A long con

Twitter, Facebook, Google and the like, they will continue to bend the knee to the establishment until it no longer becomes profitable for them to do so. They will continue the business of suppressing information that they determine to be to false, as if it is their authority to do so. And they will hypocritically follow their doctrine of “hate speech” on ideological lines, targeting whatever directly opposes their ideological line while ignoring misinformation and abuse from their own ends of the political spectrum. But their competitors, such as Gab or Minds, from what I have understood based on developments I have seen within the last couple of months, are not the bastions of freedom of speech that they promise to be. They too will ban content that they dislike, often with minimal explanation if at all.

It’s becoming increasingly evident to me that social media is a long con. I would like that social media websites allow individuals to speak freely, post what they like that isn’t pornography, incitement or private information, and/or at the very least be honest about the terms that they’re setting for their users. But sadly, I predict that they aren’t going to me. In the meantime, we’re all suckers in the end because, in many ways, we depend on social media to sustain our modern lives. As I’ve mentioned before, communication with fellow students is pretty much one of the only reasons I’m on Facebook besides the fact that people like Summer Thunder and Sean Ridley Ravensdale are there with me. At least I still have some friends there. As much as it renders us into a situation where we’re pretty much stuck dealing with social media companies run by people who are, frankly, untrustworthy, it’s also the biggest reason why the struggle to actually have some rights is an important one, even if perhaps a tragic one (on account of how, like I said, there may not be much we can do). I do not want those companies being able to just trample over me like a dog, but if I don’t the only way I can do anything is to fight, and I don’t know how.

But if I’m convinced of anything in that direction, it’s that they will not be defeated by the self-serving. The people who would’ve been all for social media companies denying the liberty of the people who use it, were it not for the fact that the people they like received . The people who are against censorship, like myself, were warning about precisely this. There is no guarantee that the forces of censorship will spare you in their wrath, instead they will eventually target you, whether for ideological reasons or out of pure incompetence. You can’t control the censor once you allow him to censor anymore than you can control the Internet, so don’t complain if he decides to censor you or someone you like unless you are opposed to it on principle.

And I extent this principle to the fake news meme I still see going around. The fight against fake news is pointless. Those of us who aren’t sheep know it’s just a way of accusing someone else of spreading lies, when the people who started the meme in the first place started saying it in response the failure of an American presidential candidate they wanted to win. They needed a scapegoat, and social media was arguably the perfect fit in an age where it is so ubiquitous that it practically dominates our lives. Those who think the powers that be will save you from this think that all they ask is to protect the public from misinformation, when really all it is is making it a crime to either lie or spread something you think is true, but might not be. All we would be doing is surrendering our faculty, and duty, to determine for ourselves through reason whether or not we are being told lies. This is something that should not be given up so that politicians could win a game they lost over a year ago.

It’s all a long con. The only difference is with one con we can’t avoid without total hermitude, but the other, we can think our way out of. If, that is, we remain free to.

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Christmas/Yule 2017

The winter holidays aren’t over for me yet, I’ve still got a pretty long break ahead, but I have to say I’ve been feeling great this Christmas. One of the reasons for this is that, at last, I’ve started drinking. Sure, it’s just some gin mixed with other drinks so far, but I’m becoming pretty comfortable with the idea of drinking alcoholic beverages. That’s a long way from the way I used to be: not only a non-drinker, but someone who detested the very idea of drinking, because I feared the loss of control that would come with drunkenness. Now, it seems, I’ve crossed the threshold and abandoned that fear. And I’m telling you, I’ve been feeling great.

All I needed to get comfy with idea was to try some gin mixed with some other non-alcoholic drink, and it wasn’t a bad drink at all. But I didn’t start . At first I tried some red wine at Christmas Eve lunch, but it smelled and tasted horrible. After a few sips I couldn’t handle it. At my oldest brother’s where I had Christmas Day lunch, I tried some champagne that was apparently mixed with Ribena, and it didn’t smell as bad but it still tasted awful. Then, on the night of Christmas Day, I tried a can of gin and Schweppes that I bought with one of my brothers last week and meant to drink earlier, and I didn’t immediately want to spit it out after drinking it. That was definitely good, but the drink itself was also rather nice.

This particular aspect has, understandably, been treated with surprise. When I was at a family dinner yesterday and I said I wanted some gin to drink, my relatives were kind of surprised. My sister, for one, couldn’t believe what she was hearing. It wasn’t a condemnation or anything like that, and being that I’m well over 18 at this point there certainly wasn’t a sense that I was doing something that was socially unacceptable, but it was just kind of a shock. I can hardly blame anyone for the surprise. Here’s me, a guy who’s avoided drinking for nearly all of his life (except one time last year when one of my cousins made me a light alcoholic drink involving lemonade and beer, but for some reason I didn’t continue drinking after that until literally this week). By the way, the drink I ordered was rather nice. It was apparently a mixture of gin and cranberry juice that my folks suggested, since apparently pure gin wasn’t recommended, at least for me. Nonetheless, it had a nice taste to it.

