Friday, March 11, 2005

The 'new' violence

Today, metro Atlanta was held hostage by a man who appeared to be the real-life equivalent of "Grand Theft Auto."

No, this is not the case of the person we saw on "60 Minutes" last weekend who will be defended in the case of his killing police workers inside a cop shop; his lawyers will allege that the man was under the control of that scurillous video game. This is new.

The man, who may be on his way toward Alabama as I write, muscled at least one gun from a deputy inside the Fulton County courthouse this morning, shot and killed a judge and a court reporter, shot at least two other deputies (one very seriously injured), car jacked at least three vehicles, pistol-whipped an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter in a parking ramp, and fled to who knows where.

One would begin to believe that some sort of cyber manager was pushing buttons and pulling handles somewhere far above the scene, watching all the proceedings with a sly grin.

This past week should be disconcerting to anyone paying attention to America. Yesterday, the man now believed to be the person who shot the husband and mother of a Chicago-area federal judge was found dead in a car in Milwaukee, having written a note or letter detailing his guilt.

The man in Atlanta was being held on rape charges, in accordance with several other incidents. He was being taken in for a hearing. One lady worker from the D.A.'s office had described the man as being in control--very much in control--of himself before he waged his attack.

The way violent incidents in this country replicate themselves as media coverage expands is a phenomenon that warrants more study, I think. Several years ago when the famous Columbine duo killed those students and teachers in Colorado, 'copycat' incidents occurred across the country, one notably outside of Boston and one in what was my community in Wisconsin. In both cases, the young people were galvanized by the violence and by the 'style' of it--and then created or tried to create their own version of it.

And now, are we seeing the first maligned generation of cyber murderers who are taking what they worked so hard to do on screen to the streets?

Worse yet, why is violence against those associated with the law the new trend?

For every movement, there is usually a kind of physics--a reverse "action" that nullifies the effect of the previous one. For example, while teenage pregnancy is down, oral sex is up (and, along with it, diseases of various kinds). Another example: a president is elected as a reaction for "values," but the number one TV program in the Red States is "Desperate Housewives."

Another: patriotism is up, but now violence against those who execute the law is rising.

I didn't want my first blog here to be so dour, but I can't help it; something is screwed up here. The polarization of America is beginning to show cracks in the seams. Will these new criminals become the Baby Face Nelsons of a twisted generation that is being left behind while millions are fighting wars of rhetoric?

I'll try to be more jocular next time.

--Jeff C., Dallas, GA, 3-11-05

1 comment:

Dave King said...

Hey Jeff welcome to the blog. Yeah that was hard to see, evil just doesn't make sence, if it did it I don't think it would be so hard.

This last week just before I came to the USA the RCMP lost four young mounties while trying to arest a man who was over due on payments for his truck. Turns out he was also runing a grow up and a chop shop, all in small town Alberta.

The man shot himself afterwards.

Losing four officers was the worst loss in one event in the RCMP in over 120 years.

- Peace