Adam Lanza and Others: An Email Exchange
January 18, 2014
Here is an email exchange with a friend, CK.
CK: “I don't know if this is really a giant red flag or not--and maybe it's because I like Anarchy Radio and John Zerzan, but I think this is a coherent assessment of how we all feel the pain of civilization. My hope is that we might find those in (understandable) psychological pain and give them a chance to grasp at the fading comforts of authentic personal interaction, love, compassion and hope.
Me: “Ok.....perhaps. "Red flags" always look brighter in hindsight. My fear with stuff like this is that some bureaucrat somewhere will seize on this as a license to label behavior or speech dangerous and, hence, suppressible for safety's sake. You know, like the little kid who was "dealt with" because he made a piece of paper look like a gun and pointed it at others. And these same bureaucrats will come up with bs like "binge drinking" and use such idiocy as their license to limit our freedom even further. "Authentic personal interaction" or what once was called simply "caring" or "friendship",,,,,in this world controlled by "the iron cage of rationality?" Not likely, I think. But I am with your sentiments.”
CK: “Yah, I was just sitting at a diner counter reading Francis Bacon's "On Friendship" and boy did it read like a reflection upon a dying art in an age where chums text each other ideas knowing full well they are intercepted by the computer of some young statistician that graduated toward the top of his class and earned a not so well over sighted government position.....I was moved particularly by his critique of the chimps lifestyle and subsequent negative impact upon his quality of life, how he called out those who say that humans forced to live within the confines of ciivil society simply defer to something innate that allows them to resign to working jobs and paying bills and other examples of quotidian ratracery because he feels that we have to lose something, not to be social but to be okay with this artificiality.....and how he points out that we all cling on to surrogate behavior to calm the existential pangs of post-modernity. So, aside from the loony pictures you see of him, maybe he wasnt so loony crazy and his problem was one of degree and of nihilism (surely built upon a foundation of various imbalances) and of access to firearms given his mental condition. There's plenty of uncomfortable symbolism in his infamous action, but it stems from a sobering perspective and from, again, a lack of friendship or anyone to intercede.”
Me: “Of course, Chris, it would be too much to go too far in this direction, but I remember my younger brother, Mike, a psychologist until his death in 2007, saying in regard to the young men who killed at Columbine that they, the shooters, knew they were going to die that day and wondering how those so young could arrive at that "destination" and accept it, perhaps even welcome it. When he said that, it struck me, as your words above strike me too, that something is wrong here, really, really wrong and it isn't just individual lunacy or "madness." I say, often, to myself: "Something is missing here, something 'big' and 'important.'" The picture, even the one above, we have been given of those like Adam Lanza is incomplete, something is missing, something "big" and "important" is missing. And we reach out, trying to touch those who need touching. As Mike use to say: "We all want to be loved." Ain't it the truth?”
And the link: