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josie's avatar

Regarding the Batman movie massacre: What is behind the obvious and all too frequent disconnect between the objective truth, and the shameless and subjective desire to manufacture truth?

Asked by josie (27672points) July 20th, 2012

A lunatic dresses up in dark clothes and Kevlar, carries guns into a movie theatre and kills and injures dozens of people. Immediately, the various producers of news product announce that he:
Is a Tea Party nut job
Might be an OWS fanatic
Could be a Muslim terrorist
Could have been thwarted with more strict gun laws
Could have been thwarted with more liberal gun laws
Represents an aberration that will go away if we ban Batman movies
Would not have been a problem if theatre owners would have imposed a dress code
Etc. etc. etc.

Everything you can imagine except the obvious.

The guy was fucked up beyond all recognition, and he decided for reasons we can never totally appreciate to randomly kill some people. Plus, he was not a recluse (he was a student) and thus people have interacted with him and it is reasonable to assume that at least one of them knew he was fucked up and said nothing.

So WTF is this post-modern tendency to try to come up with excuses for people’s bad and/or stupid behavior in order to avoid admitting the obvious?

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22 Answers

chyna's avatar

I have to admit that I didn’t see any of the news coverage until I got home at 6, but none of the news programs I’ve watched have said any of the things you stated above. They have all stated what has happened, in the order they know of it happening and interviewing the people that were in the theater.

mithical's avatar

Take into consideration that law enforcement and the media must always take into account all possibilities for his rationale, even some that may sound absurd. It is agreeable that the most obvious of answers is usually the one that will be spot on, but that can’t stop others from coming up with an absurd, worst-case scenario. It’s like we are programmed to think the worst.

Blueroses's avatar

I have heard some of the references you mention but I don’t know that I agree this is a modern (or post-modern) tendency.

I think people have always wanted to rationalize the inexplicable through the filter of their own belief/experience. Centuries (perhaps just century) ago, you might have heard theories of evil spirits, witchcraft, God’s vengeance, etc.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s really very simple. This is not rationalization. It is an attempt to explain why. Why? Because this kind of thing scares people and they want to prevent it from happening again.

It is really quite simple and obvious why people react in this way. Even your reaction seeks the same goal. You, like everyone else, don’t like that this happened and hope it won’t ever happen again.

Of course, instant reactions are based on little information, and so the vast majority of the speculation will seem idiotic once we know more. But by the time we know more, people’s attention is likely to be elsewhere, so no one, except perhaps a few academics, will ever pay attention to and learn the whole story.

A few journalists may pay attention, too, because, inevitably, there will be a few books about this that will allow publishers to capitalize on it. I’m sure there are at least three journalists who are starting books about it already. In three to five months, we’ll see the first.

Paradox25's avatar

People love to look for scapegoats, and this is true for everything, not just violent crime. People have different reasons for doing these things, some of them may be for political ideological reasons, while others may be for a whole host of alternative reasons. People for some reason love to say I told you so.

Cruiser's avatar

I don’t see anything obvious here @josie. If anything at all was remotely obvious at all this would have never happened.

Yes the media can be shameless in twisting out of context words to create sensational headlines, but this event was different and I have not yet seen any of the real media treat this in anyway different than what it is….a senseless tragedy with innocent lives taken and others damaged for life. And they have done so with utmost respect and reverence for the lives lost and affected by this horrific tragedy.

I have not seen any excuses being made for this mans behavior…only questions with no answers. I think no one alive knows how to react to this madness with anything less than pure shock. Surely in time we will read of his manifesto and his reasons for this insanity and maybe then we can begin to patch the fabric of our society that has been torn to pieces by this event.

ucme's avatar

Sensationalism, pure & simple.

ragingloli's avatar

It is obviously a conspiracy planned by and executed by the government to create a pretense to take away guns.
No, seriously.

ragingloli's avatar

Do not look at me, I did not come up with that crap.

