Let’s go to the movies…   Leave a comment

Why do I always seem to be on the opposite side of every damn thing? I guess, having people talking about praying and god all of the time just starts me off in the wrong direction and then it just spirals from there. It’s crazy too, because I am a spiritual person. Spiritual in the sense that I see the big picture and feel things very strongly, spiritual in the sense that my mind belongs to the concept of the greater good and that I never lose sight of the fact that I am just a spec of dust in the mighty universe, but am still, remarkably, just as powerful and undeniable as the planet that I call home. Having tap danced with many of the major religions and even slow jammed with a couple so provocatively that our chaperon, my devoted grasp of reason, has had to strong arm it’s way between us, its hard for me to walk the streets not having anything holding me back. I don’t subscribe to faith in general anymore, so the trappings of religion have just slipped down and found themselves muddled on the floor around my ankles.

I know that most of the people in the population of my intimate knowing are rather devout creatures. They come from different paths, but it all winds up the same. No matter how lax or varied, they all have these little codes they live by and the reasons for which never fail to amuse me. Only lately, I’ve noticed that what was once pure entertainment has started to not only validate my stance against religion, but also has crept into my logical mind and set up shop. I now have a thriving business of growing questions, the soil for which has been fertilized graciously by the never ending blankets of bullshit each of their little prayers or commandments have bestowed upon me.

Recently, what has stunned me most is the familiar and rather unpleasant mob mentality that has surfaced again in the hopes of separating the good from the bad. A young man in Colorado has killed and injured many people at a midnight showing of a movie. I don’t care about which movie, it doesn’t matter to me the methods he used or the reasons behind it.

I could guess. And if I did I would guess that he was either someone who suffered from some sort of mental illness for a long time and recently lost control due to either a stressor or change/lack of medication or simply found himself without the supervision he required. Or perhaps he wasn’t a long term sufferer, but someone who recently had some kind of break from reality. There is also the possibility that this young man had a reason to do what he did that made sense to him and was worth the consequences. This option tends to confuse people the most and I believe the reason it’s so hard to comprehend isn’t because the concept is complex. It’s simply foreign to the average person.

I bet you can think up 5 reasons why you would pick death or jail over something else. Maybe you would take a bullet to save a loved one. Maybe you’d spend the rest of your life behind bars to kill the person who raped or murdered another love one. And if the odds were in your favor, you might even risk jail if you had some scheme to make a lot of money. You’d weigh the odds of getting caught against the reward for the action and you’d proceed.

We don’t know. Maybe this guy had a fantasy that took up all of this thoughts and he just got to the point where the risk of getting caught was nothing compared to living a life with this nagging obsession getting in the way of every other thought.

If that’s crazy, it’s mental illness. If it’s not then it’s a choice. He made his choice, he’s facing the consequences. He might even regret it looking back, saying now that the price he has to pay is too great and if he had it to do over again, he would just keep on fantasizing about it. That’s not regret like you want from him. He’s not crying because of lives lost. He’s crying because he realizes now that he could’ve had a decent life and that this little obsession really doesn’t matter all that much to him. But who cares? What’s done is done.

A six year old girl is dead. And nothing from here on out is going to bring her back.

And nothing from here on out is going to keep some other six year old alive when a similar guy loses his mind or makes his choice.

Tragedy is sadness. By definition it’s supposed to cause problems and be hard to deal with. The word exists because the events occur. Once the shock wears off and the dust settles, you’ll all see. This is part of life and life is both amazingly beautiful and horribly flawed, a package deal that we choose every day we wake up and continue on.

Even with one precious little girl gone or without a boyfriend who actually would take a bullet for you or after the storm of chaos that one troubled young man in Colorado might rain down on an innocent crowd, we continue on.

But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that we are so different from this guy. He is not “the face of evil”. He is merely a guy who one week ago you couldn’t care less about. He is not evil. He is threatening with weapons that would make anyone scary. He may be sick or dangerous, but don’t pretend that you have discovered the devil roaming around on Earth.

Bubbling just beneath the surface we can all be capable of things we would otherwise be ashamed to admit; maybe not as violent, but possibly just as angry, selfish or illegal. If we have to gang up on anyone or anything because of this, let’s look at this man not as something inhuman but instead as someone quite human indeed. Own this chaos. He is your son, your brother, your classmate, your boyfriend. He is not some monster that we can’t identify. He is as much ours as the victims are.

You don’t have to have any kind of warmth or sympathy for him. But stop trying to paint him as anything other than what he is. A fellow human being who did a very bad thing, someone we need to understand better, identify with more and always include in our society. Because, like it or not, we have people like this in every town, every classroom, every family and trying to separate ourselves from them just makes all of us weaker.


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