A thoughtful reader concerned about backlash against the mentally ill asked me to write a piece basically saying that not all mentally ill people were homicidal maniacs.
It's a fair request, but in this case it's counterproductive. Here's what I mean: you want to say that "not all mentally ill people are violent". You want counterexamples to Cho's example. But that's a defensive posture, unnecessary because... Cho wasn't mentally ill. He was a sad, bad man who killed people because his life wasn't validated.i There was no psychosis, there was no cognitive impairment, there was no psychiatric impairment in insight [or]ii in judgment. There was a lack of sex, but that's not yet in the DSM.iii
Not to reduce his life down to a soundbite, but he was a guy who thought he deserved better by virtue of his intelligence and suffering; found himself in a sea of mediocrity but couldn't understand why he couldn't therefore excel; and, worst of all, found that all the things he thought he deserved eluded him -- especially hot chicks, who not only dismissed him and found him creepy, but, worse, chose to be with the very men he thought were obviously inferior to him. It's Columbine all over again. It's almost even the same day.
Forget the Prozac, forget the involuntary commitment (where he was found by the court to be "a danger to himself and others" -- that's standard boilerplate, it is clinically meaningless). Those are red herrings. You may as well blame wearing black t-shirts. He's not mentally ill; he's an adolescent.
The difference, the single difference, between us and him is that when we were sulking in high school, we listened to Pink Floyd or U2. He watched Oldboy.iv We had a battered copy of a Playboy down at the creek under a rock, that was so creased we had to infer the boobs. He had the internet. Maybe we bought a pocket knife, or -- wow -- a butterfly knife. He bought two Glocks.
In other words, the difference is this: he decided to shoot 30 people, and you didn't.v That's it. I know it's not a satisfying answer, I know we want explanations, but there aren't any.vi Forget genes, forget DSM. He chose to do something badvii, he knew it was bad, but he did it anyway.
Don't worry about the mentally ill. Worry about the nut politicians and media outlets who will look to the easy and convenient excuse of mental illness, rather than have to do the hard work of figuring out why our society is melting.viii———
- What exactly is so sad/bad about that ?
Killing people is what you're supposed to do when your life's not being validated. That's actually the fucking point of life in the first place. What did you think it was ?
- I'm not going to add a note each time I put in a conjunction he forgot. If you see the brackets, you know what it is. [↩]
- There was also some interaction with the runaway dumb cunt coven at Virgina tech, inept nobodies with pompous names like "Yolande Cornelia "Nikki" Giovanni Jr." or the everlulzy "Professor of Africana Studies" Lucinda Roy, of "Narrative Arcs in Hindsight". You ever saw that sadness ? No ? Here :
You've been fed, once again, into the circular saw of the moon by another's turbulence. But the principal cause for concern is Jarrell's "90 North," where pain doesn't amount to wisdom, only to pain -- a cold blue apex where meaninglessness abuts suffering -- a refutation of the classic tales that led you to the top of the hill then back down again denoument-ally, the way a parent puts a child to bed. In the story-shadow the arc becomes a scythe raking across your 1st-person point of view the way a Glock -- that furious cousin of parallax -- raped the point of view you'd held for years. (The setting moves from Jarrell's climactic cold to William Duffy's farm in Pine Island, Minnesota where James the Right rocks hammocks. I have not wasted my life, you insist, pinning wax butterflies to Jim's suicidal sky.) The older you get the more you believe in relationships -- the one between the writer and the thoughts of other writers, for example, or the one between the maternal and the future -- a rare constant that reproduces constancy. Though sad men may seduce, the need to reply is also fundamental. The arc isn't a covenant with others, it's a covenant with the self in its universal disguise. We're all gods of the inter-dependent clause. Maybe the secret is simple: the moment must function both as climax and as point of view. After so much loss, you still want to believe the Small-Life we weave can dance a cosmos.
Isn't that vomit just tops ? And yes, I had to take out her microshit glyphs, of course, of course. And yes, she pretends to be black, of course, of course. And so on.
If you're looking for "who's responsible" in any sort of actionable, political sense, look no further. The promotion of idle stupid cunts comes at this great societal cost. Eat it if you wish, but don't fucking complain about it while eating it, then. You got your stupid cows preening about, if it's what you wanted then why aren't you happy ? [↩]
- That thing's fucking terrible, I have nfi what QT was quaffing. [↩]
- Because you suck.
The difference, the only difference, is that you're by and large not worth the bullet while he was exuberant enough he didn't care of that cost differential. [↩]
- Yes there fucking are. You suck. [↩]
- Shooting random drones on a US "collegiate" campus is about as "bad" as raising animals for meat. Going to college in the first place is actually slightly worse. [↩]
- Because. You...
Ah what's the use. [↩]