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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Harrdy
    One thing you can be SURE of is: Every perpetrator was a victim once. It doesn't dimish his guilt, it is just true. Someone who had the luck of living in relative peace and a caring environment wouldn't commit such acts. So the very best thing to stop those acts would be to look into the families, watching how people live and if they care. But, of course, that would cost money (time), and it is just cheaper to bury someone who was in the unlucky position of being the victim...
    This may sound harsh but...tough. There's simply *no way* to keep somebody's self-esteem from taking blows sometimes and there's *no way* to know what'll fester. What's trivial to one person is monumental to another. Which means that, societally, there's *no way*, regardless of time or money or eternal vigilance to prevent somebody who's mentally ill from snapping. What we *can* do individually is to try to be kind to each other but sometimes that still means hurting another person emotionally. Societally, all we can do is try to have help available to people who realize that they need it. If they don't realize it, or can't/won't reach out for help, I don't think that there's anything that can be done.

    But I wish I could think of something.

    Jan

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Harrdy
    Well, *feelings* are not easily changed, but "perspective" can be changed.
    We may be talking about the same thing, just using different words. IME, the mind seems to like being a creature of habit and so tends to think the same things, react the same way, over and over until those thoughts and reactions seem to wear a groove in the brain. An example, again from grief chats, is when a grieving person can't seem to stop seeing and reliving whatever their last interaction or experience was with somebody who died. Until they could 'derail' their mind and learn to stop that tape, they couldn't seem to move on. It's *hard* to do, because you have to be more aware than usual of what's going on in your head but it can be done.

    Jan

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  • Harrdy
    replied
    That's the trouble, isn't it? What real motives are there? When Columbine happened, there was all sorts of talk about how the shooters were teased and taunted and tormented until they snapped. Possibly true, I don't have any way of knowing.
    One thing you can be SURE of is: Every perpetrator was a victim once. It doesn't dimish his guilt, it is just true. Someone who had the luck of living in relative peace and a caring environment wouldn't commit such acts. So the very best thing to stop those acts would be to look into the families, watching how people live and if they care. But, of course, that would cost money (time), and it is just cheaper to bury someone who was in the unlucky position of being the victim...

    By the way, we had a similar act in vienna, much smaller thou (as we are a smaller country *g*). In a school there was a knife fight, and the victim died. The parents of the perpetrator couldn't understand why that happened, but if you listend closely to what they said you could see they didn't know their child. ALSO the parents of the victim didn't know their child, and at least in that case the victim was partly to blame, as he showed physical weakness but no fear. The perpetrator tried to bully him into submission, but the later victim wouldn't. Even as the knife was pulled out he wouldn't submit. Now, one can argue one should never submit, but that only works if you are physical fit, if you can protect yourself. If you cannot, the you should save your life, better being alive than proud and dead...

    PeAcE

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  • Harrdy
    replied
    FWIW, I've also found that if I simply (not easy, though) don't allow myself to feel negative, feeling positive becomes a habit.
    Well, *feelings* are not easily changed, but "perspective" can be changed. If I think "oh my god, a girl dumped me, I missed the last train, and now I am walking home while it is raining, cold and surely somebody will mug me soon", I feel bad. If I change the "frame", to the things that worked out, I can cushion the downwards spiral. That works sometimes with me. But some things are not easily cushioned that way, pain that happened in childhood, and is repeated as a grown up. Even after you understand that you are acting out of "old memories" it is very hard to avoid the feelings that come up then. Best thing is to build yourself up, to become independent (or at least MORE independent). So you can take a hit and could go, so you don't need something and are bound to stay. It is very hard with work, at least nowadays... you cannot easily go and find something new (at least here in austria, we have about 10%, more if you count the fellas who get "re-educated"). So sometimes I "celebrate" my pain. Yes, that sounds perverse and strange, but if I give space to my feelings I also take myself serious, that I care about myself, if nobody else. Point is, one should learn to find the difference between true pain and "feeling sorry for oneself". Because, the picture of oneself being always on the receiving end of bad luck is a wrong one, if you stay foccused on the bad/painful part of live you stop seeing the nice bits, and that would be a shame...

