I have the luxury of not being a journalist.
Mail and Guardian on the other hand doesn’t have that luxury. That’s why when I saw this: “Krugersdorp school rocked by ‘Satanic’ killing” I sighed quietly to myself. The article would be perfectly at home in Die Son and uses phrases like ‘crazy-eyes’ and ‘satanic-like ritual’
Here’s the deal. A kid who was obviously a little fucked in his head took a sword to school and stabbed a few other kids (one of whom died) and some of the school gardeners (who no doubt were trying to stop him). That is all. There is no need to try and justify his actions with claims of satanism or his music interests, or, for gods sake, the amount of time he spends on the internet. I’m sure he also played violent computer games; just like pretty much every other fucking kid in his school, who, for record, didn’t stab anyone with a sword yesterday.
These sorts of things happen, and they are tragedies, and they are possibly preventable, but not by censoring the kind of music your kid listens to, or freaking out because they bought a cheap sword at the Chinese knock-off shop around the corner, or banning the internet in your home. The only way to (possibly) prevent things like this happening is to be more aware of your child’s emotional well being, and, should you think your child might be a little nuts, get them to a psychologist who can either help them, or send your paranoid parent ass home because your kid is actually normal.
It seems like society is always looking for an excuse to justify our behavior. We blame MixIt for infidelity and computer games for violent kids… but we forget that a 70 years ago kids were being exposed to far more violence in the form of a World War and had access to more artillery than our current defense force, but they didn’t go to school and shoot up the classroom.
There’s also a stupid trend where people claim an unstoppable addiction to idiotic things like smoking, pornography and alcohol. They claim they have a disease because they can’t not buy that next box of smokes, or drink that next glass of scotch. Like Kyle so brilliantly said to his father in South Park, “No dad, you don’t have a disease, you just need to stop drinking so much”. If you don’t have the willpower to stop smoking, rather just admit to having no self control than muddying the waters for people with real problems.
So please, journalists of the world, stop looking for reasons… back in the old days people were just plain old nuts if they stabbed their school friends … I liked those days. Can’t we please go back?
Update: After a long discussion with Gavin, who knows a thing or two about mental issues, I must note that I agree that kids are doing this more now days than they were 100 years ago, and that the reasons for that must be something societal.
So maybe modern society (and everything that entails from bad foreign policy to violent movies) is to blame as the catalyst that triggers kids (and people) who are completely fucking nuts, to do stuff like this… but the key is, they were completely fucking nuts to start with.
The crux of my post was this; Journalism like this is likely to have a few thousand mothers confiscating their kid’s swords and slipknot CD’s, only further increasing the divide between them and their kids, which, will no doubt make them far less able to detect real signs of the kind of insanity that actually drives kids to kill their school friends, not to mention just plain old bad parenting.
Like Terri says, we want easy answers, not hard, complicated ones like ‘perhaps it’s a mixture of bad parenting and George Bush’s unjust war that kills thousands of innocent people every month, and violent movies and economic depression and the chemicals in our food and a bad case of ‘insane in the membrane’.