Popcorn Culture / Somewhat Topical

The Dark Knight Shooting in Aurora, Colorado

Don’t blame the movie, blame the man.

James Holmes

Hundreds of people walked into see a movie, and 12 would never walk out. 53 would be injured. The violence of an expensive blockbuster would be the last thing these people ever saw. I couldn’t believe my eyes yesterday when I woke to the most heartbreaking Facebook news feed I’ve ever seen. Being a native to the state, every single person I know was affected.

In my beautiful state, a man named James Holmes opened fire on a packed movie theater, 9 minutes in to the midnight premier. Not only did this evil motherfucker shoot into an open crowd of Batman fans, he also set off an explosive. He was meticulous in preparation.

The Batman shooter, as he is being dubbed, was a medical student at the University of Colorado Denver, pursuing his PhD in neuroscience. The motherfucker painted his hair red and called himself “The Joker.” The only details that any news organization or detectives have given is that this was “out of character”,  and that Holmes was socially awkward or “shy”.

The New York Times reported:

Billy Kromka, a pre-med student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, worked with Mr. Holmes for three months last summer as a research assistant in a lab of at the Anschutz Medical Campus. Mr. Kromka said he was surprised to learn Mr. Holmes was the shooting suspect. “It was just shocking, because there was no way I thought he could have the capacity to do commit an atrocity like this,” he said. (NYTimes)

His behavior is contradictory. Holmes opened fire on an innocent crowd, killing moviegoers as young as 12. But then, he gave himself up willingly to the police. Someone who is out to kill everyone one minute, and then surrenders calmly the next, is suffering from an ailment. Insanity or psychosis. Extreme alienation from society and reality. Whatever the reason, the state of Colorado wants him dead.

This. Is. Insane. This is my theater. I can see my friends and my loved ones running out of the building, these are my neighbors. I can’t process it. I wish I didn’t have to. Tragedy tries to break us. Evil motherfuckers try to break us. I am reminded of Columbine, which happened when I was very young and less than half a mile down the street. Any shooting, no matter where, is a manifestation of the violence that we experience in our culture through the media.

Marilyn Manson‘s brilliantly written response to the Columbine shooting (his dark music to blame then) is a perfect parallel to this tragic event. Just as relevant now, perhaps more than ever, Manson points out…

I think that the National Rifle Association is far too powerful to take on, so most people choose Doom, The Basketball Diaries or yours truly. This kind of controversy does not help me sell records or tickets, and I wouldn’t want it to. I’m a controversial artist, one who dares to have an opinion and bothers to create music and videos that challenge people’s ideas in a world that is watered-down and hollow. In my work I examine the America we live in, and I’ve always tried to show people that the devil we blame our atrocities on is really just each one of us. So don’t expect the end of the world to come one day out of the blue — it’s been happening every day for a long time.

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