This page copyright 1999 The Shrubbery
Incorrectly Political #0
Hug a freak today, invite a misfit for coffee.(Could it save your life?)
While a million angles of the Columbine massacre have been analyzed ad nauseam in every medium available from Grandma's Bingo Today Magazine to the "Why Bad things happen to good people and their doggies" show on Animal Planet, (Not to mention a respectful bow to Angry Dan's eloquencies in The Shrubbery June 1999) there are some BASE issues here that no one has broached. Hence, all of the saddened tongues-a-clucking have seemingly elucidated, sadly, not a damn insight worthy of stopping such a horror again.
We see three basic stances on how to avoid this happeneing again:
ONE, we have the anti-gun preachers: Yes, we all know people who do awful things simply won't if you make things ILLEGAL...Johnny was gonna kill all his enemies at school, but changed his mind due to a permit snafu. Gee, Why don't we get Nancy Reagan to say "Just Don't Shoot People?" I am sure it will have the same stunningly effective result.
TWO, We have the people who want to blame the violent or anti-humane video game/song/album/video/movie/insert various medium of your choice. Well, folks, denying the power of medium on weak, sadly misguided brains is a wide open subject for another column but let's play devil's advocate on two of the most famous horrors of our century. Tell us, Mr. And Mrs. Blame-A-CD, what made Hitler try to wipe out a whole race of folks or Charlie Manson and friends go around calling Californians hunks of sausage before treating them as such?
And THREE, we are most often hearing the preachings distraught individuals bemonaing the lack-of-parenting skills on the part of the sick, sad boys who committed this atrocity. "Your children were growing into pathologically misanthropic nutjobs, were you too busy watching Must see TV to notice?. "
However, there is an angle to all of this that I thought was the only examiner thereof....until and a number of compadres said "My God, voicing that will perhaps horrify people but makes a lot of sense." Therefore I have chosen, at last, to apply these thoughts to print.
Why did this angle come to me? Well, such as the boys , (God rest their tortured souls along with their victims) who commited this heinous crime .. I am indeed...also.. a FREAK.
Before 4 million well-intentioned Christians (of which I am a Christian too, thank you) burn my house and possessions let me makes some things clear. I am not for one millisecond about to condone this horror. Nor does my heart break any less for the individuals whose lives this act has torn asunder. But I am not interested in the right-wing Band-Aids proffered under the myopic auspices of Gun Control and violent entertainment. However, as a freaky individual myself, I wish to possibly offer a TRUE insight on eradicating some of the provocations that aid in driving those already at-riskly disturbed freaks to commit such horrors. If someone wants to myopically misread this into me saying this massacre was somehow the victims' fault, then I beg you to stop pitching my baby's point with its bathwater and perhaps give this some thought....
America, land of opportunity. 200 some odd years after we have established that, we now bask in the glories which that sentiment provides and again cluck our tongues at its backlash. How so? Remember folks we are a country where a MINIMAL fraction of the country controls a MAXIMUM fraction of its wealth and prestige. And until the rise of a certain computer fellow whose name rhymes ironically with HATES, those people USUALLY fit in to the category of white-bread, Protestant, republican, nice everyday folks who made good. Translation: NO freaks. This severe classing of America where the distance from the "in/wealthy/beloved" people to the " out/bizarre/feared" (and yes, FREAKY) people now has to be measured in light years has a perfect demonstrative microcosm. More than 9/10 of us were there.
When the circumstances of this massacre first hit the airwaves I had a nanosecond of darkness. I suddenly realized for a sickening, horrifying moment that I had gone into Heathers mode and wanted to take out all of my past pains and horrors at the hands of such snooty beautiful people in my youth and say... points for us! Jocks and Beautiful people levelled by the outcasts!
How sick. How disgusting.
If I as a freak, but certianly non-socipathic person, could feel that way for just a trillionth quadrillionth of a second, then how do the people who commit these acts feel? Can someone prayerfully perhaps STOP them LONG before they go to Jimmy's Gun Shop? Before they watch I Spit On Your Grave and Those of Of everyone You Love 52 times? Before they play the Kill Everyone For Points game on their PC?
I talked over this ultra-brief moment of horror with a black pal who also said that he was also a normal, caring person who thinks O. J.is a murderous bastard. However, having seen his relatives be the victims of so much injustice, part of him for the same analogous horrifying nanosecond also wanted to dance in the streets when O.J. was cleared.
