If It Bleeds, It Leads
Comes on at five
She can tell you bout the plane crash with a gleam
In her eye
Its interesting when people die-
Give us dirty laundry
-Don Henley – Dirty Laundry
Welcome to Blacksburg, Virginia – the place where flocks of mockingbirds turned buzzards and seeking to feast on fresh carrion swarm. The aftermath of the causes of the worst school shooting in the nation’s history that claimed the lives of thirty three innocent people will be pontificated upon, spun and desecrated with the coming 24/7 saturation coverage on cable television news networks. Some media sources are already dishonestly playing up the massacre as the worst mass murder in United States history which is as intellectually dishonest as it is revisionist, a country build upon the killing fields that were a product of the genocidal doctrine of Manifest Destiny does not have clean hands and there are many a state sanctioned slaughter of innocents in our closet. Gore Vidal is spot on correct in his reference to The United States of Amnesia although I might add willful ignorance and a deep seated callous indifference as well.
There will be much weeping and gnashing of the teeth in the guise of examination into exactly why this happened in the coming news cycles that will gobble up days, weeks and months.
The grand story of the shooter and what exactly drove him to wreak bloody havoc on that horrible April Monday morning, nearly eight years to the week after the murderous spree of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold at Columbine Hight School has yet to be told. From early reports it was the standard stereotypical loner; a Korean born English student who wrote plays containing “macabre violence” and denounced others as “deceitful charlatans”. As if that has any fucking thing to do with the price of rice in China. Among more notable literary figures with a penchant for the bizarre Stephen King has become a multi-millionaire writing stories containing “macabre violence” and I regularly rail against the abundance of “deceitful charlatans” that pollute this sick and terminally fucked up society and neither of us are mass murderers. Movie scripts like Saw and Hostel spawn smash megaplex hits by offering graphic depictions of sadism and violence and they gross millions so the writings of Cho Seung-Hui are yet another canard, a red herring used to justify the violent acts that are inevitable in a society that regularly worships at the temple of bloodshed and cruelty. You can always count on the public relations flacks masquerading as journalists for more wildly over-hyped horseshit and manufactured storylines to mesmerize the pathetic and bewildered herds of sheeple that have overrun television nation.
Careers are made off of stories like this and the fact that an ambitious ‘journalist’ could grab a ride on the riverboat, a seat on the gravy train and experience an O.J. Simpson moment is forefront in many minds of the death sucking vultures of the mainstream media whores. They are chasing ambulances as though they were white broncos. They descended on the ruins of the Gulf Coast not that long ago scavenging like feral rats in dumpsters amidst the debris of a ruined city rife with the stench of rotting food and bloating corpses, of misery and of the raw musk of ambition that fuels careers in the disgraceful fucking excuse for a media that this country has been stricken with. They rooted through the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina and then they were gone and while great swaths of New Orleans still lie ruined they moved on to the next big thing – John Mark Karr, Bennifer, Suri Cruise, Baby Brangelina, Mel Gibson, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Anna Nicole Smith or the child murdering pederast of the week. It is always the same – only the names change but mass murders in schools can be career makers. Of course the usual suspects were already picking out their Hokie memorabilia to shamelessly display while the bodies were still being autopsied – Paula Zahn, Geraldo and a pack of other lesser known predators seeking to pick whatever meat remains on the bones of dignity in America’s latest and greatest grand ratings spectacle. Fuck them all, they are vermin who only serve to perpetuate the culture of tabloidism, violence, death and celebrity.
“Seeing him descend bright-eyed and sweaty on wretched New Orleans, as he did in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath, was like watching a vulture on crystal meth. The word that came to mind was not ‘reporting,’ but ‘feeding.”
-Critic Tim Rutten on Geraldo Rivera
This latest horror of a society gone to seed is good death- mass murder, dread, fear, ratings – not bad death, the bummer of the war dead and the hundreds of thousands of non-Christian, brown skinned victims of a gross savagery undertaken in the name of freedom, freedom to watch cable television and the good death. The type that can be exploited, that pleases the sponsors and the political apparatchik seeking to point the fingers at monsters rather than themselves. I am dead certain that Karl Rove was so ecstatic to see the slaughter at Virginia Tech knock war, deleted emails, Gonzo and the rot of empire out of the headlines that he made some popcorn and pulled up a seat in front of his plasma flatscreen to enjoy the show. Millions of American ghouls joined them in front of their own glowing living room false idols. This is big time shit, never mind that far worse slaughters happen in Iraq every fucking day – 55 more of those whose lives are like mere insects or rodents in terms of their relative value compared to ordinary Americans were added to the tab of the war pigs yesterday.
But I digress…Never mind the actual victims they will still be dead come the next news cycle and there are grieving families to interview and shaken survivors to prod for the little bloody exclusive details of their moments when certain death passed them over and took their classmate, their lovers, their friends.
There are also precious political points to be scored.
There will be those who use this to further implement the creeping police state, surveillance companies will base their entire marketing campaigns on this tragedy. Right wing lackeys seeking to pander to their base will decry that every person in America is not required by law to wear a sidearm and the pathetic timorous candy asses of the Democrat wing of the war party will rail and demagogue against firearms in their run up to Hillary’s coronation in 2008. Their efforts to spin the killing spree in Blacksburg for the sake of scoring cheap political points is as shameless exploitation of the dead and the dishonoring of the bereaved loved ones as is George W. Bush’s latest photo-op at the Virginia Tech campus for today’s memorial where instead of the typical soldiers and snowflake babies he used the mourning students and families as stage props.
The neoliberal fake left (fittingly referred to as such after their treacherous sellout of labor by the parasitical DLC whose taste for corporate cash, war, globalization and special interest groups is an abysmal disgrace) is no better, quick on the draw to blame it all on the NRA and the availability of guns seeking to take a stand against the wrong highly influential lobby that is killing America. Knee jerk, politically expedient attacks on restricting gun ownership by party hacks at the same time that an unaccountable private army named Blackwater grows stronger by the day is a grave and dangerous threat to liberty. Thousands of trained killers for hire who are unchecked by any law and given carte blanche by the scofflaws of the militant Republican junta are a clear and present danger within our borders and a menace as unseen before in our history. If there was ever a time to strongly support a well-armed militia this is it.
Guns don’t kill people, people kill people and a society that exalts violence whether it be the latest Hollywood blockbuster, Jack Bauer breaking fingers, the blasphemous apocalyptic filth that permeates mega-church congregations or the latest in high tech, mega pixel slaughterhouses offered up by the video game industry should not be surprised when the carrion birds come home to roost.