The pretrial hearing began yesterday for James Holmes, the perpetrator of the movie theater mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado this past year. Buzzfeed has a look at the dark world of so-called “Holmies,” tweens who have celebrity crushes on Holmes centered around his Manic Panic hair, supposed love of Slurpees, and disaffection from society. Presenting the evolution of sociopath and serial killer obsession in the age of Tumblr:
Tag Archives | Massacres
Via the Public Library of Science, Daniel Lende on the need to understand horrific mass shooting as a cultural practice with underlying meaning, rather than as anomalous, randomized insanity:
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Paul Mullen, the esteemed Australian forensic psychologist, invokes cultural scripts as central to understanding why young men like James Holmes, Anders Breivik, and Jared Loughnerdo what they do. It is not because they are insane, some idea that seized them from the inside. Rather, they act out something – and the young men who do so are not random members of society, but have definable characteristics.
Mullen compares these mass killings to the Malaysian amok, a recognized “culture-bound syndrome” often defined as a “spree of killing and destruction (as in the expression “run amok”) followed by amnesia or fatigue.” (For more references, [search] Google Scholar for “amok Malaysia”.
Mullen also counters the common explanation in the United States and elsewhere that these killers must somehow be insane or mad.
Via the Independent, when preparation for civilization’s breakdown becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy:
The mother of Adam Lanza, the gunman who killed 20 children and six adults in one of America’s worst ever school massacres, was a “survivalist” preparing for economic and social collapse, it has emerged.
Nancy Lanza was a so-called ‘prepper’, part of the survivalist movement which urges individuals to prepare for the breakdown of society by training with weapons and hoarding food and other supplies. Mrs Lanza is thought to have trained her sons to shoot, taking them to local ranges.
Friends and family have portrayed Mrs. Lanza as a paranoid [individual] who believed the world was on the brink of violent collapse. “She prepared for the worst,” her sister-in-law Marsha Lanza told the Chicago Sun-Times, saying Nancy repeatedly talked about her preparations for the economic and social meltdown.
It turns out that a school massacre is better than any advertising that money can buy. The Hartford Courant reports:
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Some gun retailers this week are reporting a spike in store traffic, in excess of the usual holiday rush, in the aftermath of the Newtown murders. Since Friday’s shooting, customers have crammed parking lots and thinned out inventories.
Doug Odishoo, owner of Delta Arsenal in Meriden, said, “As soon as this shooting happened on Friday, I almost sold out of everything. Saturday I couldn’t keep up with it.” He said people walked into his shop, looking at the AR-style guns and saying, “I better get one before I can’t.”
Resurrected talks of gun control, some shop owners said, are pumping up the market for rifles, especially AR, or assault rifles, like the Bushmaster’s civilian version of the military’s AR-15 that Adam Lanza used on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
In Worcester, Mass., at Pullman Arms, co-owner Alicia Merritt called the jump in business “dramatic.” She said she did $30,000 in business on Monday — up from a usual Monday of about $2,000.
You may know John Marr for his classic essay “Death at Disneyland“. Here’s an even more brain-frying article he wrote about the worst Thanksgivings ever in American history. I read this every year as a gratefulness-inducing holiday tradition. Be thankful you weren’t celebrating Thanksgiving in Reno in 1980:
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Thanksgiving Day Massacre, Reno, 1980
Priscilla Ford had a long history of psychiatric problems and bizarre behavior, marked by such quixotic acts as suing the Mormon Church and attempting to speak at the 1972 Republican Convention. The capper came on the Thanksgiving afternoon when she got even with the City of Reno. In front of the downtown casinos, she steered her black 1974 Lincoln onto a crowded sidewalk and mowed down the crowds of holiday gamblers and gambolers. She left six dead and 23 injured in her wake. Pulled over a few blocks later, she told police, “Sometimes I am called Jesus Christ.” She later expressed a fervent hope that she’d nailed 75 people, and explained the voice of Joan (Mrs.