Two articles caught my attention today. The first was Sam Leith's column in today's Daily Telegraph: Coping with eruptions of meaninglessness. The other was this post on authenticity on The Daily Duck.
Sam Leith writes about the need people have to explain events such as the tragedy at Virginia Tech. It appears that in our inabilty to 'bear very much reality' we look for scapegoats in the form of outside influences, in Cho Seung-hui's case a martial arts film, the Bible and Moby Dick. Frankly, I find it more reassuring to know that one sick or deranged young man went out on a mindless shooting spree, than to think that every violent video game or film has the potential to inspire violent behaviour in everyone who watches it.
One of the comments on the article suggests that Cho Seung-hui was merely copying poses from games and films because, being autistic, he lacked imagination. The inference being that he was neither corrupted nor inspired by sources outside his own disordered mind. And that took me back to Duck's post on authenticity, at the end of which he says: says: I've freed myself to like what I like and dislike what I don't, no questions asked. That's the kind of freedom we all aspire to and hopefully achieve in most aspects of life as we mature.
I'm off to put my slippers on, make some cocoa and read Barchester Towers with a little Beethoven in the background, because thats what I like!