Alexander Film Works

Night of the Dark Knight

In It Bugs Me, Just Because..., Roughly About Films on July 21, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Yesterday, the 43rd anniversary of one of the most significant events of human history, the landing on the Moon by Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, was also the night some mentally ill person made his stab at immortality by gunning down seventy one people in a theater in Aurora, Colorado, outside Denver.

This person, whose name escapes me at the moment (so much for immortality), took an assault rifle, a shotgun, and two .40 caliber Glock pistols, and began shooting anything that moved.  He ensured that people would move by throwing tear gas grenades before beginning his fire pattern.

Apparently, from the news reports I heard before I went to bed last night, the shooter had been a student at the University of Colorado Medical School, going for a Ph.D. in neurosciences, and had flunked out.  This was apparently the first time he hadn’t been able to deal with coursework, being an intelligent young man.

This, in the opinion of people I respect, could have led to the dissociation with reality that allowed him to shoot men, women, and children with no consequences to his conscience, for they became not human beings to him, but “the enemy”, the faceless, nameless, numberless horde that was actively opposing and oppressing him.  It was also pointed out, and I agree with the assertion, that the Virginia Tech shooter was a similar case – a young male, intelligent, and used to breezing through, who ended up flunking out, and it pushed him over the edge.

In my opinion (and I will not assert that my opinion holds any special weight), any attempt to blame Warner Brothers Pictures, Christopher Nolan, or The Dark Knight Rises for the actions of this deranged individual is mistaken, ill-advised, and a tactic worthy of Joseph R. McCarthy at his most despicable.  If it had not been The Dark Knight Rises that set this individual off, it would have been something else.  We do not know, can not know, what was in this person’s psyche that made him susceptible to such a mindset, but we can see with blinding clarity the results.

To join Edward R. Murrow in quoting Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar… “The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars but in ourselves.”  We ourselves do not know if there are circumstances which would turn us into murderous animals, killing with a frozen rictus on our faces, the glint of madness in our eyes.  My conclusion?  I believe there is… but the exact trigger necessary to drive us past the point of no return varies with the twists and turns of each individual’s psyche.

If we never experience these stresses, these tipping points, then we are so much the better for not having had them.  I believe this wholeheartedly.

We are all too fragile, more so than we even suspect, and those stresses, those shocks to our systems, are better off remaining hypothetical.

Not the most enjoyable thing I’ve written… but, unfortunately, one of the more necessary.

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