Reactions to More Than Two Weekend Mass Shootings Prove Why They Will Continue and How the Country Will Continue to Divide
“We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it… Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities.” –Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
This president, who helped create the hatred that made Saturday's tragedy possible, should not come to El Paso. We do not need more division. We need to heal. He has no place here.— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 5, 2019
Dear @nytimes:— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) August 6, 2019
We've had just about enough of your pretending to be balanced and objective. You littered journalism with your hit jobs on Hillary's emails, overlooked the dozens of warnings on trump, and helped legitimize his inept reign of hatred.
WE'RE DONE.#CancelNYT pic.twitter.com/bFsfM1TnVG
The propaganda of the heartless demagogues & hacks in the leftwing media & those running for the Democratic nomination for president &their ideological & political exploitation of the slaughter in El Paso & Dayton, are utterly unAmerican & inhumane. They’re a national disgrace— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) August 6, 2019
The President is a violent hate leader who daily promotes terrorism against Americans who look like me and my children, so if you’re someone who thinks I should “watch my language” in responding to this racist pig you can go fuck yourself too.— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) August 5, 2019
Another mass shooting. Another White Nationalist. There are not “fine people on both sides”. The President of the United States bears responsibility.— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) August 3, 2019
In the past 48hrs, the USA horrifically lost 34 people to mass shootings.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) August 4, 2019
On average, across any 48hrs, we also lose…
500 to Medical errors
300 to the Flu
250 to Suicide
200 to Car Accidents
40 to Homicide via Handgun
Often our emotions respond more to spectacle than to data.
One of the lessons in my faith is that you reap what you sow.— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) August 4, 2019
When Donald Trump uses words like “infestation,” “invasion” and “shithole countries”—
When he refuses to condemn Neo-Nazis and white supremacists—
Trump is giving license to this kind of violence. He’s responsible. pic.twitter.com/hf3ugZIO5D
*NOTE: Given the gravity of the subjects discussed in this article, reader discretion is advised. There are obviously heartfelt responses all over the internet, far more than there are those exemplified by the tweets listed above, but that’s not the point of this article. Please read until the end before labeling me a white supremacist, a leftist, a yarblocko, or whatever other ‘insult’ you may want to use to try to make me feel bad–
America is at a crossroads, but not the kind you’re likely thinking I mean…
I mean, like, a ‘literal’ ‘crossroads’ (in the mind??)…
This is a crossroads much dirtier than that nice main intersection of your local town or city (and yes: I’m including inner cities), and it has many roads leading off, far more than just two or three. Evermore, as time goes by: its center–the place where all of these roads meet–has been disintegrating, indeterminizing (yea, I made that up), it’s been getting more off, and, pretty soon: the ‘crossroads’ will be nothing more than a straight line where more roads just-so-happen to intersect with it than normal, that ‘straight line’ of course depending upon which road you were on in the first place…
They never actually connect…
If I were a politician, I’d say: “but we’re not going to let that happen, we’re not going to stand idly by and allow this moment to go unchecked. We’re going to fight, we’re going to work to understand this crossroads, so we can then cross it TOGETHER!!!” and then I’d go on about how my road is better than everyone else’s…
If I were an economist, I’d say: “but I can’t forget how things work, and I can’t forget how far back and how far deep that need to ‘fight’ really is, and subsequently: how much it’s going to cost to forge this new crossroads, and to move, together, beyond it,” needfully recognizing that things take work, but subjectively picking and choosing which things to take more seriously opposed to others, and so ignoring the fact that everyone has to put in that work, and that everyone has different work to put it…
If I were a psychologist, I’d say: “but we just don’t know what’s on the other side of this crossroads, and we need to make sure we’re ready to face it before we can begin to think about how we’re going to get past it, otherwise, we are doomed to failure,” ignoring the fact that my fear is not everyone’s fear, and that even when two people fear the same thing (like in the case of death, for example), that fear is still gone about in different ways, because, as the psychologist knows only too well (and I do mean too well), each individual–and every fear–is a different road, and each road comes from a different place…
Luckily, however, I am not a politician, an economist, or a psychologist (or: I don’t gots dat paper). I am not a journalist or a ‘writer’ either; I’m just a droog blubbing sedulously on and on about bogmans and dedoochkas and baboochkas too vellocet to know the old in-out when they see it (that was a joke (jokes are needed to put context to events?))…
((I am a yarblocko…))
My sincere apologies for the sarcasm. These are tough days for ALL of us, myself included, and I’m not even an extremist. So I’m going to try to be candid. It is difficult. I think a lot (I think?), and I think I feel a lot as well (I feel…), which, given that it’s 2019: I must be an asshole for (sorry-not-sorry? (sorry…)). Sometimes, sincerity comes off as unsympathetic because the anger emotion is so overwhelming that it (sincerity) can only make its appearance through satire. Or at least if we’re getting at anything other than ‘feeling’ or emotion /> which apparently nobody can do anymore anyway because if you don’t express an argument within two seconds of an event taking place, that argument must be wrong–
It’s called survival ($$$).