Anyways, one of the ubiquitous truths of human nature is that we humans are pretty much creatures of habit, and that we’re very much a pattern-seeking species. We desire familiarity in the world around us, as this not only comforts us but also grounds us to the world so that we can make sense of it. When we establish patterns or habits for ourselves we always become predictable to others, who in turn establish patterns and familiarity. Often, when we change things about ourselves, including our appearance, it surprises people, changes their perception of us, and it can generate a bit of shock in people. It’s pretty mundane to be honest, to the point that it’s kind of obvious when you think about it, but it’s something that was really brought home to me when I told people I wanted a drink of gin.

It doesn’t matter too much in the end. I don’t drink all that much alcohol, and I’m still at a point where I’ve pretty much just decided I like it, but I feel good about myself, so I don’t care in the end.

Anyways, Merry Christmas, Merry Yule, Io Saturnalia, Happy Winter Mass, and a Happy New Year from me. Hope you enjoyed your Christmas and are still enjoying the holiday season.

The common trend among mass shooters

The way I see it, there is a distinct trend connecting so many of the people in America who decide to go out and murder scores of people with a firearm. In order to solve the issue, I believe it is more important and of greater necessity to examine this trend rather than to try and pinpoint the thing Americans are supposed to be banning, thinking it will solve the problem.

To that end, I’m going to go through 10 examples of American mass shooters, some perhaps more infamous than others, in order to examine what drove them to commit the atrocities that they committed, in order to try and establish a common trend between them.

 

Kip Kinkel

I think people far too often forget that Kip even existed, let alone murdered his own parents and some of his fellow students. But he did, and in a rampage that pre-dated the Columbine massacre by only a year. Unlike the Columbine shooters, however, Kip didn’t kill himself afterwards, which not only means that he was arrested and punished for his crime but also that the police were able to extract a motivation from him through interrogation, which is sadly never the case in the majority of these incidents.

Kip was interviewed by detective Al Warthen in May 21st 1998, he told the detective that he was aware that his mind “wasn’t right” and he knew that it was considered wrong to bring a gun to school but did it anyway. He told the detective that he was ashamed of having done something wrong, and that he killed his father because he loved him but was also “fucked up in the head”. After Kip’s arrest, some writings were found detailing his state of mind around the time of the Thurston High shooting. He seems to have wallowed in a desire to end his own life, he saw himself as profoundly disturbed or abnormal and as a consistently destructive influence to the world around. He claimed to hear voices in his head telling him to kill and was full of rage and hatred towards mankind. He also mentions a woman who he was seeing, but apparently broke up with him, which caused him to feel like his heart has broken, which he doesn’t even think is possible because he didn’t think he even had a heart. During Kip’s trial, Dr. Orin Bolstad testified that he had been hearing voices since he was 12 years old, and had experienced hallucinations, and that he told him that the voices in his head might have come from either “the devil” or a chip put into his head by the government. He stated that these were the signs of psychotic thinking, a manic phase of bipolar disorder, extreme depression and schizophrenia, as well as a consistent state of delusion. He was also said to have an obsession with violence, and to have exacted “revenge” on people who he perceives as having crossed him, whether his perceptions were accurate or not. Kip was on anti-depressant medications for a period time before eventually being taken off of it when it appeared he was showing positive results. After he was taken off the medication, however, his mental health began deteriorating again. It’s very clear that Kip was profoundly, extremely disturbed, and guided by delusions.

 

Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold

Perhaps the most infamous school shooters in American history, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were responsible for the Columbine massacre, which is now etched into the memory of the collective American consciousness. Many people attempted to find scapegoats in guns, heavy metal and gothic music and the first-person shooter genre of video games (which back then was a rising star of PC gaming, home to such titles as DOOM, Quake, Duke Nukem and Wolfenstein). However, the diaries of the shooters were uncovered not long after the massacre, and they offer insight into their motivations.

Eric Harris wrote in his journal about how he believed that everyone around him was irredeemably stupid and robotic, incapable of thinking for themselves, that only he and his friend possessed what he called “self-awareness”, and that he wants nothing to do with society except to kill those he deems unfit to exist. He believes that human society is best run by a principle of “NATURAL SELECTION”, which for him entails as the murder of the disabled, the “rich snotty toadies”, fat people, people of low intelligence and people with “brain fuck ups” (presumably with the exception of himself and Dylan, if you get me). He believes that the human race is not worth saving, only destroying. Dylan’s journal suggests that he may have been extremely depressed and self-loathing, but like Dylan he also viewed himself as a literal God compared to most people, who he viewed as just zombies. Apparently they both felt pushed to the edge by, of all things, getting busted for breaking into a van and stealing things from it. They agreed to participate in a diversionary program in exchange for the juvenile officers expunging their criminal records, and they performed so well that they were let off early, but they still treated this is as the moment they became the “bad guys” with no going back. If you read it, you’ll find it to be a textbook case of extreme pathological narcissism and aggressiveness. Strangely enough, they say their parents raised them fine.