    PeAcE

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  • Harrdy
    replied
    Seems to me life is made up of two sayings : 'Life's what you make it' and 'Life is what happens while you're making plans'.
    Man is an animal of reasoning, so far that he names himself the "sapiens sapiens". We plan, we think, we construct, it is what we do. Problem is the world is NOT working according to a plan, randomness and chance are the rule, if you want to find any. If you are born here or in africa or somewhere else, you cannot change it. If you have rich parents or poor ones, you cannot change it. If you get education or live experiences while living on the street, you cannot change it (easily, here you begin to be able to *DO* something). You can try to change the way live takes you, like with a ship. You cannot go back and do something different, you make plans and throw them away as you go.

    People are very often hurt that live has so much randomness, that is the whole reason why they need a god, someone who makes sense of all that randomness. Someone who cares. Someone who let their ego survive, even if they can see their parents "disappear". That is fine, I don't blame anyone for that. BUT I blame people for forcing everybody to function according to their "ruleset". I don't buy that god-idea. Yes, I can see that there is more to live, and I HOPE there is some reason.

    Why am I talking about all that? Well, one of the very stupid things I encounter is the "good world" lie. I don't remember where I read about it, it is not *my* idea, but it is a very good and disturbing one. If people *believe* that there is a god, that the world is basically good or even only there is a reason why someone has bad luck or is poor or anything like that... well, the MUST believe it, or they must accept that BLIND LUCK gave them something that poor fella hasn't got. They need to condem someone who is to lazy or to stupid, because else they would need to care, and there are just to many people to care about them all. That frightens, that shakes the foundations of personal happiness. Most people cannot stand accepting that they where just lucky, they need to point out that they "worked hard for success". Yes, they did, I don't want to dimish their work. BUT they where in a position where they COULD work to their success, there are some countries where you just cannot do that, or personal situations where you cannot "shug it off and go on".

    So yes, there are those two sentences, and yes, they collide in reality... the binding element is to LOOK and SEE what is really happening (very hard, it needs us to overcome our presets, our prejudices) and to care, at least for the people around us...

    PeAcE
    Last edited by Harrdy; 10-03-2006, 04:07 AM.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by Harrdy
    (edit add: ) By the way, one of the reasons why JMS Midnight Nation was so good for me was because of the scene where people where sitting around a campfire, telling the others about how their life went to the worse, because THEY COULDN'T DO ANYTHING. And that scene is so very good, because it shows they COULD have done something, but they where afraid. Or as in the Book of lost Souls: "Better the evil you know...", or "better save than sorry"... the scene where people are walking along the road, never arriving...
    Those are powerful images, indeed, Harrdy. I've sometimes wished I could take that one issue of Midnight Nation and hand it out to...oh, about 2 dozen people I know. Sure, I realize that change isn't easy but it can be done and if you're working toward something you want, that helps. FWIW, I've also found that if I simply (not easy, though) don't allow myself to feel negative, feeling positive becomes a habit.

    Originally posted by Towelmaster
    It is also a 'reason' that does not require us to think too much about the motives.
    That's the trouble, isn't it? What real motives are there? When Columbine happened, there was all sorts of talk about how the shooters were teased and taunted and tormented until they snapped. Possibly true, I don't have any way of knowing. But kids are the most self-centered, cruel creatures ever spawned and I don't think anything's ever going to change that. What're we going to do, teach them that if they're not nice to each other they might get their lives shortened? Kids think they're invulnerable. Anyway, there's no way to keep every kid from getting hurt and no way of knowing what's festering inside somebody's mind, waiting to erupt.