At approximately 10:49 local time, a human opened fire in a Walmart in El Paso. She (I am using my abstract pronouns rule here; also see these links) killed 22 and injured 26 people. Less than twenty hours later, around 1pm eastern time, another human opened fire at a bar in Dayton, Ohio. She killed 9 and injured 27 people. On Sunday morning, 5 people were killed and at least 47 injured in a slew of mass shootings in Chicago, and in Philadelphia, a human was arrested on Saturday for allegedly threatening Temple University. I mention that last one for context (here is some more).
All instances are different. The El Paso shooter was heavily influenced by the events in New Zealand last March and argued in his ‘manifesto’ that “this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” He was a frequent visitor of 8Chan, a website where outcasts can go to spread their ideas, be horrible or just kinda bad (that was a joke, guys), and is known for its right-leaning extremist content. He had a clear motive, and a clear political ideology, which was clearly twisted to the extreme. The Dayton shooter was a self-proclaimed ‘leftist’ ‘metalhead’ and was suspended while in high school a few years back for putting the school on lockdown after he posted a ‘hitlist’ on a bathroom wall. He was a main member of a pornogrind band, and expressed support for socialism and Elizabeth Warren. His sister was among those killed on Saturday. As far as we know now: he did not have a clear motive, but he did have a clear political ideology, which was clearly twisted to the extreme. What happened in Chicago, you already ‘know’, but, further, I will not be going into, because nobody cares about it (sarcasm/satire is anger’s way of showing sympathy)
In response: Trump has announced a crackdown on ‘gruesome and grisly video games’ (because: of course), Vice has blamed it all on metal music (because: OF COURSE), despite no evidence to support either claim, and, *obviously /> everybody else has blamed it on Trump because that’s just what we do now (see: those tweets above). I would mention that #TrumpsTerrorists and #WhiteSupremacistTerrorism were trending on Twitter on Sunday and Monday, but Twitter moderators decide what’s trending on Twitter, so it’s actually not any more relevant than the *obvious fact that all anybody wants to do anymore is place blame–
If I were a psychologist, I’d say: nothing is anyone’s fault if it’s not my own (!), for I am but a man in the world, same as they. If I were an economist, I would say that placing blame is at most only half the work (!!), and at that that placing of blame on others is only at most a quarter (!!!), for I am but a man in the work-world, same as they, insofar as they are willing to work hard, from and for themselves. If I were a politician (!!!!!) I would say that accepting blame is synonymous with forfeiting power.
To say that these events are horrifying is at this point a hyperbole: for two days now, we’ve heard nothing *butt, and to assume that the majority of people disagree with that statement is to be a bigot. ALL OF US WANT TO CURB THE FREQUENCY OF MASS SHOOTINGS. Do not listen to these to these lewdies any more than you would your crazy, drugged up uncle, because that’s exactly what they’re being: drugged up. Conservatives care just as much as you do about what’s going on, and if the argument is ‘well then why did all these other countries put a STOP! to gun violence the moment it first came up’, the answer is that America was founded, first and foremost, on diversity, and first and foremost in that on diversity of thought. Not to mention rising anti-semitic violence in Germany and bans on knives in the U.K. I’m not trying to point out why what happened happened, I think that’s frankly a hyperbole as well (these people were crazy /> and our society dehumanizes crazy people… along with Trump supporters, leftists, communists, capitalists, gamers, metalheads, immigrants, women, straight-white-males, republicans, progressives, Tool fans–), but to point out what I find to be going on here, which has virtually nothing to do Trump or metal or video games when compared to the way people think, and the recognition that all of those aforementioned things are but ways of aiding thinking, not conscious thought, in and of themselves.
