Monday, February 18, 2008

We As Americans

Are We Still Bowling For Columbine?

We as a Americans
Us as a Citizen
Gotta protect ourselves
Look at how shit has been
We better check ourselves
Livin up in these streets
Through worse and through better health
Surviving by any means
We as Americans
Us as a citizen
We as Samaritans
What do we get us in
We better check ourselves
Look at how shit has been
Take a look where you live
This is America
And we are Americans

- Eminem (We As Americans)

The Age of Information is upon us. Look around. We are the children of this age. What has information overload done to us? Television provides hundreds of channels that specialize in showing us different aspects of our lives. You want nature, click here. You want history, click here. You want celebrity gossip, click here. You want music videos, click here. You want to learn how to cook better, click here. You want sex, murder, mayhem then click here. Why do we want murder and mayhem? Click one, click all. How old were you when you first saw sex on T.V.? How did it make you feel? If you watch a 2 minute 35 second scene of someone dying in real time in a film, does that experience affect you as much as if you were to have been there? If it doesn’t than to what extent does it affect you? Well what if you watch a 2 minute clip of someone dying on the internet, is that the same? Our generation has become hard and numb. I wouldn’t say all of society, nor would I dare say the world. It is specifically the age group of 1yr-25yrs old.

Telecommunications are allowing people to contact each other no matter where they are in the world. The Internet has provided a major mainframe of informational storage, and the cell phone allows us to always be connected to this network. These changes have affected us. Your parents never knew this much about their peers! These strains to be cool, to be right, to be accepted have never come at a higher price. Our weaknesses, and haunting experiences, have never been reflected back to us so vividly. US, the USA, we as Americans. I say all this to you not to just rant about the dangers of technological growth. I say this to you because we have a problem that has now become a consistent ailment: school shootings.

J.D.: The extreme always seems to make an impression.

-(Christian Slater's Character in the film Heathers)

It’s our generation shooting up schools. In the US from 1960-1991 there were approx 9 school shootings. From 1991-2008 there were about 40 school shootings across the US. What grade where you when it was Columbine? What grade were you when it was Edenboro? These aren’t drug wars and gang violence between two groups battling it out in our school buildings. This is much different, these are executions. Are education program is essentially a citizens academy. School is designed to produce Americans. Kids across the country are misunderstood, feeling alone and are lashing out at their peers. These shootings are a critic of the system from those around the country. I am not a judge, I am only a witness. And from what I’ve witnessed I feel something has to change? What would you do if someone came into your class with a semi-automatic?

AKL will be holding a vigil for those massacred in Northern Illinois, Tues 2/19/08 9pm at Temple University Bell Tower.

As Always its ya boy Magic, aka Mr. Pres, aka Mr. He keeps it so real!

Be Safe Have Fun God Bless

1 comment:

Jordan.Sells.IntroMSA said...

To all the readers of this blog: From time to time you will see me post some of my opinions on various articles. So I want everyone to note something: I don't always mean what I say. Actually, I take that back. I certainly contradict myself. (I contain multitudes, Whitman fans). So when you see my name and my opinion about something, I'm just looking at it through an often cynical or humerous lense. But take me seriously.

School shootings. First, it is necessary to understand that schools are institutions that are not only teaching us how to be Americans, but are telling us how to live our lives (look up Louis Althusser and Michel Foucault if you're interested). Don't get me wrong: I love school and I love learning, but at the same time I understand that I am learning what they want me to learn. Not that what is learned is useless, it's just a lense. To bring a weapon on school and shoot students and faculty can be seen, in one light, as a revolt against the institution and possibly America and Western Civilization as well.

However, I may be reading too much into it. What we have here is a group of young people who feel like outsiders; who feel unloved; who feel that no one understands them; who feels they need to lash out against those who made them feel this way.

How did this happen?

I blame rap music. Just kidding. I blame violent video games. Just kidding. I blame Marilyn Manson. Just kidding again.

First of all, everyone has violent thoughts (cf. Freud "Id, Ego, and Superego" and "Civilization and its Discontents"). Most people surpress these feelings, understand them in the context of the real world, and deal with them in normal ways. (I usually don't like the word 'normal' but that's another discussion for another day).

Other people channel there anger/hatred/violent thoughts etc. into activities; when I'm stressed out I write a lot and smoke a pack.

Some people however don't know what to do with their negative energy and they snap.

So maybe these people are simply crazy and unstable that stems from some psychoanalytic symptum that I don't feel like thinking about right now.

Or maybe they were told they were special all their life and realized they were not. Maybe their parents never told them they loved them. Or maybe their parents told them they loved them but never paid attention to them. Maybe their family life was fucked up, and their peers -- like all people at times -- don't understand that everyone has mad shit going on in their lives and all it takes is a small crack to get that AK-47.

This is my point: you never know what people are going through; you never know what someone is truly like; you never know what people are hiding. If you're nervous about something, steer clear or say something. You never know when someone's gonna walk up onto your campus with a gun and a bad sense of humor.

Just watch.