 

Randy Stair

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This man’s story was widely covered on the Internet, with many details emerging outside of the mainstream media’s analysis. Stair happened to be a transsexual individual, in this case a young man who believed himself to be a woman (or a “female soul”) trapped in a man’s body, and it is because of this fact that he felt separated from the rest of society. He was a self-confessed racist and misanthropist, who simultaneously hated the human race as a whole and everyone who isn’t white, and he especially hated men, both straight and gay people (though he did go on record as a homophobe). He seemed to be a deeply confused, highly irrational and extremely depressed individual, carrying around a combination of self-loathing, gender confusion, personal identity crisis, solipsistic tendencies, depression and intense irrational hatred for various groups of people and humanity in general.

He was also the creator of a cartoon series on YouTube called Ember’s Ghost Squad, which seems to be based off of a character named Ember from the children’s cartoon series Danny Phantom, who Stair claimed “brought out the girl in him”. The show centers around an all-female cast of ghosts who recruit lost souls into their army by having them killed in some way. That all the souls in the squadron are female, with no males, can be related to his own belief that he is a female soul, and a female spiritual presence that, in his own words, “puts [you] where you need to be”. The final episode of this show before Stair’s crime and death was a high school shooting, in the vein of the Columbine massacre, taking place at a high school committed by a character named Andrew Blaze, who seems to Stair’s alter ego, along with members of the ghost squad with the aim of killing innocent students and ultimately himself. The episode in question was released around the same time as the Weis Market massacre wherein Stair killed 3 people and himself.

Cursory research into Ember’s Ghost Squad can offer significant into the profound mental instability that Stair was suffering. While some have assumed that Stair had been radicalized by intersectional feminist (or social justice) ideology, the reality is much less simplisitic. For one thing, I haven’t seen evidence of him having operated on any radical feminist, Marxist or generally leftist websites – if anything, he was a brony.  I think he happened to embrace basic bitch social justice ideology as something to latch onto whilst he rationalized his disturbed psyche to the wider world and justified his future actions.

 

Adam Lanza

On the face of it, there is no conclusive motivation that would explain why Adam Lanza carried out the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. However, I think there are clues that might help to explain what he was thinking before he did it. He was often described as a profoundly autistic individual, and according to his father he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of thirteen. However, autism campaigners have objected to this description by pointing out that most autistic people do not have the kind of aggressive and strongly isolationist tendencies that Lanza exhibited. According to a team of Yale researchers, Lanza was prescribed a behavior-based treatment program and an anti-depressant called Celexa, but his parents discontinued the treatment after they noticed that Lanza “was unable to raise his own arm” and attributed this as a side-effect of the treatment. The parents could not be convinced otherwise. As he grew older, he became much more isolationist and socially rigid with his youth, and increasingly obsessed with mass shooters. He was also active on a now (presumably) defunct online forum called Shocked Beyond Belief, under the username “Smiggles”, which was a forum in which people talked about the Columbine killers and a video game based on them entitled “Super Columbine RPG”. Dr. Peter Langman has written a report about Lanza’s mental tendencies and has concluded that Lanza suffered from deeply psychotic personality tendencies, and suggests that his mentality was very similar to many other mass shooters in not just psychotic personality but also in the sense that he went through similar failures in life.

Apparently, in 2014, a radio clip has emerged of what is supposedly Adam Lanza speaking to an anarchist/primitivist anti-civilization radio show called Anarchy Radio. He talked about a chimpanzee named Travis, a pet chimpanzee and animal actor who in 2009 attacked a woman and was shot to death by police, trying to articulate that Travis’ violent behavior was ultimately a reaction to civilization, which he thinks conditions people away from their instinctive nature. Some of his postings on Shocked Beyond Belief indicate that he had great sympathy for the dead chimpanzee, and he felt that after his death Travis was now free of the “rape” of civilization.

 

 

Elliot Rodger

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Elliot killed six people in Isla Vista, California, and injured 14 others before ultimately killing himself. Before the shooting, Elliot Rodger released a 141-page journal on the Internet, in which he recounts his life in excessive detail as well as his belief that he is akin to a god in human flesh, entitled to whatever he thinks is deserving of him especially the company of women, and sent to rid the world of those he deems impure. For all his godly pretenses, however, he also complains that he was jealous of other men for attaining pleasures that he did not and feels his life to be pathetic in comparison. His YouTube channel consists of videos where he talks about how he views the world as fundamentally unjust and unfair because he is incapable of finding a romantic or sexual partner.