For example (what-is: to blame): Anthony Burgess’ book A Clockwork Orange is about a group of kids in a dystopian future where kids get to run around freely doing whatever the hell they want. They rape, they kill, they lure poor unsuspecting women into consensual threeways by way of Beethovian brainwashing (yup: made that up too). Its protagonist–the antihero known as Alex and famously played by Malcolm McDowell in the 1975 Stanley Kubrick adaptation which was originally banned in the U.K. because free-speech has never been debated as a problem existentially until now–is arrested for murder and placed in jail. As part of a plea deal, he agrees to undergo an experimental form of ‘treatment’ in which he is promised to be ‘freed’ of his ‘disease’.
With a doctor at his side, his limbs constricted by a straightjacket, and his eyes kept from blinking by a ‘new-age’ device involving pryers and the doctor administering water every few seconds, he watches as violent and offensive images appear on a movie screen. After some time, and enough of whatever chemical they’re inserting into his veins to make him feel sick, he starts to associate the images–and the thoughts they imply–with that feeling of sickness, a physical eventually becoming so intense that he throws himself out of a two-story window once he’s been released, in-order-to to avoid its duration. The husband of a woman Alex had raped directly in front of him before his arrest had just-so-happened to allow Alex lodging after Alex had been beaten by his former associates–his old droogs Dim and Georgie Boy–post their police training. Upon learning that Alex is indeed the man who raped his late wife, and hearing about his ‘experimental treatment’ through the news, the man forces Alex to listen to his old favorite tune, the tune to which he committed all of crimes (ALL of them): Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
After Alex survives the fall, the man is arrested for attempted murder, and Alex is hailed a victim. The political rivals of those who administered his ‘treatment’ enlist him for propaganda, and he is touted as though he’d never done anything wrong, that those whom he wronged in the past were wrong to avenge (long argument: another time), and he remembers just how nice it was to commit violence, how satisfying it was, so long as society deems it okay on an Absolutely moral level. It is Absolute because a free press is the highest form of public freedom in a democracy (or anything resembling it); an individual expressing morality is a private act which cannot exist simultaneously with a public assumption that morality can be manipulated for ‘the sake of the greater good’. It renders the act meaningless.
But none of the characters see it that way, because none of the characters are anyone but mob actors or political elitists. That’s the point. Their society has done away with full psychological and economical thinking, they both can only serve the will of either the mob or the political elite.
And this is what is happens when you morons decree (consciously or not) that (fuck you) every decision made by any individual to be an act of pure public consciousness and nothing more, with no private formations or connotations (which is what happens when every action is taken to be an act of free-will with no potential for predetermined qualities). The collective subconscious of any society is prefaced on its being made–of its entire existence as a concept, let alone as an entity–of an indefinite number of individuals (past and potential future: inherently unknown in Time), because individuals are what make it, as atoms make matter. Yes, every individual is influenced Absolutely by her environment–just like atoms–but she each also has at least the illusion of free-will, which enables each individual to act in concert with the rest, just as atoms don’t exist without interacting with other atoms on each’s own terms (no element literally turns into another element upon contact (compounds are combinations of elements). That’s the illusion of individual freedom, and it’s what enables a society to function when the populace has any trace of individual freedom independent of the government–as must happen once they have the capability to think psychologically and economically (or: relatively objectively)–because without it, there is no movement–which there always is in Time–and individuals are turned to nothing but mob actors and political elite as action rescinds into again becoming the only means of communication between the hierarchies of the mob (works-based) and those of the elite (power-based).
