knife ... a BMW ...

Guns or no guns, the Elliot Rodger story would've ended badly;

sadly, the American climate's too ripe for a sequel.

Why are we Batshit in America?