His father, Peter Rodger, was an unsuccessful filmmaker most recognized as a second unit director for The Hunger Games. His own film, a documentary called Oh My God?, was a failure, scoring terrible reviews among film critics. If Elliot’s manifesto is to be believed, Peter invested all of his money in the film, kept talking about how it make him loads of money, and in the end it lost him money to be the point that he claims the film bankrupted him.

Many progressives and feminists used Rodger as a symbol of their conception of “toxic masculinity”, basically grandstanding for their ideology on the corpses of the people he killed. They propped him up as a political point about how they view all men in general as fundamentally suffering the same sickness as Elliott Rodger, when in truth most men aren’t actually like him. Elliott viewed himself as the greatest man in the universe, a god among men, and not the sad, narcissistic and possibly somewhat spoiled individual that really was. That’s all he was. He was a textbook narcissist, who was constantly disappointed with the world for supposedly denying him that which he believed, and the primary motivation seems to be that of “punishing” women for not having sex with him, as well as other men for having sex with women instead of him, coupled with his developed hatred for mankind as a whole, whom he blames for his internal anguish. His father believes that he was just the sweetest boy who was kind to everyone and wouldn’t hurt a flea, but the truth is that he was a profoundly egocentric individual who was obsessed with sex because he never had the company of a woman and who was consumed with loathing, desperation and hatred of mankind, which might have enabled him to separate himself from Man and negate any sense of value of the life of his fellow Man, not least because he felt himself to be above human life. It is possible that he may not have learned how to cope with failure and disappointment, and never accrued the characteristics associated with maturity and what it means to become a man before he died.

 

James Eagan Holmes

James killed 12 people at the Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colorado. In his notebook he diagnoses himself with dysphoric mania, social anxiety disorder, OCD, PTSD, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, schizophrenia, body dysmorhpic disorder, psychosis and several other mental disorders. He justifies this self-diagnosis by describing numerous symptoms such as catatonia, excessive fatigue and isolationism. He believed that the reason for life is fundamentally arbitrary and thus life should not exist. According to Dr. Raquel Gur, an expert on schizophrenia, Holmes’ writings suggest that he was intelligent, capable of tackling deep subjects that most people don’t typically think about, but also incredibly delusional, noting that very intelligent people are also capable of generating more bizarre delusions. She compares his level of delusion-crafting to that of the “Unabomber” serial killer Ted Kaczynski, who also happened to be a professor of mathematics at Harvard University. She also says that Holmes did not feel wronged by anyone and was not motivated by a desire for revenge, and the last straw is instead cited to be him believing himself to have failed his neuroscience program. According to his defense attorney, Holmes was a schizophrenic and suffered mental illness for years before eventually succumbing to a violent delusion. Prosecutors note that he was aware of what he was doing and planned every aspect of his attack in advance and in detail within his notebook.

 

Jared Lee Loughner

Jared was responsible for a 2011 shooting in Tuscon, Arizona, in which he intended to kill Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and ended up killing six other people before being arrested. Before the shooting in question, he released a video claiming that Pima Community College was a “genocide school” that tortured its students. Incidentally, he was suspended from Pima Community College following the release of the video. According to TIME, he showed multiple signs of mental illness, including disorganized speech and writing, paranoia and an inability to function in social situations. According to a friend he also frequently used drugs, including marijuana, magic mushrooms, LSD, salvia divinorum, and even cocaine. Loughnor had been diagnosed with schizophrenia by experts who interviewed him. However, in an article for Psychology Today, Dr. Langman offers a different diagnosis. He instead suggests that Loughnor’s illness is closer to paranoid personality disorder, on the grounds that he read the idea of secret meetings into his encounter with Gabrielle Giffords which may have led to the development of grudge between him and Giffords, and that he did not seem to think that everyone was specifically against him.

There was a lot of controversy surrounding Loughnor’s alleged political motivations, possibly due to the fact that he targeted an elected representative; namely Gabrielle Giffords. Although many in the media have taken to painting him as an expressly far-right Tea Party partisan, Loughnor himself was an Independent voter and according to a friend of his he was neither left-wing nor right-wing. Another classmate describes him as very left-wing. He was apparently interested in conspiracy theories, and was active on a web forum called AboveTopSecret which specialized in conspiracy theories and similar subjects, and he was particularly interested in the idea that the world would end in 2012. He also happened to be interested in the 2007 film Zeitgeist, which can be seen as distant from the ideals of the Tea Party. He talked about refusing to pay in any currency not backed by gold and silver, and yet far from being a gold standard advocate he advocated theories of “an infinite source of currency“. Much of the idea that he is strictly a right-winger comes from the Southern Poverty Law Centre, who it must be noted are so thoroughly couched in leftist ideological bias that they have more recently declared people like Maajid Nawaz (a liberal Muslim) to be “anti-Muslim extremists”. In general, Loughnor can accurately described as an enthusiast of fringe politics in general, without necessarily aligning with the left or the right. Some people even blamed Sarah Palin for inspiring the shooting simply because of her use of a target symbol in an electoral map. Needless to say, this was a stretch.

