At the risk of catching your ire I'm going to say that I'm not all that surprised that this incident happened. Obviously its tragic, and obviously the guy who did it is a twisted prick. My point is, he's not the only twisted prick.
Its not worth laying down the full extent of an argument, even if I had one that was more than a series of passing observations, but I will point out that:
- We live in a commercialize, media riddled society that has convinced everyone that getting laid is perhaps the most/ only important thing in the world.
- All other objects and goals in the pursuit of getting laid are shown to be fulfilling no matter how arbitrary or contrived that they are. Hell, if you believed what you see on TV ( and you're supposed to) washing your hair with the right shampoo gives you an orgasm. That's going to leave a lot of shampoo customers disappointed.
- We have a system of largely un-defined/over define/and contrarily defined gender roles. For white males, that's compounded by the MSNBCs of the world telling you that you're an evil bastard and part of the problem and the FOXNews of the world telling you that you're being put upon and an endangered species.
Now all of that means shit so long as you're a grounded person and have a support system of family and friends to give you some guidance and perspective. Unfortunately the system, by design or happenstance is evolving in the opposite direction.
- We're becoming more and more isolated. While all the communication available to us has made surface interaction readily accessible, its come at the expense of meaningful dialog and relationships.
- The family structure has basically eroded into nothingness. You could fill books on both reasons and examples. You could fill another 20 books assigning blame. But the point is that extended families basically extinct and the nuclear family is quickly becoming the exception.
I believe that there's a growing segment of the population that feels disenfranchised and powerless. They're lost and lonely. In many cases they're made to feel that way by design....that makes them better marks for business, government, and religious manipulation.
This is what Obama was striking at when he talked about people taking refuge in religion and guns, without even recognizing that he wasn't part of the solution, but an extension of the problem. Many of those people will fill that void playing Second Life or WOW. Many will seek refuge in their churches and cults. Many will seek refuge in their political parties. But I fear that some will lash back at society, and when they do it will be in way of misdirected violence.
* before you let any of that pissed you off or freak you out, please keep in mind that's just the offhanded opinion of a guy who yells at little kids at the pool and gets massages at the mall. Its not like I'm George Will...or even Curious George for that matter.