What on earth causes the "freaks" in high schools today to instead of just writing creepy poems and wearing black, to actually break 50 commandments at once and start wiping folks out? Is there a way to stop it? Well if your genetically predetermined to be Senor Helter Skelter or Adolf H., probably not a damn thing. But if your only at-risk, then...may I suggest what would prove to read as some highly controversial ideas, which still may get me sent to hell in the eyes of many.
We are blaming the parents of the killers, and probably in many ways we should. But how about the parents of a snooty jock who with buzzed-hair cloned buddies reveled in the making fun of such people? Why isn't anyone saying THOSE folks parents shouldn't have said "Son, instead of calling that person just a nut, or fag, or wacko , or reprobate, how about maybe ... say hi to them, Biff?". Hey Muffy's Mom, why don't you tell your daughter instead of laughing in a poor freak's face when he gets the guts to even look you in the eye before you encircle your betanned arm about the waist of the captain of the football team .. how about maybe you understand he is a person, with feelings, and a heart who doesn't deserve your ridicule?
No folks, that doesn't give freak A the right to end the life of Beautiful Person B. And no one is saying we shouldn't tell the odd fellow of the bedarkened t-shirt and perpetual snarl the same thing. "Yo, brooding boy... just because Joe plays football doesn't mean perhaps he isn't also a decent human being you should attempt to chat with rather than sit at your outcast lunch table and entertain violent fantasies about offing." (Especially, if you are horrifyingly marching down an appalling path of dementia which may make you realize said fantasies.)
Clique rituals have been pushing the angst buttons of freaks and toggling the snooty discrimination levers of the beautfiul people of this world since high school BEGAN. But they didn't make people start killing people before. The guns and video games are empty symptoms. Symptoms of deep-rooted problems between different factions of adolescent societies that while once upon a time were just aspects of 17-yr old life, now have the potential to turn a hall of learning into Kosovo. No one is right here. Just cause you are not a beautiful person should you kill people, and just because you are doesn't mean you should be automatically fearful for your life. But if we are dealing with a potential civil war among the Clearasil set, it must be stopped in small steps by adolescents and parents themselves. Not by taking away the weapons used for it or by the blaming of influences.
I wouldn't have thought my hypothesis of how to prayerfully stop the next massacre before it happens was such a radical notion until Dateline one day intoned to me from my dear television the subject of a potentially SHOCKING *cough cough* story... THE JOCKS and BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE OF COLUMBINE high May have BEEN GIVEN SPECIAL TREATMENT!!!!????
Three big letters folks. D. U. H. Duh.
I realized if ANYONE is so frigging out of touch with today's adolescent society as to assume this ubiqutious rural high-schol occurrence is NEWS, then perhaps we need to voice a radical grass roots approach to appeal to those of the adolescent persuasion to perhaps, at fear of sounding like the lovechild of Pollyanna and Mister Rogers, treat each other with at least a modicum of respect.
Shut up about gun control and a freaky movies and do this: I dare you ,freak or beautiful person, or parent thereof....Be a pioneer! Make a civil hello to a beautiful person in your gym hallway, of if a parent encourage your misunderstood son or daughter to do so. Same if you are the other side. Tell your all-state football son and his cheerleader 4.0 GPA sister to actually not pretend like a freak is part of the wallpaper that distresses their sensibilites. Or if you are said Biff or Muffy, screw what your compadres say and be humane to someone not of your ilk.
Don't all of you think making efforts to communicate in some at least CIVIL manner with the "other" side is worth possibly invoking the horror of our rigidly clique-societal brethren if it might make people stop killing each other? And forget this B.S. of inner-city horror, as we see this is a SMALL TOWN issue, where the divisions between such groups at this age is even more caustically deepened. I am not saying freaks of hick high schools everywhere take out your frustration by pointing an Uzi at Ms. Cheerleader and asking her if she believes In God before you bullet her into meeting him. Such horrors are inexcusable. I am simply asking for a little understanding, on both parts. Close the chasm, if ONLY a millimeter.
We can't expect a microcosm of society to wipe out its human foibles of nastiness and meanness in a heartbeat. But we can try. And we can get the adolescents and parents of adolescnets themselves to try. And before more students kill each other, we should. We need to. We must.
Editor's Note: Can't find a freak to hug? Try P. Kellach Waddle on for size!