 

Dylann Roof

At face value, it would seem fairly obvious that Dylann Roof’s massacre at Charleston’s Emanuel AE Church was an act of pure radical white nationalist ideology and nothing else. I am, of course, not going to contest the idea that he was motivated by extreme racist ideology – after all, the evidence for his ideological persuasion is clear as day – but I submit that there is another motive at work, one that may be decidedly less obvious compared to his ideological persuasion.

If you read his manifesto you find will find, perched alongside the ideological material,  an obvious signifier of profound narcissism. As expected from a militant white supremacist, he believed that black people presented a threat to American society and needed to gotten rid of, but towards the end of the last page of the manifesto he proclaims that no one is doing anything about it other than talking on the Internet, and so he states that “Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess that has to be me.”. This to me is Dylann positioning himself as the lone savior of the white race. For him, only he can save America from racial impurity. Not to mention, the idea that he had some kind of “racial awakening” to me harks back to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold’s concept of “self-awareness” – a profound “knowledge” of the world around them that no one else had. He claims he attained this “awakening” after Googling black on white crime following the George Zimmerman verdict, and he claimed to have become “completely racially aware” after checking out the website for a group called the Council of Conservative Citizens and looking up black on white murders in America and Europe. I can’t help but think, based on that, that he was the kind of person who either saw things in the world that have been spun by radical ideology and not necessarily reflective of the truth, or simply did not look at the larger picture of things and focused on very small details.

Other than that, recently released documents introduce the element of Dylann’s possible mental abnormality. They suggest that Dylann had suffered a combination of social anxiety disorder, schizoid personality disorder, mixed substance abuse disorder, possible autism and a history of depression. It is suggested that Dylann suffered from various symptoms associated with autism that may have cast doubt on his mental competency to stand trial, and that he had a high IQ that was compromised by an inability to process information and a poor working memory. They also entail that it was revealed in an investigation that Dylann was extremely socially isolationistic, pre-occupied with fallacious health concerns, used narcotics, possessed firearms and believed his life was falling apart. However, Dylann was deemed by the court to be mentally competent enough to stand trial and he chose to represent himself, apparently to block his legal team from presenting evidence of his mental health issues. His reasoning for this may have something to do with the fact that he viewed his reputation, rather than his actions themselves, as the most important thing, which one would argue is a fruitless endeavor considering that almost no one holds him in high esteem for his actions.

 

Seung-Hui Cho

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One of a number of individuals who is claimed to be part of an alleged current of right-wing terrorism in the United States of America, Cho was born in South Korea before emigrating to the United States. He was responsible for the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, in which he killed 33 people (including himself) at the campus of the Virginia Tech university. He sent a “manifesto” of sorts to MSNBC before the shooting, in which he outlines his motivations for what would become the Viriginia Tech shooting. In the “manifesto”, he lambastes the people he sees as “the rich kids”, accusing them of being sadistic, debaucherous, hedonistic, and fraudulent and of being rapists and lovers of terrorism, and he views himself as being abused by the world around him whilst positioning himself as the savior of the “Weak and Defenceless”. There are also multiple religious references in the manifesto in question, particularly towards Christianity. He also viewed Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine killers, as martyrs who laid down their lives in order to claim vengeance from what he calls the “Apostles of Sin”. Some even thought Cho was a Muslim because he identified himself as Ax Ismail, Ismail being the Arabic name for the Biblical figure known as Ishmael. Despite the religious tone of manifesto, however, Cho himself apparently hated his parents’ sense of religiosity, and when asked if he had religious beliefs his answer seemed to be no.

Cho had undergone psychiatric evaluation by court order after he was deemed to be a danger to himself and others. A report that was produced on Cho’s mental health concluded that he suffered from extreme social anxiety, depression, suicidal and homicidal thoughts, aggressive personality tendencies, and the loss of positive influences (including coordination between his school, therapist and psychiatrist) that had in his school years. Apparently the campus authorities at Virginia Tech were warned about his mental instability, but it seemed the warnings had gone unheeded. It is also possible that he was motivated by a sense of jealousy and rage sparked by his romantic advances towards a woman named Emily Hilscher having been turned down. To me, he also comes off as somewhat narcissistic; after all, how exaggerated must your sense of self-importance be for you to position yourself as the savior of the weak, helpless and downtrodden when in reality you’re a terminally depressed loner or something? Still, in his manifesto he makes it sound like he was raped by his friends in some kind of orgy, and I have to wonder what the hell inspired his writings, if not for a kind of pre-existing insanity or mental instability.

