virus: Looking for blame in all the wrong places

TheHermit (
Sun, 2 May 1999 16:23:03 -0500

Ziff Davis has a "Quick Poll" at,4586,2248394,00.html . I replied to it as follows.

Your questions and the responses to it demonstrates perfectly what is happening in America today. Mistaking "How" did it happen for "Why" and engaging in a witch-hunt.

What factor do you think is most to blame for the Colorado tragedy?

The Internet promotes extremist beliefs. Video game mayhem leads to violence.
Parents must take more responsibility for their children's actions. TV, music and videos promote anti-social behavior. Guns are just too easy to find.

Can you see the "find something, anything" to blame mentality at work? How about "None of the above?" Oops, that might disprove the prejudgments.

Extremist beliefs are the natural response to extreme prejudice. Video games are just that, games. Which studies have shown relieve violent tendencies. Why call these people children? Richard the Third fought (and won) his first battle at 14? And people mature earlier today than they did in the fifteenth century. Their parents are only "typical middle class Americans". Why single them out for blame? Current American society does more to promote religious and other prejudice than any amount of TV, music and videos. Guns are vastly over rated. Motor vehicles kill more people every day than guns ever will. Better bombs made from fertilizer and propane tanks would be much more effective devices. Are we going to blame easy access to them too? Why blame the tools for the evils of society?

Socrates was offered the choice of exile or hemlock. He chose the poison. Which factor do you think is most to blame for the Socratic tragedy?

Radical Greek philosophical notions promoted extremist beliefs. Violent arguments about the nature of society leads to more widespread violence
His parents failed him by not taking responsibility for him. Experimental theatre promoted anti-social behavior. Poison was just to easy to find.

No! No! No! A thousand times no! The reason we respect him today is that he committed suicide because it was the only ethical protest he could make in a society that forbade other forms of protest.

Has anyone thought that maybe Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold took what they thought was the best possible action against exactly the kind of prejudice and witch-hunting being demonstrated on this bulletin board? That their targets were the same loving Christian bastards who had tormented them for years, with words and violence for being different. Where their loving teachers seem to have condoned and exacerbated it. Because they were not being "jocks". Because they did not swallow "the official line" and merge with the masses. Because they saw the hypocracy and prejudice of their society and their peers and tried too hard to be "different". Why do you think that these tragedies keep happening in upper middle class American society? Why are the kids who do it the more intelligent? The different? The outcasts? In a society that practices drug prohibition leaving millions of victims, that believes that "three strikes and you are out" that has made more of its citizens into criminals than any other nation, that condemns people for dressing (or thinking) differently, why do Americans imagine that what happened in Littleton was not a rational response to the tyranny of the masses which demands conformity no matter the price?

Why did Socrates have to die? Why did Littleton have to happen? Maybe because Harris and Klebold believed that if there was any hope for America, that some extreme shock would be needed to make people look at the real America today? While they might have chosen a silly way to make their statement, their society failed to give them meaningful tools to speak in any other way. And missing their statement about prejudice, America invalidates their death. And in so doing, invalidates their "victims'" deaths too.