    I do wonder if the 'ten nines' phone number that Brunner had might be a pressure valve for some, though. For anybody who hasn't read Brunner, in one of his books there was an organization which promised to listen. You could call that number and say (or do) anything at all and the person on the other end would listen. Never interact, just listen. I learned when I hosted grief chats that sometimes telling strangers about our pain was easier than telling those close to us.

    Jan

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  • Towelmaster
    replied
    Originally posted by Harrdy
    .
    Seems to me life is made up of two sayings : 'Life's what you make it' and 'Life is what happens while you're making plans'.

    The trouble is they are often incompatible.

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  • Towelmaster
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan
    I think it was "Stand on Zanzibar". "Sheep" was about pollution and "Stand" was about overpopulation. I can't see that either of those causes could pertain to these happenings, though.
    Jan
    Stand on Zanzibar had the 'Muckers' in it of which you spoke. Hence the reference. The description of those people going berserk is remarkably similar to what you see happening nowadays. IMO. No direct cause, no warnings in advance, etcetera. It is also a 'reason' that does not require us to think too much about the motives.

    The asshole in that school was obviously as mad as a bat. I mean, killing young girls in a schoolroom must be the ultimate crime. It comes close anyway.

    I may be against the death-penalty, but that opinion is quite often very hard to defend.

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  • Harrdy
    replied
    Sometimes, when I am very depressed, I whished the world to end. World War 3, a desease, a meteor, it doesn't matter. It just should end. Yes, to be honest it is *I* want "to end", but I project it out to the world. I guess it doesn't matter, I can't change the path of some space rock with my mind, so what the heck...

    But I can tell you where that comes from, at least for me. It has to do with being not seen. I have an office job, and I am happy for it, because I was unemployed for half a year. But I am seriously overqualified (I think I can say that, sorry if somebody thinks I am to proud, I am, but not *here*) and underpayed. What the heck, onto private live... well... my friends kinda "dissappeared" when I was unemployed, having to do with not being able to "do things". The ones that didn't went away did this because they need something from me, they are dependent on me. So no, I am not seen there, either. My parents? Don't make me laugh, they are the reason why I have problems with not being seen.

    So, that is the way the world IS. But I don't run around shooting people (outside of games, that is *g*)... I have therapy and learned ways to improve my self-worth. It's not easy, but it's the only responsible thing to do. Either that or blowing your brains out somewhere far away, where nobody get's hurt... BUT(!) that of course is an illusion. Because the feeling of not being seen, the pain of not making a difference, is not 100% true. You DO hurt some people if you end that way. In a group I attended some time ago there was a paramedic (is that term used for civil also? couldn't find another word in the online dictionary...) and he told me the hardest thing was finding some teenagers or lonely people after they committed suicide. It wasn't the blood, it wasn't the gore, he was used to that. Any accident on the street was bloodier. But it was the hopelessness, the lonelyness, the silence that hurt him most. That our world is so uncaring, so deaf to some people.

    Anyway, sorry if that above was too much, nobody needs to walk down the hole into the sad, lonely reality. But in this world there are many more sad, lonely people than "evil" persons, the evil acts committed are most of the time not "influenced by the dark side", Satan or anything like that, they are just acts of desperation. Of course that doesn't help any relatives or friends of the victims, but the world makes infinitely more sense if you accept that.

    (edit add: ) By the way, one of the reasons why JMS Midnight Nation was so good for me was because of the scene where people where sitting around a campfire, telling the others about how their life went to the worse, because THEY COULDN'T DO ANYTHING. And that scene is so very good, because it shows they COULD have done something, but they where afraid. Or as in the Book of lost Souls: "Better the evil you know...", or "better save than sorry"... the scene where people are walking along the road, never arriving...

    PeAcE
    Last edited by Harrdy; 10-03-2006, 01:18 AM.