 

Charles Andrew Williams

Dr. Langman notes that the case of Charles is replete with contradictory information, particularly as some of Charles’ own statements are contradicted by other statements he made. It doesn’t help that it has recently come to light that Charles views himself as an “awesome liar”. It has been widely reported in the media that Charles was a good and wholesome kid who was pushed into becoming a serial killer by bullies. However, it had also emerged that Charles was actually a troublesome kid who was cocky, disregarded authority and delighted in breaking social norms through mischief. He apparently abused drugs, started fires (though Charles himself has no recollection of this), solicited the theft of alcohol, stole drugs and hung around with other delinquents who would later grow up to be criminals. Despite this, however, he managed to make it seem to others like he was a good kid. Whenever he was questioned about trying to “pull a Columbine”, he laughed. When he was taken into custody after the attack, he appeared to be calm, cold and nonchalant, demonstrating a lack of remorse for his actions. It is likely, therefore, that Charles was pretty much a psychopath, one with a history of delinquent behavior rather than simply having been bullied into becoming a monster. Furthermore, Charles has claimed to have been egged on into committing the attack by friends, but it appears to be more likely that he just shifted the blame for the massacre onto other people.

 

Conclusion

There are many more mass shooters besides the ten presented in this post, but what is clear is that all ten of these seemed to have suffered from various mental issues. Many were extremely depressed, some were clearly psychopathic, a number of them have expressed a deep seated hatred of humankind, some were schizophrenic, some were narcissistic enough to view themselves as gods or saviors who would bring salvation or judgement down upon us in a hail of bullets, and there was a tendency among them to feel isolated, hopeless and desperate. In the case of some of them their mental health problems were known to parents and experts and it was given treatment for a while, until the parents took them off the treatment, either because it they thought they no longer needed it or because they thought it produced unwelcome side-effects. In the case of some others, their mental health problems were never known to their parents or some of their peers. But all of the shooters had profound problems with their psyche, and had severe psychological problems before they resorted to mass violence. And it is likely that they weren’t driven by one single problem either. The shooters had multiple profound issues and problems that guided their respective personalities. Personally, in doing the research for this post, I have also come to the opinion that these people generally don’t just snap out of the blue, but rather that their problems develop for years before they finally kill scores of people.

Of course it should be noted that not all mentally ill are violent, and many mentally ill people may nonetheless not be driven to commit atrocities. However, there are enough murderers who are profoundly mentally disturbed to suggest that there is problem with mental health in the United States. In fact, it is no secret that there is a problem with mental health in the United States. There is a researcher at Yale that, I think, makes a very salient point in one of the articles I linked here:  he says “When mental illness is well-treated in society, patients are not necessarily more violent. But when they go untreated and they are allowed to become severely ill, then we’re seeing a larger share of violence being committed by mentally-ill individuals. That violence is different in nature, because it’s often unpredictable — it’s often based on delusions.”. I wonder, just how well are the mentally ill being treated in America?

 

Why Milo Yiannopoulos deserves to be named LGBT Person of the Year

This is just magical. Milo Yiannopoulos, the Breitbart editor and political provocateur of our time, has won the title of LGBT Person of the Year, awarded by LGBTQ Nation. And you know what, I think that’s great.

It’s not because he is a great intellectual, or even a great conservative intellectual – if you want that, I would recommend you check out Ben Shapiro, Larry Elder or Thomas Sowell. It’s because he is a person who breaks conventions and pisses off all the right people. This is a gay man, and flamboyantly so in fact, who rejects the familiar left-wing LGBT identity politics, supporting conservatism, right-wing populism and Donald Trump instead. He often visits universities in order to give speeches, and finds himself heckled by riotous, authoritarian-minded students. For this, he is a rebellious figure and a destroyer of safe spaces and the intellectual conformity that so infects modern Western universities like a cancer. Sometimes, this has even meant putting himself at risk of physical assault, as was almost the case at DePaul University, where he had his platform stolen by an anti-Trump activist who accosted him on stage and the security at DePaul had failed to prevent this from this happening. Even after being removed from Twitter, accused of sending people to harass actress Leslie Jones (it all started when she reacted to his scathing review of the new Ghostbusters film), he tells the media that he’ll continue to be as offensive as people. As a renowned “troll”, one of the most vocal supporters of Donald Trump you could think of, and the face of conservative populism, he has become one of the great bogeymen of today’s political climate. In fact, Complex describes him as one of the worst people of 2016 (on their mostly shitty list). So him being interviewed by Out (another gay magazine), being nominated for Person of the Year, and him getting a publishing deal with Simon and Schuster for his new book, Dangerous, which managed to outsell The Princess Diarist by the late Carrie Fisher, is a major shock to the media and its culture. “How could such a vile hatemonger be so successful in our society?” is surely a question going through people’s minds, and rather witless question at that I might add.

Here’s to the most fabulous supervillain on the Internet. Shadilay, my dudes.

