In the Blog
A little context, people
One of the more thoughtful responses to the horrible shootings at Virginia Tech comes from Mark Ames at Alternet. The piece, based on the arguments he makes in his book Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine and Beyond (available from Soft Skull Press) can be summed up like this:
Media: Cho Seung-Hui did it because he was crazy and “evil.” History: Schoolyard massacres are rebellions against oppressive and bullying environments by students who can’t take it anymore.
He critiques the mainstream media’s handling of the shooting with gems like this one: “… revealing, if anything, a culture that is so insanely delusional and incapable of self-reflection that it almost makes these rampage massacres seem relatively natural.” He also thoughtfully provides a history of school massacres and brings up some of the bigger cultural, social and political questions these tragedies raise.
Ames shows that when you take the actions of these youth seriously, a lot more is revealed than the shallow accusation that they’re “crazy” and “evil” (hmm, where have we heard that one before?).