January 11, 2012
In praise of Jared Lee Loughner, spree killer.
1 year ago today Jared Lee Loughner unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, while successfully killing several members of Arizona's state government and others. When the news broke, old-media was toting the line that the Spree-killer was a 'right-wing extremist' who was targeting the Democrat Giffords. A 'scandal' broke out because some conservative websites had included the congresswoman on a tongue-and-cheek 'hit-list.' That all sounded fairly boring, as political assassinations usually are, so I didn't read up on it.
I was reminded today because of this excellent article, describing Mr. Loughner as quite a trip; or at least referencing how many he had gone on. In the interview Tuscon Arizona locals paint a wild picture of the modern wild west; It almost makes me sort of proud to be an American. Maybe all the genocide and crimes against humanity involved in America's expansion can be considered close to worth it if one person can be truly free. Jared Lee Loughner was arguably free.
His life story is sad, simple, and predictable. He tried to join or be involved in several institutions which did not accept him or he was not qualified for- including public school, the private sector fast food industry, volunteer work, and the United States Army. Usually his dropping out or being booted from these endeavors was owed by those running things to a 'major personality change,' though their allegations all fall on different timelines. I suspect it's more likely that he was simply an eccentric and never fully found a 'healthy outlet' (as corny as it sounds) for himself.
One attempt at Loughner's reaching out is immortalized in this youtube video titled "How To: Mind Controller." There are 4 more videos, much like that one, but that one is my favorite. In the videos(set to electronic music), Loughner animates his essays, which are sometimes long & sometimes short- but always try to make his point clear. Most people who watch his videos are probably searching for some kind of seed of psychopathy and madness; but I see none. His hatred of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was more... simple, actually. He was no right-wing extremist. This account from one of Loughner's closest friends up until his spree-killing highlights the pivotal point pretty clearly. Loughner, dabbling in everything, attended a rally for Giffords campaign in 2007. He asked the question, "What is Government if words have no meaning?"
The question was not satisfactorily answered in Loughner's opinion.
'Of course it wasn't,' you may be thinking, but Loughner was doing something quite spectacular in my opinion. He was confronting an elected official, a person who holds authority, with his own Nihilist and Relativist thinking. He showed real courage; and as people who do usually are- he was snubbed. Since his resentment and hate afterwards took on unusual proportions he will always be called 'crazy.' Towards the end of his last posting on MySpace before the shooting he said "I had a bully at school." Many reporters took this quite seriously, but I suspect it was a joke, as if he knows that people will be trying to explain away his actions and he himself knows his own actions are quite absurd- though not unthinkable.
Reading about spree-killers is intoxicating, particularly when they're allegedly 'crazy,' because they often turn out to not seem that crazy. Their actions were out of the ordinary, yes, but what's so 'sane' about our ordinary actions? We normal people who carry out ordinary actions sweat and save for our entire lives, and 'play by the rules,' only to afford a shallow grave. Murder, or anything else at all, doesn't usually seem at all 'wrong' when you introduce mindset and surroundings into the context. After all: What is murder if words have no meaning?
Jared Lee Loughner is currently awaiting trial having been rightfully found unfit to stand trial as of yet. His strange behavior and outbursts since arrest have caused him to be diagnosed as a schizophrenic and forcibly medicated with anti-psychotic medication in order to stand trial. He is still Alive. I hope he stays that way.