Dear Sarah Vine and Mared Parry: You’re both fools

I’ve been made aware of an article on a youth news website called The Tab, the title of which is “‘Today’s young women’ can do as they please, Sarah Vine”, which seems to be a response to an article by Sarah Vine on The Daily Mail, everyone’s favorite conservative-leaning newspaper. I’ve chosen to highlight the two articles so that I can illustrate two sides of what seems to be two clashing sets of cultural/social views, both of which I find to be wanting.

First, let’s talk about Sarah Vine’s article. I’m honestly not sure if fear-mongering is the appropriate word. Vine introduces her article by talking about the effect of New Year’s Eve drunkenness on our public health service. To be fair, this is a valid point. We in the UK have a National Health Service, a publicly funded healthcare service established by the government – in other words, propped up by the taxpayer. According to the NHS, misuse of alcohol costs the service £3.5 billion each year. So it is indeed quite costly for our healthcare system. She goes on to say that the images of drunken revelers that plaster her very article paint a picture of a Britain that is in the grip of a binge-drinking culture. At this point I should point out that, according to the Office of National Statistics, binge drinking is actually down, not up. Between 2005 and 2013, the number of binge drinking adults has decreased from 29% to 18%. I don’t know where Vine gets the idea that we live in a binge drinking culture – other than, perhaps, the same place that today’s feminists get the idea that we live in a rape culture. She also seems to lament how, in her opinion, it’s women who seem to get drunk the most. I haven’t found anything to corroborate her point, because none of the statistics I’ve found seem to say anything about the gender of the people getting drunk.

So after some moral porn about women getting drunk, we come to a rather peculiar point:

And you know the worst of it? When they regain consciousness the next day, long after the street cleaners have washed away the vomit and other unmentionables, long after the St John Ambulance crews have packed up and gone home, long after the last Jagerbombs have been necked and the empties put out for recycling, they won’t be embarrassed or ashamed.

They won’t wince at the mortifying humiliation of it all, the ghastly, dehumanising shambles; they won’t be filled with remorse or self-loathing.

They’ll just congratulate themselves on a great night out, hoot with laughter at the state they got themselves in, maybe even share their snaps on social media, swap hangover horror stories with friends. It makes me want to weep.

Are you kidding me? You mean you have nothing to say about the inevitable hangovers that these people got on New Year’s Day? If your description of the binge drinking on New Year’s Eve is anything to go by, it ought to be a bitch of a hangover. The dehydration, the headaches, the feeling of irritation and the sensitivity to the light of day must be quite profound in those people in such an event. At the very least, they’ll have that to regret. But what Vine doesn’t appear to understand is that such regret doesn’t last forever. Why should it? I mean sure, people behave disgracefully when they get drunk, even more so when they binge drink, but it’s no reason to constantly weep over having spent the night getting drunk. Also, it’s New Year’s Eve. I kind of expect people to get themselves drunk. I don’t like the idea of people getting drunk, but I can see why people would revel in such a way to mark the end of the old year and the beginning of the new. And, as a student, I can tell you that people sharing drinking and hangover stories is pretty normal, and I’m sure it’s entertaining in some way. The only thing I actually find to be truly degenerate is sharing the snaps on social media.

There’s not much more for me to say about this article because most of it is still moral pornography on her part. There is her claim that the number of alcohol related deaths in women is currently 2,838, up from 1,334. There’s no source to this claim, so I feel inclined to point out that according to the Office of National Statistics, men are more likely to die from alcohol related deaths than women, at a rate of 19.5 deaths per 100,000 males compared to 9.6 deaths per 100,000 females. I don’t understand why she cries about women being uniquely at risk from binge-drinking culture other than what I can only assume is the kind of gynocentric virtue-signalling classically associated with social conservatism.

Now, let’s move on to Mared Parry. And right from the beginning I take umbrage with her perspective. The sub-headline of the article makes the assertion that girls who get themselves blind drunk and behave disgracefully as a result are an inspiration.

What is this bullshit!? Binge drinking isn’t something to be proud of! I’ll grant that getting drunk can be excused once in a while, but it’s not necessarily a positive thing to do. But it seems that Parry is here to tell us that the opposite is the case. She thinks that Vines’ typical “think of the women” virtue-signalling article amounts to telling women that they should be ashamed to be alive, which strikes me as saying that getting wasted is somehow the epitome of life itself. And trust me: she glamorizes binge drinking, to the point that she is capable of unironically declaring pictures of people being drunk to “masterpieces”. And I’m sure they are masterpieces to anyone who is completely devoid of the ability to appreciate actual fine art (and I don’t mean the nonsense I see in the fine art department at my university). She claims to agree with Vine that binge drinking, on the whole, is awful, whilst simultaneously glossing over what literally is binge drinking on the grounds that “it’s just women having a good time”. To me you just don’t go from “binge drinking floozies are an inspiration to women everywhere” to “yes, binge drinking is generally awful” without sounding hypocritical. In fact, she is actually less concerned about Vine drumming up hysteria about binge drinking culture and more concerned with the fact that Vine is a woman writing an article about women getting drunk. I sense the virtue-signalling is just as strong in Parry as it is in Vine. And as for her complaint about young men not being shamed for getting drunk? Who gives a shit other than Suzanne Moore in The Guardian? I can think of a better reason for pictures of women getting piss drunk lathering the papers than “sexist media”. You know what that is? It sells papers, particularly to an audience that might be more conservative as is probably the case in The Daily Mail. It’s more moral pornography than sexism, and I can see it from space. You’d have to be ignorant not to.

