A friend remarked on the dystopic nature of our lives as they are affected by the ubiquity and inescapability of computers, whose presence has expanded to fill every cubic centimeter of existence. And how, brother!
Sometimes I wonder if the digitization of day-to-day life creates stresses and psychological disjuncts may be responsible for the madness we see around us — specifically, for the ever-increasing number of shootings by crazies. Life was frustrating back in the day…and scary, too — remember those air-raid drills? Everyone had at least one gun in the house — or at any rate, that was true of the blue-collar class in which I grew up.
But no one went out and shot up public spaces.
The mindset has changed, and I think that has happened because of the deluge of passive stimulation, of violent games and TV and movies and music and “entertainment” and hostile speech accessible 24/7, and because of the constant background demand that you respond to negative stimulation through social media, gaming, and incoming images and narratives. We’re blitzed with constant aural and psychological noise, much of it hostile and violent.
And there’s no viable escape from it. Remember when a little kid could sit outside and watch the clouds float by? Imagine a kid doing that today…right!
I mean…when I was a kid, I hated school. I deeply loathed my classmates, the obnoxious little twits who made my life miserable for years on end. I hated my fifth- & sixth-grade teacher (same bitch….she “passed” into the 6th grade along with us, to my horror!). But forgodsake, it never entered my fevered little brain to kill them. Though I would have been pleased if they’d all been dispatched to the other world, making that a DIY project was not even remotely imaginable.
Now we have the lovely situation in which we find ourselves. Today it not only is imaginable, it’s becoming commonplace. And a nutty, disaffected kid like me can find instruction and encouragement on a machine that brings the world to her bedroom.
Result: an ordinary neighborhood church has an armed security team(!!!) who must leap into action to save the lives of what could have been scores of parishioners. Look at this video of the latest outrage (if you don’t mind having your hair stand on end): the guy had some kind of long gun. You can’t see it clearly in this video, but it looks like it’s probably a semi-automatic.
The most striking thing here is that these guys were prepared. The one who shot the sh!thead was a former FBI agent. It wasn’t that a few parishioners happened to pack heat into church: the church had an organized, armed security team.
WTF!! We’re in an era where churches and synagogues need armed security guards. Sorta like schools do. And movie theaters. And nightclubs.
Y’know, I can’t even count how many times I’ve sat in that choir loft and thought how easy it would be for a crazy to get a gun into the sanctuary below us. At this time of year, when it’s cold, everyone is wearing jackets…making it easy to hide a pistol. There are four entrances to that place, not counting the two stairwells that lead to the organ loft. Anyone could carry in a pistol, take a seat, and bide his time. When he was good and ready, he’d have a large roomful of sitting ducks. If he could get into the choir loft (to which there are two entrances), he could shoot at people from above, though choir members would probably interfere with him. Or he could shoot us all in a matter of seconds.
What a world we live in!