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  • Dr Maturin
    replied
    Originally posted by Jan
    Indeed. But it sounds like somebody in the story was advocating executing insane people before they ever even show that they're a danger to themselves and/or others? Now that I could never go along with. IF can't be used as a reason to kill somebody who hasn't done anything.
    No, this was just the sentencing after murder or attempted murder. It seems that it came off of a discussion of personal responsibility. Man...was it Starship Troopers?

    Even after the fact is a tough one but we've institutionalized many insane killers and I've never heard that they have a high rate of suicide after being cured. But then, how likely is it that somebody who'd done something as heinous as the school killings would ever be 'cured' enough to be released?
    Exactly.

    Machismo, maybe the way to stop these loonies is to put a bullet in their head first, but I can't picture some little Amish kids saying, 'Oh look, there's the milkman, perhaps he's come to kill all of us; let's call home on our non-existent cell phones, and have our parents show up in their non-existent cars and blow this guy away!' As unfortunate as it is, shit happens, and much as we'd like to take these guys out first, sometimes we just don't know it's going to happen. I wish we did.
    Well, the point of my post and being Amish apparently aren't compatible. I don't know if there is a good "the best defense if you're Amish" argument.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by LessonInMachismo
    I can't remember which work of fiction it was, but I think it was sci-fi, where it was pondered whether or not executing insane people was moral. The argument was that it was, because if you let them live and they go on a killing spree, you would be responsible. If they were "treated" and brought back to sanity, so to speak, they'd probably commit suicide anyways, due to the guilt caused by the realization of their crimes.

    Really interesting.
    Indeed. But it sounds like somebody in the story was advocating executing insane people before they ever even show that they're a danger to themselves and/or others? Now that I could never go along with. IF can't be used as a reason to kill somebody who hasn't done anything.

    Even after the fact is a tough one but we've institutionalized many insane killers and I've never heard that they have a high rate of suicide after being cured. But then, how likely is it that somebody who'd done something as heinous as the school killings would ever be 'cured' enough to be released?

    Jan

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  • Joe Nazzaro
    replied
    Machismo, maybe the way to stop these loonies is to put a bullet in their head first, but I can't picture some little Amish kids saying, 'Oh look, there's the milkman, perhaps he's come to kill all of us; let's call home on our non-existent cell phones, and have our parents show up in their non-existent cars and blow this guy away!' As unfortunate as it is, shit happens, and much as we'd like to take these guys out first, sometimes we just don't know it's going to happen. I wish we did.

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  • Dr Maturin
    replied
    The only defense, short of turning schools into prison-like facilities (which is obviously impractical), is to shoot them first. Five years or so ago, some nut tried it at a college campus, two students ran to their vehicles, grabbed their handguns and blew him away.

    I can't remember which work of fiction it was, but I think it was sci-fi, where it was pondered whether or not executing insane people was moral. The argument was that it was, because if you let them live and they go on a killing spree, you would be responsible. If they were "treated" and brought back to sanity, so to speak, they'd probably commit suicide anyways, due to the guilt caused by the realization of their crimes.

    Really interesting.

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  • Jan
    replied
    Originally posted by LessonInMachismo
    The first "school shooting" happened in my hometown. What's sad is that this kind of thing happens weekly in ghetto schools, but it's just seen as normal. The only reason that the school from my hometown -- which had to be 90% non-white -- got national coverage is because it was an elementary school.
    I agree that shootings go on every day, both in and out of schools in underprivileged areas, LiM. I think what's different about most of these is when there are so many deaths and particularly when it's done by people not even associated with the school, like this one and the Canada. That's different from a drive-by or gang related or drug related shooting. Shame of it is, people have gotten used to that sort of thing while the latest ones seem to be a new phenomenon.

    Jan

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  • Radhil
    replied
    Goddamnit. I do not want to keep reading this shit week after week.

    But I will. Because some fucktard in moldy PJs right now is reading it too and thinking, you know, I'd like to have my fifteen minutes.

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