I’ve never really liked doing topical things, since I like my work to have a timeless quality to it, like afros. Which is why I will only be using the recent, Aurora Colorado shootings as a framing device, you can easily replace Colorado with any other tragic event. If you’d like to read a piece of work about it, I highly recommend this piece by Kathy Benjamin. If you want to read why it’s events like this that prove we’re all awful people, read on.
First things first, I’d like to preface this entire piece by saying, what happened was an absolute tragedy and I refuse to make light of it, if you think I am, go fuck yourself.
Now I personally had little knowledge of this event until I saw the reactions to it on Facebook, which meant I saw reactions so polarized they reflected light and contained so much bile and venom I could swear someone shoryuken’d a cobra. Which is where things got weird, people weren’t talking about the fact someone had murdered a dozen people they were arguing about what to do with him.
I took to several other forums online and found the same thing, although people were expressing genuine grief or condolences, the majority of what I saw just boiled down to dick measuring about what should happen to the guy responsible.
I used an example from my own facebook because I guarantee people will have seen this shit before, like when Bin Laden died. I saw so many extended metaphors about torture, I swear, that for two days my facebook resembled the plot of a Saw reboot. It happened then, it’s happening now and it will happen in the future, it’s inevitable. People will naturally want to see some sort of justice or resolution to an event, when we see someone kill 12 people we want that motherfucker to pay for it. Theorists call it the Just World Hypothesis, but you could just as easily call it karma, because well that’s kind of what it is. When we see bad things happen, it’s only instinctive to want the perpetrator to get their just deserts, I feel it too, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing bad things happen to bad people, except for maybe an orgasm inducing lottery win.
It’s why we’ll sit on internet forums debating about what we’d have done if we’d have been there. We want to see resolution and more often than not a simple stay in prison seems too easy to us, we feel the need to elaborate on what should be done, fuck prison, he should have his dick flossed with razor wire, covered in hot sauce, while being forced to stand barefoot on Lego bricks.
But here’s the thing, when we see a bad thing happen we feel the best way to balance it out is for the person responsible to come to physical harm in some way, the more the better in most cases. Which is where I go back to the title of this piece, in the Colorado shootings a dozen people have lost their lives, that’s a dozen families who’s lives just got a shit ton worse and we think the best way to balance that out is for exactly one guy to get butt raped in prison.
If we really wanted cosmic justice, we wouldn’t focus on trying to make one persons life worse, we’d focus on making a dozen people’s lives better. Which is when I heard about this whole thing, the first thing I did was donate money to the Kiva foundation via Cracked. Because what’s really going to be more use to balancing out everyone’s karma, posting on facebook about how much you want one guy to be shot in the face, or giving money to charity so people can buy themselves fucking medicine?
Yes the Colorado shootings were a terrible thing, but all we’re doing by throwing anger and hate around is making the world an even more terrible place to live, if you really want to show how much the guy responsible can go fuck himself, balance out the damage he’s done by trying to make the world a better place, not by pointlessly arguing about whether or not we should force him to get paper cuts on his eyelids.
Next week this blog goes back to publishing emails.