Friday, July 11, 2003

Apologies for having been so lax in blogging this past week. The Period Romance is traveling along nice and ridiculously, though, and the next instalment will appear shortly. But onto other matters. The reason for which I have been rather mute on burning issues this week is that there are only so many responses a girl can make to the same old crap. "Fuck off" does tend to lose its potency if it becomes a constant refrain. But I did stumble across a slight alteration in the relentless but ineffectual (for my purposes) delivery of news this week. A school massacre plot was foiled in New Jersey, and, rather than being described as a 'Columbine-style plot', it ascended to the new moniker of 'School Terror plot'. That's a new one, isn't it? I suppose it has been recruited so that the screeching headline "Terror Plot Foiled!!" can run without accusations of fraud. Other than introducing me to the new application of this term, though, the reports on this event followed 'ye olde Columbine' formula quite to the letter. As is usual in such cases, a reason had to be almost immediately identified for why a young person would countenance such action, and while the report mentioned many times that the students involved had been quite especially singled out for derision, it did not link such environmental factors directly to a will to kill. You see, mental anguish just doesn't cut it. It is far too common. It implicates everyone, and as we know, everyone doesn't do this. Thus there has to be a reason above and beyond the banality of high school hell. So, due to the thoughtfulness and aplomb of a helpful and dutiful news service, the reason was readily supplied. The kid watched The Matrix, you see. He was such a fan that he even referred to himself as 'Neo' or 'The One'. Ah hah! So he was weird! We've got 'im! There's enough evidence on killers who were weird to make an airtight case here. Nice one. But perhaps there's more to it ...? Mmmm. Let me think. The Matrix has guns in it, doesn't it? And the child in question - hand me that file - yes! It says here that he planned to use guns! ...[insert sound of cogs turning here]... Matrix. Guns. Matrix. Guns. ...[click]... By george, I think we've cracked it, sir. A more straightforward case of cause and effect I have not seen. Tally-ho! Flawless logic there, old chap. Exemplary. Faultless. Case closed. And if there are any malcontents out there whose default position is that of leery cynic, and who will therefore undoubtedly and petulantly pester us for further proof, or even, quite outlandishly, will suggest that other avenues of inquiry be pursued... well, for the benefit of these irreparably misled souls, might we take this opportunity to triumphantly declare that there is a secondary piece of information that corroborates the 'Questionable Stimuli' theory to which we have slavishly adhered. Trumps! Hah! You see, you silly earnest dears, it is also known that the kid was rather fond of a specific violent video game, the title of which I have unforgiveably neglected to memorise for the future protection of my impressionable, as yet abstract, offspring. What a poor mother I shall make. Tsk tsk.

Now, I don't at all mean to give the impression that I know what made a teenage boy and his friends write a kill list and amass their parents' combined weapons stockpiles, but I am just registering for the public record that I very much doubt that movies or video games played a pivotal role. Because, seriously... Fuck off.

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