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Update: guys? Has anyone else noticed that the Norway shootings happened almost exactly a year ago? This shooting was two days short of that anniversary. As in Norway, the targets were young people and children. Could this be a copy cat killing?

I blame myself for not being on top of the Colorado theater shooting. I was blissed out on photos of a vacation. But commenter Rangoon composed a comment about violence that I thought was worth posting. I hope he/she doesn’t mind.

As a geezer It’s hard for me to process the violence that is all all around us, some is called entertainment, some is called the war on terror, while this new lead story of violence brings our leaders together to call for America to “come together as a family”

From a 2008 review of the previous Batman film:

“But the greatest surprise of all – even for me, after eight years spent working as a film critic – has been the sustained level of intensely sadistic brutality throughout the film.”

Dark Knight 2008
the film begins with a heist carried out by men in sinister clown masks. As each clown completes a task, another shoots him point-blank in the head. The scene ends with a clown – The Joker – stuffing a bomb into a wounded bank employee’s mouth. After the murderous clown heist, things slip downhill. A man’s face is filleted by a knife, and another’s is burned half off. A man’s eye is slammed into a pencil. A bomb can be seen crudely stitched inside another man’s stomach, which subsequently explodes. A trussed-up man is bound to a chair and set alight atop a pile of banknotes. A plainly terrorised child is threatened at gunpoint by a man with a melted face. It is all intensely realistic.

“I [make a] distinction between violence which is clearly fantastical in origin, such as that in Harry Potter, and that which is realistic and sadistic in tone, such as that in The Dark Knight.
The former might well bother younger children afterwards, and even give them horrifying nightmares – scarcely desirable in itself – but the latter is more likely to taint their fundamental vision of the world and adult norms of behavior…”

“As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family.
-Barack Obama

And speaking of “intensely sadistic brutality”-
“There has been a great increase in US strikes,” said Muhammad Nawaz, a tribal elder in North Waziristan. “The people feel terrorised because we hear the drones in the sky most of the time.
Few children attend school because they fear for their lives walking to and from their homes.
The tribal elders are afraid to gather together in jirgas, as had been our custom for more than a century. The mothers and wives plead with the men not to congregate together. They do not want to lose any more of their husbands, sons, brothers, and nephews. People in the same family now sleep apart because they do not want their togetherness to be viewed suspiciously through the eye of the drone. They do not want to become the next target… ”come together as a family?
“I saw my father about three hours before the drone strike killed him. News of the strike didn’t reach me until later, and I arrived at the location in the evening. When I got off the bus near the bazaar, I immediately saw flames in and around the station. The fires burned for two days straight. I went to where the jirga had been held. There were still people lying around injured. The tribal elders who had been killed could not be identified because there were body parts strewn about. The smell was awful. I just collected the pieces of flesh that I believed belonged to my father and placed them in a small coffin.”


From: The Trembling Voices of Those Terrorized by America’s Drone Campaign

“As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family.


We are so lucky to have been born here and not some place where blowing people up is a commonplace occurance, and so stupid to fritter all of our hard work away by failing to keep guns out of the hands of troubled people.
Dear Colorado, we are keeping you in our thoughts.

16 Responses

  1. IMHO, the less Obama tries to talk about this incident, the better. It’s campaign season and he doesn’t do “evil cowards” speeches very well. It feels scripted. Leave it at:
    “Ladies and Gentlemen, I was supposed to be here for a campaign rally but I think I need to be in Colorado right now. Please keep the victims and their families in your thoughts.”

    • He doesn’t do empathy very well, either.

      • Bill Clinton expressed genuine anger after Oklahoma City. You could tell he was mad as hell and determined to throw the full force of the law at the perpetrators. He acted just like the rest of us did. With outrage. And then he did the memorial service and people fell into his arms. That was powerful.

        Ronald Reagan did the “touch the face of god” speech for the Challenger accident and he looked touched and sincere. I think the old geezer actually meant it, even if it was Peggy Noonan who wrote the script. It was the only time I felt a connection with Reagan.

        I was never convinced that George Bush really got it with 9/11. For one thing, there was the My Pet Goat moment. Then there was flight from air force base to air force base. I know they wanted to protect him but I’ll betcha any other president would have stopped flying around, planted himself somewhere immediately afterwords and gave a soothing, “calm down, let’s not all lose our heads, keep it together and help each other speech”. He didn’t. Remember how he got up on the pile with a bullhorn? It was a little too much of “let’s go kick some hadji ass! Who’s with me?”

        Obama doesn’t know how to do this. I just wish he’d shut up. But in a couple of days, one of his speechwriters will write some committee approved speech that he did not write containing a couple snippets of sentences that indicate emotion or reassurance and the media will fall all over themselves praising him as the most gifted speaker of our lifetime and how after all of the last four years of economic problems and incompetence, he didn’t let them down for the half millisecond it took to deliver those teensy snippets of phrases. Then, it will be the only thing we hear about for a week. The victims, the event, the deaths and blood will all recede and we will be left with a bunch of love struck pundits mooning after him. I’m glad I no longer have cable.