Make no mistake (bigot): by far most people nowadays fit into one of the other two Primary Philosophical Thought categories (I MADE THAT UP TOO): psychological or economical. Psychological thinkers tend to lean more on free-will in the understanding of individual propositions rather than societal, because their thinking goes inward more often than outward. This is the thinking that leads you to question who are, your existence, it’s what makes conceptual thinking possible in the mind. As a result: they take sympathy and determinism in societal/political matters more seriously, because they’re subconsciously more concerned about what makes the individual an individual on her own terms, before they affect society.
Economical thinkers lean more on determinism in their understanding of individual propositions, and free-will for the societal. They put a bigger emphasis on responsibility and on recognizing what’s worked in the past, because they’re more concerned with what makes the individual the individual in regards to the society at large. It’s what makes action in the world possible, and what makes conceptual thinking possible in the world, and for public consumption and analysis.
Both are equally needed (as they are not exactly aligned as opposites, quite the contrary: as one puts an emphasis on what is unknown (at least consciously) (that being psychology), the other puts an emphasis on what is known (that being economics (this is different than the classical understanding of that term, as here I’m talking just about a way of looking at the world, not as a study)). Without both, there is no avenue towards conscious knowledge).
Mob actors and elitists are the extremes of either end, though not definitively either/or as both are subject primarily to the mode of action as opposed to thought (meaning: it depends on the situation, or specific decision).
Obviously: the goal is to have a fair amount of each, including mob and elitist. Because mob and elitist ‘thinking’ differ from psychological and economical in that the former are both inherently intertwined with action (while economical thinking obviously has more to do with action inherently than psychological (which is of course not to say that psychology doesn’t have action involved at all, just not as much), it’s still a mode of thinking before it is acting), they have more to do with active emotions like confidence, jealousy, and empathy, which in excess don’t make for the best person, but also cannot be ignored as they are emotions everyone has. More importantly: they aren’t directly aligned with their counterparts (psychology and economics) in the world, but, in the mind, they four together create a circle of self-consciousness which can then take the plunge to spiral into the world. Only with all four can we exist in the world, but existence does not mean the same thing in the world as it does in the mind, as the mind is less constrained by Time.
For freedom, this renders the world Absolutely relative if not for the difference between them in the context of what it means to be human in-time, which is the dilemma of A Clockwork Orange.
The difference is that psychology and economics are intellectual; politics and mob mentality are primal. They’ve been around since the dawn of man, while psychology and economics were only made possibly understood following a period of technical and philosophical innovation (scientific revolution through to Darwin and Einstein; Cartesian doubt through to Nietzschian nihilism and Kierkegaardian optimism), and a renewed sense of political wonder with the creation of constitutional democracy and democratic republicanism. One cannot be simultaneously primarily both psychological and economical because while the mind is not as constrained by Time as the world is, it is still a part of the world once those four modes spiral out (or two before the possibility of intellect (again: made possible through Cartesian doubt, the scientific revolution, and consistently renewing political wonder). One can only look forward or backward in Time in a moment, and there are an odd number of moments; otherwise we’d remember more of them, relative to how many there actually are.
Instead: we remember this, and this and this and this and this and THIS, and we’re thinking that we have our eyes open thanks to the illusion of free-will, which to us any longer bears no connection to the scientific method-to-science, Cartesian doubt-to-anything, or even barely-moving political wonder. We’re sitting with our eyes pried open on the couch, our limbs constrained by own mortality and infinitely differentiated forms of fear, our veins pumped with abstraction ($$$), just waiting for somebody to send us HURLING out the window under the guise that vengefulness is no different than laughter begot from love, and that all anyone has to do for forgiveness is condemn the haters…
I would mention that #MoscowMitchMassacre and #CancelNYT are trending on Twitter right now–because Mitch McConnell, as shitty a guy he may be (too much coke is too much coke, man…) literally killed those people (standards? what standards?), and The New York Times had the audacity for suggesting that Trump was trying to unify as best he could–but Twitter moderators decide what’s trending on Twitter, so it’s not relevant–
“Goodness is something chosen. When a man cannot choose he ceases to be a man.” –Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange