Friday, September 01, 2006

pretenders to infamy

having all this time to myself has had the expected result of having too much time to think. you never know what topic is going to be the one dwelled upon; items bombard you throughout the day on the computer, tv, newspaper, telephone and portable mp3 player. my neurons are firing in the direction of a recent local event, which brought to mind other pertinent events, and i can't stop the cycle, so here it is! maybe typing a bit of the swirling thoughts will get them out.

two days ago a 19 year old man from hillsborough (about a half an hour north of here) wrote an email to the principal at columbine high school in colorado to inform him that the massacre that took place there would not be forgotten, and that he was personally going to make sure of it. this principal notified the nc authorities, but it was already too late. the kid had blown away his father at home, then went fully armed to orange high school, proceeded to light smokebombs to create confusion, and started firing into a crowd outside the school. amazingly, only one person was grazed by a bullet and another hurt by broken glass before the shooter was detained. this kid wanted to be linked to infamy by pretending to be a killer the likes of the columbine shooters. why?

this brings to mind john mark carr, the guy who confessed to the murder of jonbenet ramsay although it appears as though he had nothing to do with it. he had only been obsessed with the case for the past 10 years.

last year, i did a post on a muslim student who wanted to link himself to the terrorists of 9/11 by driving an suv through a crowd on the campus of the university of north carolina. instead of drawing attention to the plight of muslims worldwide, he only managed to create more fear and distrust of the millions of regular, good, honest hardworking muslims of the world. way to go, dude.

now, for the question of WHY these folks want to link themselves to infamy? copycat criminals are not a new concept, so can we partially blame the 24/7 news media sensationalizing these stories for years on end? should we partially blame the schools for not having tough enough bullying penalties? how about a generation of parents raising their children as entitled brats? or just flat-out mental illness?? maybe all of the above?? what is it?? you know, if the shooters at columbine hadn't killed themselves during the event, they could probably now market themselves as the trademarked "original school shooters" and make a billion off of lucrative book deals.

anybody have any more ideas on why a person would want or need to link themselves to infamy, only to have fifteen minutes of fame (if that)? i'm baffled.

6 comments:

booklogged said...

No answers from me. Very interesting post. It's scary to think about the fame some of these criminals gain because of the media. Sad, sad.

Now for something brighter. I was reading comments on Lotus' blog and saw your picture - it always, always makes me smile real big. Thanks for that bit of cheer.

hellomelissa said...

oh, booklogged, thank you for the compliment!! a few people have told me they like my scary photo, but my dad hates it and insists that i change it. i put him in charge of creating a new photo, but he didn't do it! so HAH! he's stuck with the old one for a while longer.

J said...

I read this hours ago, and have no answers for you...just a strange parallel to another blog I read about the weird rational of the girl on the "Girls Gone Wild" tapes, who just want their 15 minutes of fame. This is SO much worse, so much deeper, that I don't even know what to say.

Except, I, too, love your picture. Please, don't change it. Too many photos like mine, of boring moms, out there.

Lotus Reads said...

My head's too fuzzy ( I have some sort of a bug) to make any sensible comment on your post (but I will when I feel better, I promise), but this is just a plea for you to NOT change your picture! Like booklogged said, it always puts a smile on my face. You're such a fun person Melissa and this picture captures that part of your personality - I love it!

*hugs*

Susan in Italy said...

Note to J: J!!?? Whaddya mean boring photo??!! You're standing in front of THE Taj Majal fer Chrissake! You are not allowed to call yourself boring anymore! (meant in with lots of love and lots of laughs)

Melissa, It seems to me that the media give us a quite skewed (sp?) view on the world. (This is by no means an answer to your question, but...) I read some statistics that throughout the 1990s school shootings actually went down compared to the decade of the 1980s. Maybe that's due to the dawn of school-door metal detectors, I don't know but most of those 1980s shootings happened among gang members in inner-city schools and were basically chalked up to gang or racial problems, and then quickly forgotten by most people. In 1999 when it happened in a wealthy, white suburban school, suddenly everybody wanted to know "What's happening to "our" kids?" To me this links back to Lotus' post on "The Bluest Eye" where race informs the worth of people.

Susan in Italy said...

Oh, and Melissa, your picture rocks! You have to keep it.