        • Obama will use the word “hearbroken”. He always uses that word when some event happens and he can’t give a remark that is appropriate. I think he has over used that word many times. He embarrases me.

      • And most certainly didn’t help his case any further – him trying to appear sincere – that he had two happily smiling ladies sitting behind him.

  2. It’s hard to live in a country that does nearly everything wrong from murdering innocent people from a safe distance and allowing private citizens to obtain military assault weapons to packaging such stomach churning filth as entertainment.
    As I lay in bed last night, I got thinking about karma and how we have been basically doomed since the US committed the two worst acts of ultimate terror on civilian populations. It was after WW11 that Americans got so jingoistic, bellicose and “we’re number one!”
    Number One what-war criminals?
    It’s guilt and fear that have made us such chest beaters, we know that we’re going to have to pay; “maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of our lives.”
    And I wonder why I can’t sleep.

  3. No one seems to be mentioning Rush’s hours long ranting about Batman being an anti-Romney piece of mind-control be evil liberals.

    • Unlike the Giffords shooting from last year, there wasn’t a political target in this case. I’d hold off on implicating Rush, as much as I would LOVE a reason to get him off the air, until we find out what the f^&* was going on in the shooter’s head.

  4. Oh ferpetessake, his daughters go to the movies surrounded by an impregnable phalanx of secret service agents. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a metal detector at the ticket counter and agents patrolling by every exit.
    But I guess he had to find something he could use to help him relate to regular people with regular families. I can almost imagine him struggling over this with Jon Favreau:
    “They’re going to expect me to feel their pain. If only I could find *something* I have in common with them. Help me out here, Jon.”
    “Well, sir, you could always use Sasha and Malia. That worked pretty well for the last tragedy. Remember the Plan B over the counter approval you and Kathleen Sebalius over road? Did we kill or what? High five!”
    The president stares.
    “So, you think Sasha and Malia are my magic bullet here too? It won’t look like a pattern?”
    “Oh, no, sir! The public hasn’t seen much of them for four years. They thought you forgot you had kids. I’d go with it sir. It’s election season after all and you want to reach out to families.”
    “Ok, make it so number one. Get my rally speech a rewrite.”
    I can just see the policies that come out of this one. Michelle will start her own campaign to keep young children out of seeing movies with violence and parents will get lectures about how responsible parents behave with their childre. Metal detectors will be at every door, your bags will be checked. AND people will be arrested for not accompanying children under the age of 13 to the bathroom in theaters. And no more butter on the popcorn! It will make you fat.
    Taking away guns from potential time bombs? nah-gah-happen.

    • I wish Obama had said “life is precious.”
      “Life is fragile” sounds like “shit happens.”
      He’s just such a bad leader.

  5. RD, I’m really glad you re-posted this! I sent this same comment as an email to friends earlier; here’s one of their replies:

    You are so right-on, Rich. What should we expect from a society that is deluged by greed and power and the desire of empire at every turn.
    This is what our children have grown to know as the norm. Our society has been fostering this behavior for decades. Everything from Grand theft Auto
    and the Dark Knight to American Imperialism through implied patriotism. It’s a sick world that our youth has become accustom to.
    There’s no surprises with this incident.
    Thanks for your analogy

    • It almost sounds like a deliberate long-range plan to sickify the public mind being carried out by the MindFuckertainment-Industrial Complex . . . on behalf of whomever it is they are conducting it on behalf of.

      So , how do we prevent the troubling of minds on the part of people who legally got legal guns when their minds were not yet troubled?

  6. Local ABC news in my area this morning made sure to tell people they are not to confuse this event with terrorism. I changed the station.

  7. Here’s something that is interesting, but not in a good way. The alleged assailant was a grad student in neuroscience:

    “The University of Colorado Denver, Aschutz Medical Campus, said in a statement cited by The Associated Press that he had been in the process of withdrawing from a graduate program in neuroscience that he had begun in June of last year.”

    Jeez, I hope his job prospects didn’t have anything to do with it. If he was lucky, he would have had to look forward to a slew of low paying post doc positions after he graduated. It’s been my fear that some geeky types would go postal sooner or later. There were several instances of grusome deaths in the wake of some of the pharma layoffs in NY and Connecticut. One man tried to kill his wife after he was laid off because he said he couldn’t support her anymore. And another guy who worked in the chemical stockroom at one of Pfizer’s sites walked out to the parking lot, got in his car and slit his own throat. The company tried to deny it had anything to do with his impending layoff but you know, it probably doesn’t take much to push an unstable person off the edge.

    Or maybe it’s grad school combined with the mental instability of being a young adult male. Aren’t they always about this age when they do this?

    BTW, how did this guy get his hands on 4 guns, tear gas canisters and explosives that he used to booby trap his apartment? How did that happen?? Why is it we are allowed to profile dark skinned people who might be illegal aliens or terrorists but not guys in their twenties who suddenly develop a passion for guns?

    • Here is a book written some years ago by Mark Ames on the spreading “enrage-ification” of people into “rampage-killer” behavior
      called Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyond. (Now I don’t know why Ames would call Columbine to be “Clinton’s”. Maybe for an element of cheap alliterative thrill in the title.)

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