I had the clear intention of writing something light and cheerful today. I woke up early enough to enjoy the morning sun flooding my daughters room. The sound of the birds invited me to reflect on the little things that make me happy and not the worrying moments at night when I think about money or the portfolio I want to make to get a Part time Job, etc. And the recurrent memories that came to mind were the big, innocent and beautiful eyes of my 4 month old baby…the feel of her skin, the sound of her laugh. The voice of my 9-year-old thanking me for dinner, his ever philosophical questions about existence that invite me to fly. The arms of my partner holding me in bed as he arrives late at night from work and the smell of fresh brewed coffee in the morning… the feel of the warm elixir on my lips as I get ready for another day. Yes I remained enjoying this images on my mind and re-living them. Life Is good.
But then the inevitable came. I looked at the recent news, opened my e-mail and got in touch with the ONline life of the world today. I found 3 earthquakes, 2 cyclones, 2 disastrous floods and many stories about the recent Tucson, Arizona shooting…. Who is to blame? The American media rushes into its ever lynching ramp! It is not their society who sells guns to anyone who has the money to pay for them, is not their constant negativity and violence that they show on their Tv´s and newspapers, is not the pressure they put on people when they repeat over and over about the lack of jobs and the recession and the high taxes and the corrupt politicians…That is America and I am thousands of kilometers away….and here in small-green-peaceful New Zealand nothing like that happens right? Wrong. ¨Out of the blue¨ is a recent New Zealand movie Based on the Aramoana Massacre that occurred on 13 November and 14 November 1990. Resident David Gray, an unemployed gun collector, went on a rampage in which 13 people were shot dead, before Gray himself was shot by police. This was a guy who was well-known in his community and one day he starts his killing rampage by shooting his neighbour and his kids, burning his house and then shooting at every people who came near his home. It took.. 2 days to stop him. The community was in shock! No one understood why, why this guy gets out of his mind and shoots innocent men, women and children. New Zealand media went on an on for months about it, trying to figure out the reasons.
American media is doing the same now, and they are pointing at what ever Jared
Loughner was into. The books he read, the music he listened to, the movies he watched. So it so happens that Marx /Engels and the communist manifesto is to blame (no surprise in that) also Richard Kelly and his brilliant movie Donnie Darko is to blame and Sara Palin is to blame and Zeitgeist is to blame! yes…the thought provoking and social online documentary that 200 million people have watched over the internet. Does that mean that I, that have been exposed to Marx and Donnie Darko and Zeitgeist will eventually go out there and shoot someone? Is it really that simple?
I read a public letter that Peter Joseph founder of the Zeitgeist movement and writer and director of the three documentaries wrote today. He put things simply, honestly and truthfully.
The following is just an excerpt from his e-mail newsletter . You can read the complete letter here.
…¨So, again, rather than taking the scientific view, the Mainstream Media
often seeks out or implies one point of blame and runs with it. After all,
it is much easier, presentable and more simplistic for the public to think
that the troubling reality of seemingly random acts of mass murder is the
result of a “singular influence” and hence the logic goes that if that
one influence is removed, then the world will be back in balance…¨
…¨The most common is the social issue of “shame”. Our socio-economic system inherently breeds social division and there is a natural demeaning of others generated as a result. It is a scientific fact that mass murderers and those who many just dismiss as “evil” today, are the product of years of being shamed, humiliated and demeaned. Their acts of violence is a reaction from these highly oppressive feelings and the real resolve to such acts can only come from removing the real source of such emotional hurt.¨
How many times we also lose control over someone pushing the right buttons over and over again? I remember me and my sister fighting in the car while my mom was driving and we went on and on after many warnings from my mother until she had enough and stopped the car and yelled at us and went mad! Is she to blame, is she a bad mother? or is it the husband that also walks out of the house after listening to years of diminishing complaints from his wife ? The student who has been bullied over and over by the same kid until he has enough and responds in a violent way?
There is no excuse to violence or violent responses. The issue here is that we need to be more compassionate when we deal with horrible deeds from another human being. What if it was your son who did the shooting?
Events like this wake us up and makes us feel for others. The question is not Why?, Why a certain individual does what he does but How?. How are we contributing as a society to individual acts of violence. Think of this when you drive amongst other not-so civilized drivers, when you relate to other people´s needs and expectations, when you go to work, when you deal with your sometimes nagging children and your bossy boss.