Cruiser's avatar

@ragingloli Ummm….you posted your conspiracy theory and you did so with an emphasis on “seriously”!?!

ragingloli's avatar

It’s a link to the source of it.

Cruiser's avatar

@ragingloli if that is the case why all the drama??

“It is obviously a conspiracy planned by and executed by the government to create a pretense to take away guns.No, seriously.”

I did not see any obvious conspiracy to take away guns in that link only your interpretation of it. The call for more gun control is a natural knee jerk reaction to mass murders by guns…not an obvious conspiracy as you chose to characterize it.. I am saddened that you chose to inject conspiracy BS into such a tragic event in our country. Count your blessings that nothing remotely like this never ever did or ever could happen over your way.

ragingloli's avatar

Maybe you should read what that guy wrote.
“Three issues about the Midnight Movie Massacre of July 20, 2012:

1. Why were the media so quick to identify someone without even trying to make sure they had the same James Holmes? ABC-TV found someone with the same first and last names, but a different middle name, and said, “Here’s your man!” And ABC-TV’s man was a Tea Party guy. How convenient. And now that man is “set up” for death threats.

2. Why were all those politicians ready to roll with more calls for gun control? Did anyone stop to think that maybe—just maybe—if the theater owners let CCW permit holders carry their weapons inside, the Midnight Movie Massacre need never have happened?

3. Can you believe this guy? Where’d he get all those weapons? They cost $20,000. Where’d he get that kind of money? Why did he stop just because one of his guns jammed? (He had other guns; why didn’t he use them?) Why’d he set up a music program to play LOUD MUSIC in his apartment from midnight to 1:00 a.m., and even leave his door unlocked? Why did he surrender, when he was armed and armored for a real fight, or even to shoot his way out of there?”

And his own comment below:
“Think about it. The UN Arms Trade Treaty is coming up for signature. We now know that Operation Fast and Furious was all about planting throw-downs in Mexico. Here’s another such episode.

Only his gun jammed. And the tenant who might have barged into the apartment (to say “TURN THAT %&^&% STEREO DOWN!”), didn’t. Result: no explosions.

At the time of posting, the bomb squad has defused the worst of the booby traps. Maybe now the local cops can tell us something. (Whoever else I suspect, I don’t suspect them.)”

Cruiser's avatar

@ragingloli I read what you wrote and it was…

_“It is obviously a conspiracy planned by and executed by the government to create a pretense to take away guns.
No, seriously.“_ Nothing remotely close to what you just posted. What is your point?? Drink much?

funkdaddy's avatar

I think @ragingloli‘s original point was to ridicule the conspiracy theory and the people who came up with it.

Hence, “Do not look at me, I did not come up with that crap.” when you first questioned him/her.

You guys are on the same side, but you’re still swinging for the fences @Cruiser.

Minor misunderstanding, nothing to see here.

rooeytoo's avatar

I hate it when the mind readers step in and tell us what someone else meant by their responses. It is much better and more accurate when people speak for themselves.

rooeytoo's avatar

@ragingloli – that’s the way, I never noticed before that you needed a spokesperson. You seem quite capable of speaking for yourself!

ragingloli's avatar

Maybe next time I will just leave everyone in the dark, with doubt and confusion eating away at their souls.

rooeytoo's avatar

That sounds like your style too!

funkdaddy's avatar

I guess there’s no winning with everyone.

My thinking was that we’re all in different time zones, and my comment was pretty quickly added after @Cruiser‘s last one. Also, after four back and forth comments between the two participants, there was still a misunderstanding. Maybe a new perspective was needed. Why get your blood pressure up if you’re all on the same page?

The short fuse around here bothers me personally, so I had selfish reasons as well. I never believed I was a mind reader or that @ragingloli needs a spokesman. And I doubt I’d be the first choice.

In trying to avoid more anger here, apparently I just lit someone else’s fuse.

Indignation and outrage carry the day, I’ll go back to things that matter.

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