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December 17, 2012

What If You Knew? Really KNEW? (stuiec)

Dec. 15 was the first day of principal photography on a feature film I adapted from a story my daughter wrote, "The Last Earth Girl Went To Space To Find God." Her story was in the form of diary entries by a woman alone in a space capsule, traveling at near-lightspeed to the edge of the physical Universe (beyond which she imagines God to reside) so that she can confront Him and ask why He allowed a cosmic catastrophe to destroy the Solar System and every human being except her. In her diary entries, she recalls how different people reacted differently when they learned to a scientific certainty that all humankind was doomed to destruction on a date certain, ten years from the date of an announcement by a group of astrophysicists.

The beginning of this phase of the film project (being produced and shot by Cellardoor Cinema in Memphis, TN) is sadly coincident with the tragedy in Newtown, CT. It prompted a thought that connects the two.

What if you knew the world was coming to an end in one week -- not thought it could happen or believed it would happen, but KNEW with certainty it shall happen? What if you knew that the end of the world would be a terrifying catastrophe that caused immense pain, suffering and fear before snuffing out every human life on Earth? What would you do?

Would you want to protect your loved ones from the horror of the catastrophe and put them out of their misery quickly and with as little pain as possible? What about other innocent people, blissfully ignorant of their fate -- would you want to help them escape in that way as well?

We now see news reports that quote the neighbors and friends of Nancy Lanza as saying she was a "prepper," convinced that an economic and societal catastrophe was at hand. They said that besides owning and practicing with several firearms, she stockpiled food and water and other survival supplies.

We also see news reports that Adam Lanza spent a great deal of time immersed in computer-based play. These reports suggest that he was far more comfortable in that environment than in physical reality, even resisting his mother's attempts to hug him.

So suppose -- purely speculatively -- that Adam Lanza believed that Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, was exactly one week before the world was going to end on the foreordained catastrophic date of Dec. 21, 2012. Suppose he KNEW that his mother was wrong about their ability to survive the coming meltdown because he KNEW that it wasn't only an economic and sociological phenomenon, but an actual physical event that would render the Earth uninhabitable and in the process kill all human beings in a horrific fashion.

Is it possible that a young man so deluded that he KNEW the end was coming would have chosen to give his mother a peaceful death in her sleep, and then chosen to "save" as many innocent children as he could?

I don't offer this speculation to blame Mayan apocalypse believers or those who offer jokes and memes about Dec. 21. Nor do I offer it as any sort of excuse or justification for the evil acts of Adam Lanza. I offer it because I believe it's important to consider all the possible ways Adam's damaged mind could have arrived at a purely evil course of action."Why did he do it" perhaps has no answer we can ever truly know, but I do know -- for a certainty -- that it has no simple or easy answer.

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posted by Open Blogger at 04:02 PM

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