Thursday, April 19, 2007

Top three problems

This tragedy at Virginia Tech (where I got my masters by the way) is a classical example of what I consider the three biggest problems in the U.S. nowadays. These are:

- Moral relativism and social determinism
- Big Government impulse
- The media circus

Moral relativism and social determinism

Have you noticed how the media keeps trying to find something special about this guy? First, he must have been crazy. He was writing violent poetry. He even used to have lunch by himself at the cafeteria! I bet he was depressed. Probably played violent videogames too…

I am not saying that it's not possible that he had some mental disturbance. But the thing is that people never even consider the option that this guy had total control over his actions and still decided to do this evil, coward thing he did.

By trying to fit him in some kind of group or condition, people are basically saying that there is no choice between good and evil. For the moral relativists, Evil doers are insane so it’s not really their fault. There is no other option.

Most amazingly, this kind of lunacy is not restricted to the lefties. The cuckoo right wingers keep trying to find some crazy connection with the fact that the guy was an immigrant.

Now that we can (unfortunately) see these idiotic videos that this loser taped, it is obvious that he was completely in control of his actions. He planned the killing; he even tried to push the guilt of this thing away from him by saying that he was “pushed into a corner” and that “he wasn’t going to run anymore”. A typical coward. And yet, I feel that there is this unconscious effort to create some type of rationalization of why this guy did all of this. Nobody openly calls this guy names or say he was a disgrace to his family. They don't even talk about his family! What if people actually knew that their parents would be openly disgraced if they did something like that? Wouldn't that be a deterrent?

In my opinion, this attempt to transform this scumbag into a victim is not only unfair to the real victims but it is also an open invitation to copycats.

Big Government impulse

Immediately after the shooting you could see headlines that linked the murders with gun ownership. I heard people on the radio actually saying that this was again Bush’s fault because he was in favor of selling guns to anyone.

Now, maybe you all haven’t heard about it but Virginia Tech is actually a “gun free” zone. That is, even if you have a license to carry a gun in Virginia you can’t bring it into Virginia Tech.

That might explain why thousands of students and hundreds of professors in that one building heard dozens of gun shots and did not react at all.

In any case, this idea that whenever a tragedy occur it is the government’s fault is a big cultural vice in America nowadays. It happened during Katrina, and it happens daily for a variety of problems. People blame the real state downturn on the government. They blame the fact that kids are fat on the government!

This not only means more and more money being spent in stupid programs but it also means people getting less prepared to deal with the very situations they should be ready to.

It’s a dangerous vicious circle.

The media circus

Watching the VT president’s press conference on the day of the murders was one of the most irritating experiences of my life. Here is a guy trying to explain the unexplainable, doing his best to list the details of what is probably the worst day of his life and what did the reporters do? They were asking the most stupid, inconsequential and populist questions you could ever imagine.

Something very wrong has happened to the American media. Maybe it is just plain ideology that moves these people into transforming every single issue into some sort of crusade that helps their cause. Maybe it is just pure incompetence. Maybe it is just the reflection of a large part of the population that has this “can’t look away” instinct that makes these things profitable.

In any case, I believe the fact that the American media makes this circus around every single bad thing that happens here brings more and more negative results to the country. It happens in Iraq, and it happens locally. I have no doubt that showing all these movies and pictures of this dirty bastard will at some level motivate others to do similar hideous things.

How is it even legal to show this material? Isn’t it obvious that this is a reward for the murders? Why not say that they received letters and videos and that they will not show it on the air because this loser doesn’t deserve it?

It really seems to me that the press is always on the wrong side of things. They don’t want to inform, they want to shock. No matter what the cost is.


jason said...

Right on when it comes to the press. It's about profits. All other ethical considerations fall by the wayside.

To your top three problems I would add gun laws. If we outlawed handguns this kind of thing would happen a lot less.

Igor said...

"If we outlawed handguns this kind of thing would happen a lot less"

Based on what, Jason?

PATRICIA M. said...

Paulo, gostei da analise. Eu concordo o Jason, de que a midia so quer ver lucro, alias, quem nao quer... A questao eh que estoria sangrenta vende mais do que estoria com final feliz. Viu o que aconteceu na Inglaterra? Eles cortaram a producao que fariam sobre o soldado que ganhou a Victoria Cross por heroismo, e foram la comprar e fazer material bombastico sobre os 15 covardes no Iran. Estoria "do bem" nao vende.

Ja discordo do Jason com relacao `as gun laws. Nao acho que isso resolva o problema. Acho que deve continuar como esta, a populacao eh livre para se armar e se defender.

E por ultimo, o relativismo moral. Fiquei com duvida. Creio que o cara era louco varrido, tendo a acreditar nessa hipotese. Agora, esse cara ja deveria estar enjaulado em alguma instituicao psiquiatrica ha muito tempo. O mundo esta cheio de weirdo desequilibrido, mas acho que nao eh politicamente correto enjaula-los. Preferimos arcar com as consequencias de seus atos, entao que assim seja.

Tristissimo episodio na minha opiniao.