April 17th, 2007
|04:24 pm - power of the Internet|
The Smoking Gun already has some of the Virginia Tech shooter's writing, a play called "Richard McBeef", up for perusal. I shouldn't be surprised at how quickly it has appeared, given the power of the Internet and its ability to quickly disseminate information as it happens, but still, I am.
The play is horrible. I mean, not just in its twisted subject matter involving something to do with pedophile stepfathers, chainsaws, and fights galore, but it is horribly written. It's a mess, a mess in every sense of the word, from its dialogue to staging to story to everything. Sure, you can tell the guy was just pouring out rage after rage in each obscenity-filled monologue, but it's so unfocused. And the inanely graphic content isn't cringe-inducing; the inane writing itself is. And the other play currently making the rounds, "Mr. Brownstone", is even worse. Just angry nonsense which, rightfully, prompted his English professor to refer him to counseling. Apparently he didn't go.
But that's all I have the heart to say about em. I mean, the play would be prime fodder for incredibly great snark. If we'd just come across this on the Internet, and it was written by Joe Nobody who hadn't committed any violent deeds, we'd be having a field day with it, laughing like mad and making hilarious catchphrases out of the dialogue like "Eat this, you giant tree trunk piece of ass!"
But this came from a boy who was responsible for 33 brutal, needless deaths. Kinda hard to laugh at him now.
whenever this happens, and by "this" i mean "some child snaps and turns mass murderer for no really good or apparent reason," i always find myself feeling so awful for the kid. i mean, obviously, what he did was terrible, but in these cases, it's obvious that there clearly something very wrong with the kid. and for no good reason at all, i always viscerally feel like i've somehow done something to let him down. i didn't know this kid at all, but i feel like there must just be something i could have done, but i wasn't paying attention.
obviously, i know it's just my crazy, i get over it, and life goes on. but i get that personally responsible feeling every time. maybe it's because they're so young, and i remember what it was like to be young and angry and ignored. it's so weird.
Yeah, that kind of empathy seems to be a bit commonplaced. Empathizing with the alienation and anger to try and just comprehend what made him snap. Then the "If Only"s start -- if only he'd gone to counseling, if only something hadn't happened, if only...
I've never known anybody entirely removed from the situation to take a bit of personal guilt from it, but I can see where you're coming from.
Wow, that play really makes no sense at all. It is crazy.
This wasn't even freshman writing; the guy was a senior.
It's kinda like what half an infinite number of monkeys would come up with before Hamlet*. The sad part is that it's only a matter of time before somebody wanting to cash in on the infamy of the shooter and the crime performs this piece (I understand there's another, as well).
I can't really go off on the subject matter: I'm auditioning for The Pillowman in less than a week, which has subject matter more depraved as Richard McBeef.
* Yes, I know half an infinite number of monkeys is still an infinite number of monkeys.
I'm seeing a trend in those plays... what are the chances the kid was molested by an older man and never learned how to cope?
Maybe I'm being too literal, but there definitely seems to be some serious anger coming from SOMEWHERE.
That kid had some major trauma in the past, that much is clear. I'm sure the p-sychologists, professional and armchair, are poring over the writing like mad and, honestly, there ain't nothin hidden. It's all there. It's clear he could only write in literal terms (unless the 'banana cereal bar' down the throat was meant to convey some kinda Freudian symbolism) and -- granted, he was an English major, not Drama -- he had no concept of playwriting at all. "Mr. Brownstone" is just one big rambling inner monologue. He was obviously working some kinda trauma out. Sheesh.
Dammit, and I'm not even in an armchair right now.