Thu Dec 20, 2012, 09:41 AM
Redfairen (1,276 posts)
Adam Lanza: America's Crisis of Masculinity Personified
But still. Let us also ask the obvious question. Why do these young white male people whom we routinely characterize as crazy—as exceptions to the rules of civilized comportment and moral choice—always rehearse and recite the same script? If each killer is so deviant, so inexplicable, so exceptional, why does the apocalyptic ending never vary?
The answer is equally obvious. Because American culture makes this script—as against suicide, exile, incarceration, or oblivion—not just available but plausible, actionable, and pleasurable. Semiautomatic, you might say.
But mainly to young white male people who want to kill many other white people with sophisticated weapons. Their apocalyptic endings make their deeply private states of mental anguish and illness very public. These gunmen don’t understand their mission in these terms, but they do tell us that they represent something beyond their own lives and families when they take innocents with them rather than just killing themselves—when they behave like terrorists without a political cause. They’re mute symptoms in search of a social disease, a cultural diagnosis, and a political cure.
William James saw him coming in 1910. In a Protestant culture that had defined manhood and character as the result of real work—a calling—what would happen, he asked, when such work became elusive if not altogether unavailable? Would manhood survive? Or would war then become the principal means of rehabilitating the “masculine virtues”?
3 replies, 1076 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Adam Lanza: America's Crisis of Masculinity Personified (Original post)
Response to Redfairen (Original post)
Thu Dec 20, 2012, 10:20 AM
sinkingfeeling (30,588 posts)
3. As Michael Moore said, "Guns don't kill, Americans kill." Why do we have 32 times more
'crazy' young men than any other country in the world? It's our culture. Americans are so deadened to killing via wars, video games, movies, drones, and mass murders, that we have no identity without killing.