Twelve people were killed in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado? Who the fuck cares?
Wait, OMG! He just committed the cardinal sin of not assuming every victim was a great person who didn't step on nine people trying to flee, rendering them unconscious, but ironically safer. OMG! What a dickhead! He doesn't think dead people are above reproach; he didn't pretend to be a closet Amy Winehouse, Andrew Breitbart, Steve Jobs, or Pepsi Clear fan the whole time to appease those in mourning! OMG! He doesn't deceivingly post statuses on Facebook about people he was loosely acquainted with who passed away just so he can get "likes" and comments such as, "God be with you" or "he will be greatly missed" or "can't wait for the new bachelor pad!" and defer whatever support system the real friends and family members may have had for a self-serving-attention-seeking-ass-wiping by some 16- to 20-something girl whose biggest tragedy was Bella kissing Jacob for half a second in one of those 50 True Vampirelights things or whatever. HE PROBABLY THINKS WHEN YOU DIE NOTHING HAPPENS!
For the most part, I think people know when deer season is, rendering impromptu AR-15 purchases unnecessary. Well, quite contrarily, I think when you die many things happen. A sudden undeserved memorialization is one of them. You'll also never have as many friends in life as those who show up at your funeral, either. I just don't believe some immaterial soul floats up into God's vagina.
This isn't what I'm talking about though. I say "who the fuck cares" because in truth, nobody really fucking cares about people dying. At least if they say they do they're exercising an irony that would rival Alanis Morissette riding a Dodo bird to Greenland. I also think almost all dialogue is good, whether it's polarizing or not. People are opportunistic, biased, and grossly uncompassionate, and human life is often weighed against efficiency, confirming a prophetic warning from Immanuel Kant of using humans as the "means to an end."
"Someone died. Look, I'm sad. Wanna see a picture of my lunch?"
Don't believe me?
We love to think we're so far removed from the beasts, but remember, elephants bury their dead, a chimpanzee will starve himself to prevent another chimp from being shocked, mice will show magnified distress and attempt to free a familiar mouse in captivity, and we're the ones crashing elephant funerals, locking up cocaine-fueled genetically modified mice, and shocking monkeys. As we've seen with the Donner Party, Katrina, and pubic hair in Asian porn, once the walls of civilization crumble, so does our control over our primitive instincts. As animals ourselves, we are not immune to cognitive biases and ultimately our servitude to our own genetic prospering. So basically all we do is try to minimize the chance of us or our offspring dying, while at the same time maximizing our capabilities and efficacy in navigating our world. We do this every day and juxtapose the costs of preventing death and the probability that we'll actually get bumped off. Twelve people died in Aurora, Colorado. So the fuck what?
Could we significantly reduce the 30,000+ motor vehicle deaths annually in America by making the speed limit 20 mph everywhere?
Yes, but getting anywhere would take forever.
Could we have prevented the tens of thousands who died as a result of taking Vioxx if we had stricter testing protocols on prescription medications?
Yes, but that would cost so much and then estranged children would have to pretend they care about their parents in the nursing home that much longer.
Could we have prevented those twelve people from dying—as well as the other estimated 28,000 in the next four years as a result of firearms— if there were stricter regulations on gun purchasing?
Yes, but that would violate a Constitutional amendment written by a bunch of guys who were pretty sure that either the English were going to come back and kick their asses or the Natives would fight back, and the closest thing they had to an automatic weapon was sex with Thomas Jefferson and the unavoidable syphilis. Oh yeah, they also had slaves (don't tell Michele Bachmann).
"Court wenches, collect legal tender."
But those conversations aren't really being had, are they?
I'll tell you exactly what's going to happen in the subsequent weeks, because people will do anything to prevent having to change their values and behaviors, or worse off fucking learn something. First, a bunch of uninformed and comically undereducated TV analysts and "profilers" will search deep into the soul of the antichrist, James Holmes, during his trial. They'll undoubtedly find a couple of Batman pens and a mask in his apartment (still much less than what they'd find at my house) and conclude that this demented man's life began to spiral downward as a result of his inability to succeed in his post-graduate studies and basically just blame his life sucking on him. They'll continue to paint him as the personification of evil or Mothra, and blame violent video games, detachment with parents, comic books, and the concept of having an imagination at all (unless applied to religion). Gun sales will continue to rise as will metal detectors and security in movie theaters to prevent those "copycat killers" who are probably about as unlikely as me watching Anne Hathaway in a Catwoman suit without getting a massive erection.
Only 8 lives left after Love and Other Drugs.
But God forbid someone suggests that being able to walk into a pawn shop and buy an assault rifle could be a trifle bit illogical. People would much rather have the liberty of carrying a deadly weapon than being able to walk into a movie theater without an anal probing and courting the trepidation that the guy next to them is packing heat and sporting an NRA-sponsored "Free George Zimmerman" T-shirt. Meanwhile, The Dark Knight Rises will continue to be one of the highest (if not the highest) grossing movies of all time, and a great case for raising ticket prices once again.
The Christian Right will claim that secularism and the tearing of our moral fabric are to blame, not the tearing of little boy anal fabric by bishops, relative deprivation, or mental illness. This, of course, will be a blatantly blind, dogmatic statement as it disregards that Finland and Norway are pretty fucking cool places to live and have much fewer gun deaths than the U.S. despite their high levels of irreligiosity. Also, all information that has concluded that states with the highest concentrations of Christians have the highest amount of gun deaths, pornography consumption, teen pregnancies, and abortions will be conveniently misplaced. (Not to mention, prisons are comprised of about 75% Christians and less than 1% atheists, even though the overall percentage of secularists in the country ranges from 15-25%.) Then they'll cite statistics on how the nonbelievers in the military account for the majority of the rise in suicide deaths as Jesus is the last great white hope to save our self-proclaimed great nation, forgetting that only means the fundamentalists are just too busy pissing on corpses and shoving phosphorescent tubes up prisoners' asses to get around to offing themselves.
