It amazes me the disconnect it takes to shoot up a room full of people; how we’ve lost touch with the importance of each life around us and how each death will begin a chain of ruined lives. Or maybe we aren’t disconnected at all. Maybe we know exactly the cost and, maybe, that’s why we’re doing it (i.e., if your life is horror then why not bring horror on everyone else?)
Like anyone, I love my friends and family so much that to imagine someone tossing them away, simply disregarding them and all the great things they are without a deeper thought in re What That Action Means … it kicks my feet out from under me. So what was James Holmes doing? Playing hero? Villain? Was he “playing god” like some people say or is it the other end of the spectrum? Do we need to play devil if we’re worse than devils ourselves? Or are we “better” or “more human” than “people like that”? Is it just “them” who are evil or is the evil in all of us? Where do they end and we begin? What is it that constitutes a moral good or a base evil? These are all questions I’m asking myself on a hot, dry afternoon in rural Kansas, the people I love all around me.
My hero, the late film director John Cassavetes, called thugs, gangsters, and violent criminals “dream killers.” As a person fighting your way through life, loving and failing and trying to live as honest and pure as possible, you are the grand summation of your dreams, your hopes, of the idealized life you strive for. The fact that someone can come along and stomp that out for purely personal reasons weighs heavy. Like that Shaky Hands song goes from their Kill Rock Stars album: “how could your whole life be gone in seconds?”
How? Maybe the real question is why. The how is pragmatic, nuts and bolts, applied physical action. A cloud of gas in a dark theater and the wild random shots … why? Do you have an answer? I don’t. And maybe there isn’t one. What I know is this: You owe it to yourself to turn off all distractions today. Unplug from the machines and general bullshit. Disconnect long enough to hear nothing but your own thoughts and the world writhing and singing and settling around you. In that rare silence think not about your own mortality (because that’s easy) but the morality you hold true. How strong are your ties to what you believe?