I can see how Parry just jumped on the Vine’s “post-feminist society” line by accusing of her of – drum roll, dramatic silence – internalized misogyny. From that accusation alone you can glance that aside from this being vapid apologia for binge drinking, it’s also feminist bullshit. Oh and don’t forget to accuse “sniffling, shaming, middle-aged journalists in general” assuming that the mainstream media is dominated by conservative pearl-clutchers while completely ignoring the pearl-clutchers on the left, who do the same thing only from an opposite perspective. And again, I love how she says “no one should be getting drunk to the point of incontinence”, whilst at the very beginning of the article praising binge-drinking women as inspirations. Is there any consistency at all to this bullshit? While I do ultimately agree that getting drunk is kind of inevitable and isn’t necessarily evil, there’s not much you can say to support the idea that it’s a good thing other than “YOLO” – the mating call of every social media-addled imbecile who sees little more to his/her life than his/her own incontinence and vapidity.

Speaking of inconsistency, Parry claims that she isn’t angered by these articles whilst at the beginning she claims that reading Vine’s article made her red with anger. That seems like cognitive dissonance to me. And if there’s no point to reading articles like that, why are you triggered enough by the article to even write a response? If all you think it does is make you laugh, then, again, why did you say it made you red with anger? This whole article was garbage, through and through.

And the reason I’m saying this, the reason I’m even talking about this, is because I want to talk about how detestable it is to declare binge drinking as anything to be celebrated, while also calling out the other side. One side whips up a regular hysteria about Britain being under the spell of binge drinking culture, which they seem to do every year if you’ve been paying attention, while the other takes the same angle and fucking celebrates it whilst half-assedly pretending not to. In other words, one is emblematic of finger-wagging social conservatism, and the other is brainless YOLO culture.

Sarah Vine, we are not trapped in the grips of the kind of binge drinking that you and your paper seem to think we are to the point that we need to be saved by good old Christian values. So get over your tired virtue-signalling act, you dollar store prohibitionist.

Mared Parry, being drunk may be normal, but binge drinking is not the greatest thing in the world and being drunk is not inspirational. So stop pretending that women who get blind drink are positive role models, you ditzy, hypocritical, overly permissive hack.

A picture of a scene of drunkenness in Swansea from a Daily Mail article from two years ago, when they said the same thing about 2014.

A picture of a scene of drunkenness in Swansea from a Daily Mail article from two years ago, when they said the same thing about 2014.


Sarah Vine’s article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4080750/Pictures-make-weep-today-s-young-women-SARAH-VINE-British-society-grip-binge-drinking-culture.html

Mared Parry’s article: http://thetab.com/uk/2017/01/03/todays-young-women-can-please-sarah-vine-29021?utm_source=transactional&utm_campaign=recommendednext&utm_medium=popular

Best wishes this holiday season.

I just want to take the time to spread best wishes on this day of the year.

Merry Christmas

Happy Yule

Happy Saturnalia

Happy Holidays

May good tidings be upon you this season, and unto the new year.

This will not be the last post I publish for 2016. The last post I write for 2016 will be a retrospective on the current year and my thoughts on it, and some “New Year’s resolutions”, dare I say it for lack of a better term. For now, enjoy the rest of this day.

Time for a happy Winter “Mass”

Today is the end of the first part of my third year of university. I break up for three weeks of winter holidays after having finished a VIVA presentation and having to hand in two written assignments, including a dissertation (or about as close as a 6000 word document gets to a dissertation on my course). It’s been a lot of work, and I think I’ve been progressively busier as the months went by until I opted to just get my shit together with the written assignments.

Now I honestly just want to begin the winter holidays and get into the spirit of the Winter Mass – my own name for the Christmas holiday season, or rather the time between the start of the winter solstice and New Year’s Day. Basically this means I start doing nothing other than try to have as much fun as possible, especially given that this has been quite a year for me. Yes, I ask not much more of 2016 than playing video games, playing my guitar, and some reading I didn’t do, interspersed with a lot of movies. There’s still plenty of time for future blog posts between now and the time when I have to get back to work again, which will of course be some time in January 2017. Essentially, I’m going into festive mode as it were, and I plan to enjoy the fruits of a long fucking year.