According to Wikipedia,
Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being.
This is, of course, the worst thing any human being can do. Says so in the very first Wikipedia ever written, The Bible1.
Granted, the Bible also kind of says it’s cool, depending on the circumstances–like if He asks you to do it, and the person you murder is your kid, and then, at the last minute says “just kidding! Bwahahaha!” The Bible also ranks murder lower than worshiping God (what a douche!) and all sorts of other crazy nonsense about salt pillars and money lenders and some gay dude named Judas, but I digress….
No one wants to die. Well, most people don’t want to die most of the time. It’s antithetical to our very nature. It’s Absurd2. I mean, sometimes people want to die, like after when your friends draw penises with permanent marker on your forehead while you’re passed out, or when in the grip of a terrible hangover and you go into the bathroom to puke and see that your friends drew penises with permanent marker on your forehead. Of course we must’ve forget the classic example of teenagers who say they want to die when, for example, Football Brad doesn’t ask Color Guard Kristen to go to the malt shop before the sock hop3, but you know what I mean.
Controlling nature on the other hand–and by proxy other human beings, sometimes by murdering them–is something pretty much everyone wants to do pretty much all the time. (Please read that again before you get upset with me.)
Case in point: the other morning, on my way to work, I was tired. Real tired. I drank some caffeine in order to change my internal chemical environment so that, in turn, my mood-driven behavior could match societal norms for the time of day and day of week, and thus I would get to work ‘bright-eyed and bushy tailed.’ Additionally, it was really, really hot and humid. Like what I imagine Cambodia to be like in December. This was the condition of existence in which I found myself. These conditions made me feel like a fat, sweaty walking chunk of month-old ham with arms. I wanted this condition to change, so naturally I fluffed my t-shirt to get more air-circulation to my almost middle-aged body.
I used a tool to alter my condition and it worked!
Then there was a homeless guy on the subway platform a minute or so later. I had just rectified my undesirable situation and this dick wad had to ruin it with his aromatic onslaught of individuality. No matter how far away I tried to get, I could still smell him. Did an irrational part of my brain maybe want to push him in front of an oncoming subway train? Oh no no no. I wasn’t brought up that way… *cough*
Somewhat related: my roommate often likes to clean the living room, thus altering her environment in a way which is more suitable to her own desires (ie. tidy). Personally, I feel a little naked and alone when things are too neat and clean around me. I find solace in dirty dishes and piles of recently laundered clothing on the floor.
What I’m saying here is that we have impulses to alter our environment in order to increase our general happiness. Sometimes that means we invent electricity to have warm heat, and sometimes that means we invent electricity to publicly electrocute Elephants for amusement and to prove how our inventions are better than the competitor’s.
Oh, I know it’s gauche to talk about Nietzsche, but didn’t he say something about how a man tries to increase his own safety in the world by controlling his surroundings? Something like that? Or maybe it was Shaw or Hitchens or Dr. Phil or someone. Anyway, not sure who said it first, but I think it’s true.
I mean, the Greeks invented Geometry out of some need…
The thing about murder, though, is that it’s also probably a pretty big kick4. Vandalism, as most kids know, can be really fun! Ah, the halcyon days of (hearing about kids) smashing mailboxes with baseball bats and shit-bagging the neighbor’s houses (because I was too much of a goody two-shoes to ever do any of that crap).
In other words, simply breaking the law is a thrill! Kleptomaniacs know it. Occupy Wall Streeters know it. Gay lead singers in heavy metal bands really know it.
Also, cheating on a spouse is only good because it’s cheating. If it was just about sex, then polyamory would be a lot more popular, and Burning Man would be a much larger annual event.
Alright Dedes, what’s your point? Also, you mentioned Burning Man in two posts now.
My point is that Burning Man sounds like fun and human beings like a few simple things:
A. Sensory stimulation
B. Power over their environment and
C. Excitement over breaking the law (which is also A and B)
My point is that in light of the Aurora shootings, people who ask “how could someone do something so horrible as to shoot a theater full of innocent people?” are willfully and conveniently ignoring their own internal penchant for A, B and C, or as I like to call it, 3 out of 4 steps to sadism.
According to Wikipedia,
Sadism is the derivation of pleasure as a result of inflicting pain or watching pain inflicted on others.
So, just add a little schadenfreude and voila! A recipe to make the Marquis de Sade pleased as (a) punch (in the face)5.
The fact that we can put most of those shitty, sadistic, anti-logical and anti-social desires into artistic expression like movies and books instead of a chaotic, violent, and anarchistic society is a good thing, but it doesn’t mean some people aren’t gonna get the wrong idea.
It’s naive to think that “Monkey See Monkey Do” is reserved only for monkeys.
Also, people have been glorifying sadistic, chaotically destructive and murderous hedonists since, well, forever… even before Bonnie & Clyde.
Let’s see… Roman Gladiators, The French Revolution, Public Hangings, The Catherine Wheel, Slave Lynching, Unit 731 (see previous post), Jesus Christ, Barney. The list goes on…
So, another bullshit shooting happened in America. I don’t really know why everyone acts so surprised.
1 According to our New Bible, The Bible is “any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity.
3. Say that three times fast. Malt shop sock hop malt shop sock hop malt shop sock hop!
4. I don’t personally know, and I plan on never knowing.
5. A phrase derived from Punch & Judy, everyone’s favorite sado-masochistic couple after Romeo & Juliet.