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December 14, 2012
Killer Killed His Parents First
He then went to Connecticut to kill a woman he was involved with somehow -- whether wife or ex-girlfriend -- and also to kill all the children near her.
I think we were just talking a few weeks ago about a certain form of intensely narcissistic psychopathy that spurs people to kill everyone close to them rather than just taking the gentleman's way out of suicide. (I don't mean to give a nod towards suicide but if the difference is between killing yourself and murdering your whole family for your failures and inadequacies, let's put in a good word for suicide.)
I've said this before but I think the media can help reduce these things from occurring. These nutters see themselves heroically, sort of as bigger-than-life agents of mayhem and evil. Now that may sound like a bad thing to you, but it doesn't sound bad to them: They've embraced it.
And what Evil is usually described as, in popular mythology, which these guys are not, is potent and capable. Yes, Evil is horrible, but these guys are embracing it for the Power of it. Because they are failures and hopelessly inadequate in their own lives, they contrive a fantasy in which they become Dark Heroes -- larger than life and big as death -- by murdering a lot of people.
Obviously we have a debased value system here. But it does seem to me that that one thing they value and cherish is their self-conception of the Big Scary Man, who you should Take Serious Notice Of because he's Scary and Capable of Anything.
And a lot of media coverage tends to play this angle up. And I don't mean to knock the press too badly on this -- evil sells, and these people are evil.
However, I think it would do at least something to dissuade the next potential mass murderer to know, for example, that coverage on him will not focus on the Evil Menace part of him (which is a self-conception he finds flattering), but the Sad, Lonely Pathetic Guy Who Has a Small Dick and Couldn't Keep a Woman or a Job and Just Couldn't Hack It part of him. The part that's actually much more relevant to his crime -- masterful men do not have to kill people to let the world know "I exist" -- and the party that he's actually afraid of other people knowing about.
If I were the media, I'd allow myself to get very personal in publishing accounts of these guys. Personal, and nasty.
And not only is this a bit of a public service, but, as I said, this is much more relevant to the actual reasons for his crime than this puffed-up faux-heroic claimed motivations. The maniac in Colorado did not shoot up a theater because of Batman, and to even say that credits his self-conception as true and puffs up his fantasy connection to Batman.
No, the maniac in Colorado shot up the theater because he was a pathetic weakling unloved by women and incapable of satisfying them and so retreated into a twisted babydick world of power fantasy.
Same thing with this guy.
I'm going to go against my political team, here-- although conservatives often say "Label evil as what it is, Evil, and leave therapy and psychology out of it," I'm going to say No, not in these instances. Because Evil (notice the capital letter E) is powerful in these sad losers' imaginations, and they want to be called the Big Scary Man, the Shadow That Menaces At Midnight.
For an impotent, weak, ineffectual man, that is an attractive fantasy.
What they do not want and could not abide is an accurate assessment of their psychology, their physical stature and shortcomings, their ability to succeed in work or school, their loser history with women, and so on.
To the average people, the idea of being called Evil is bracing and restraining. Not to these fellers. All of these bizarre murders are motivated, at root, by the psychology of utter failure. These are flop-sweat murders, sexual panic murders, too weak to carry on murders. Reporting them as such would not only provide at least as small disincentive to the Power Fantasy losers who commit them, but would actually be much, much closer to the truth than "Heavy Metal poisoned his mind."
No, being the runt who no one loved all his life poisoned his mind. Heavy Metal was just his escape from that. Or Batman, or video games, or Jared Laugher's Conspiracy By Manipulation of Grammar, etc. Promoting the Batman/Heavy Metal angle takes the lunatic's diagnosis of himself as credible.
There's a Pink Floyd song that mentions a sentence of being exposed before your peers. Let's strip the Mystery away from these guys. The Mystery angle is both complimentary (in the only way it matters-- as they assess a compliment) and false. The thoughts of a loser gone lunatic are not particularly mysterious, and not very interesting; they're all basically the same, as FBI profilers can tell you.
So less of that.
These guys are Romanticizing murder and conceiving it as some sort of Blaze of Glory heroic Act III. Everything we do and say should refuse that romanticization. Where they seek to seem big, we should make them small (which, again, is actually on the mark as far as accurately). Where they wish to seem Potent -- capable of inflicting their will on the world -- we should strip them down to what they actually are, impotent in virtually all ways. A little finger pulling a gun they didn't build is the one sad skill they've had any success with.
Let them know that murder will not be an escape from that pitiful truth, but rather a life sentence of being confronted with it.
"Theater:" A commenter "beach" cites an expert diagnosing this sort of crime.
A key word is "theater" -- the psychopath chooses this sort of senseless, large-scale murder for the theatrical element. Obviously there is no "motive" as it is usually understood -- murdering a bunch of kids does not advance his cause (the way murdering a man for his car would get you, temporarily, a car).
He wants to be discussed; he's giving a performance; he wants to move the audience.
The audience shouldn't indulge him by considering him in the terms her prefers.
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