Columbine + 8
Yeah, yeah, I realize it's pretty much a lot to ask, but the other night while I was lying on the couch, sick, watching Nightline, I recalled that eight years ago this week, I was also lying on the couch, sick, watching Nightline. Since there was already enough deja vu involved, of course, between Columbine and Virginia Tech, this Kleenex-riddled, value-added bonus sent me into a sort of tailspin. Besides the retiring of Ted Koppel and the 30-some pounds I've gained in the meantime, has nothing changed?
I don' t mean about how we're all going to hell in a cultural handbasket. (Hate to burst the bubble of all who think otherwise, but I can point to the enduring popularity of Joni Mitchell, Kurt Vonnegut, and - god help me - maybe even Christo as proof that we're not.) I mean, back in 1999, there was a lot of squawking about NPR having so insensitively played those 911 calls with screaming and gunshots in the background. So why was anyone surprised when NBC aired the images from Seung Cho's "multimedia manifesto"? [author's note: I'm a little bit surprised there's not a Wikipedia entry on this bit of alliterative genius. Yet. To quote the lush-lashed girl reindeer paramour of Rudolph, "There's always tomorrow."]
That being said.
Probably as a reaction to reading too many blog comments, I've lately been asking myself "do I really feel qualified to have an opinion on this issue?" before I open my yap. So when I read this Columbus Dispatch article:
I felt qualified to have an opinion on because, as someone whose life philosophy could be paraphrased as "I love mankind; it's people I can't stand" at best and "leeeeeeeeave me aloooooone" at worst, I think I actually have an answer to this.
Why is April a month of tragedies?
In April 1995, two men executed what was then the worst terrorist act in American history by bombing a federal building in Oklahoma City.
On an April day four years later, Columbine High School became the site of the nation's deadliest school shooting.
Now, almost exactly eight years later, the mass murder at Virginia Tech has set a new, horrible standard: A single gunman killed 32 victims.
Is there's something about the month of April? [etc.]
People act really annoying in the spring.
Seriously -- remember in high school, the first day in April that it cracked 40 degrees, all the jocks showed up in t-shirts and shorts, and, depending on when you went to high school, possibly socks-and-sandals? Just to prove how tough they were? Ever notice how utterly crappily people start driving once the snow's gone? How about all the hordes of teenage girls in tight, rhinestone-bedecked jeans chasing the aforementioned underdressed teen studmuffins like a pack of rabid, randy squirrels? And oh God, that horrible Mister Softee song?
Is it any wonder why a sudden onslaught of this would push unstable people over the edge?