It's fair because deer have hooves.
What they'll mindlessly neglect to address is that people who have a few bad years don't generally adopt a delusional alter-ego and shoot up movie theaters. People with delusional alter-egos also probably shouldn't be purchasing high-powered weapons and endless amounts of ammunition. ANNNND I'd probably reason to say that the liberty of walking down the street without having to worry about schizotypal, antisocial Charles Bronsons probably supercedes my need for liberty regarding background checks and training requirements concerning the acquisition of concealed weapons permits and firearm purchases. For the most part, I think people know when deer season is, rendering impromptu AR-15 purchases unnecessary.
But if we don't arm ourselves and keep weapons, who will protect us from the bad men who get the weapons anyway?
Don't worry, folks. You'll feel safe again someday. WE'LL TAKE BACK OUR ESTABLISHMENT OF OVERPRICED POPCORN AND UNDERWASHED URINALS! Gun control. As in less guns in circulation. As in guns being less accessible to criminals. As in you live in Overland Park, Kansas in a 5-bedroom house you fucking twat, owning a firearm only makes you more likely to be killed in a home invasion. As in I doubt 24-year-old, white PhD students have the "connects" to get automatic weapons where we keep black people. Guns aren't drugs, peeps. They haven't been around since the Ordovician Period (Christians see third day of Creation; Jews see your funny hats and laugh). Gun laws are like buttholes: statistically, the tighter they are, the more they reduce entrance by unwanted objects…and the more likely they are to show up on my homepage?
So from thence comes the perfect scapegoat for this tragedy: the bad, bad, unfortunately non-Muslim terrorist, James Holmes.
But wait, what is terrorism? Certainly the media isn't sure. I was convinced Norway bomber/shooter Breivik was an Islamic extremist in the first 24 hours of broadcasting. I'd seen headlines that Holmes had "known connections" to terrorist organizations only to find out days later he "was not involved with any groups." Terroristic plots don't have to directly succeed to qualify as terrorism. Terrorism is something that strikes fear into a population because fear short-circuits our higher order executive functioning and destroys our ability to thrive, reason, and progress. By that definition I guess Holmes is a terrorist, true agenda or insanity.
So then, could his organization be—although I'm guessing at this point—the highly experimental system of psychiatry he was likely treated with at some point in his life? Effexor and common antidepressants hold the potential for more unfavorable symptoms than midgetry, including psychotic episodes. Midgetry? Dwarfdom? Ahh… little personhood. Still, you won't see anyone picketing Pfizer or Merck. It's much less burdensome to paint a pretty portrait of a bad man with a gun who blames other people for his problems or a homeless zombie on bath salts (which he wasn't on as a matter of fact) instead of identifying the underlying issues of lifetime mental illness and the deleterious effects of homelessness. Or thinking you were listening to the intro to Werewolves of London only to find out you'd been deceived and it was just Kid Rock that could prompt someone to eat another guy's face in frustration. We've all been there.
Don't worry, folks. You'll feel safe again someday. WE'LL TAKE BACK OUR ESTABLISHMENT OF OVERPRICED POPCORN AND UNDERWASHED URINALS! WE'LL SHOW THAT YOUNG MAN WHO DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHERE THE FUCK HE IS BECAUSE HE'S SO DOPED UP ON ANTIPSYCHOTICS AND SEDATIVES THAT WE WON'T BE AFRAID! Rest reassured, NRA members will flood Colorado churches praying for a solution. They'll send their best hopes and wishes to the victims, since abstract acknowledgments apparently can be used to pay for medical bills and grief counseling. The pro-lifers will call for blood, taking Batman's own treatment of mentally despaired criminals one step further from just bashing their heads in. It'll all be over soon.
There are also a few things you won't see:
- A national vigil for the 15 people from Central America and Mexico who died in a car crash days after the Aurora shooting.
- A national discussion about disaster relief after 10 died in the rains in Beijing days after Aurora.
- Anyone named Chance passing up on a $30 martini to throw a few bones to Somalian kids after the drought that killed 29,000 children under the age of 5 in a 90-day period.
But those are more complicated issues. Who's really to blame?
My point exactly. If it's a complex issue at all, people would rather pretend they don't directly contribute to it rather than figuring out how they can help. There's nobody to blame? Could the American drug market and drug war be making Mexico a "less than penny-loafers and chest hair" place to live, encouraging people to try to dangerously cross the border? Could believing "super-size" is a personal challenge to your masculinity instead of a novelty option maybe be a bit excessive when there are little kids without food? Could the $2.3 billion in dodged taxes by Apple last year feed a couple starving 5-year-olds? Maybe like all of them? Wouldn't you rather kill them with kindness….and type-II diabetes? Oh, that's right, things are only black and white when they serve your purpose.
My point is this: People care about death when it's convenient. People care about death when it's easy. People care about death when it affects them directly. Most of all, people particularly care about death if there's something to gain from it.
Maybe I'm wrong about everything. Maybe you'll all really NEVER be the same again. Maybe guns don't kill people; people kill people….using guns. Maybe thousands of deaths aren't more important than tens of deaths and a murder is a greater tragedy than starvation. Maybe pain really, truly isn't quantifiable. Well, if that's all true and suffering is just relative, I reiterate: twelve people died in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. So the fuck what? I stubbed my toe this morning.