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When I was in college, I used to go to parties, carouse around, and stay out late.  Looked at objectively, I did these things in moderation, for I still managed to get plenty of sleep, eat reasonably well, and do my homework.  But looked at from the vantage point of my parents, I did these things to excess.  They grumbled from time to time, but since my grades were good, there was not much they could say.

And then, because I had always been susceptible to getting colds, which would knock me out for days on end, I would occasionally get sick.  That was when I would find out just how much my parents had been suppressing their dislike of what they took to be a life of dissolution and debauchery.  They would immediately start laying down the law:  “All right, that’s it!  No more staying out late for you,” my mother would say, at a level just below shouting.  “I’ve been telling you and telling you,” my father would chime in, at full volume, “you can’t keep wrecking your health like this.”

It wasn’t fair.  There I was in bed with a sore throat, stopped up sinuses, and a tight chest, and they were piling it on.  “It’s just a cold,” I would manage weakly.  But they were undeterred. They had been seething with anger all along, and now that they had their chance, they were not about to let the opportunity pass them by.

Colds are part of life, and so too is insanity.  But just as my parents tried to use a cold that I would probably have caught regardless to vent their anxiety over my wanton ways, so too have people been seizing the opportunity of a mass killing in Santa Barbara to draw some grand conclusion about misogyny, the men’s rights movement, racial profiling, and, in all likelihood, the Republican Party.

There will always be people who go berserk.  The precipitating cause may be something trivial, something the rest of us deal with as a matter of course, but the ultimate cause is madness, and nothing of significance should be inferred beyond that.  A social problem, if such there be, is not elevated in importance or urgency simply because it can be associated with motives of a lunatic who went on a rampage.

It has been a long time since I went to parties, caroused around, and stayed out late.  But I still get colds.

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Comment Preferences

  •  one cannot sever (6+ / 0-)

    the context from the act itself. There is an undeniable context to this particular shooting that it was based in and motivated by an ideology which is rooted in hatred for women and absolutist patriarchy.

    The permissive context in which ideologies like the mens rights movement operate within male social connections has given this movement room to grow. We have, collectively, by being silent about this issue for far too long, given life to a movement that is in favor of seeing women as sex objects.

    •  Nonsense (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's pretty plain that you really don't know much about the MRM aside from what some idealog has spewed at you. Their movement is neither rooted in a hatred for women, nor some absolutist patriarchy.

       I'm just guessing that like so many others, you conflate this movement with the PUA movement, which actually does see women as nothing but something to have sex with.

      I don't agree with most of what the MRM endorses, but I'm getting sick of seeing these same uninformed opinions clogging up every single diary on the subject.

  •  Having read the 141 page autobiography (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    …of this severely mentally ill kid, I agree. He's not the droid they are looking for.

    Elliot Rodger, Santa Barbara mass shooting suspect, "My Twisted World" manifesto

  •  Michael Moore kept his eye on the ball: (7+ / 0-)
    Michael Moore

    12 hrs ·

    With due respect to those who are asking me to comment on last night's tragic mass shooting at UCSB in Isla Vista, CA -- I no longer have anything to say about what is now part of normal American life. Everything I have to say about this, I said it 12 years ago: We are a people easily manipulated by fear which causes us to arm ourselves with a quarter BILLION guns in our homes that are often easily accessible to young people, burglars, the mentally ill and anyone who momentarily snaps. We are a nation founded in violence, grew our borders through violence, and allow men in power to use violence around the world to further our so-called American (corporate) "interests." The gun, not the eagle, is our true national symbol. While other countries have more violent pasts (Germany, Japan), more guns per capita in their homes (Canada [mostly hunting guns]), and the kids in most other countries watch the same violent movies and play the same violent video games that our kids play, no one even comes close to killing as many of its own citizens on a daily basis as we do -- and yet we don't seem to want to ask ourselves this simple question: "Why us? What is it about US?" Nearly all of our mass shootings are by angry or disturbed white males. None of them are committed by the majority gender, women. Hmmm, why is that? Even when 90% of the American public calls for stronger gun laws, Congress refuses -- and then we the people refuse to remove them from office. So the onus is on us, all of us. We won't pass the necessary laws, but more importantly we won't consider why this happens here all the time. When the NRA says, "Guns don't kill people -- people kill people," they've got it half-right. Except I would amend it to this: "Guns don't kill people -- Americans kill people." Enjoy the rest of your day, and rest assured this will all happen again very soon.
    •  That is mostly right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      disinterested spectator

      However, according to the survey of mass shootings in the last thirty years by mother jones, only 64% or mass shootings were committed by white men, making which men slightly less common perpetrators than their proportion of the population would suggest (73%)

    •  I think the gun is a major (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      part of a bigger national trend. MM hits all the major parts of the puzzle -- love for guns, fear, paranoia, and institutional power. Very astute observation, imho.

      Discussing any one piece of the complex social mosaic that is the violence culture in the United States is not to the exclusion of any other piece. I think its important to note that.

  •  any effing excuse, IMHO (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  The MRA connection, I think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    disinterested spectator

    is a warning to all of us that when we do get involved with some kind of activism, whatever it is, that we always make our arguments convincing in their intellectual and reasoned merit, not in their heated rhetoric.

    Sometimes you can't help that a kook is in your movement; but the last thing you want to do is give them a valid reason to be.

    Rick Perry - the greatest scientist since Galileo!

    by Bobs Telecaster on Sun May 25, 2014 at 07:26:24 PM PDT

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