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When I see pictures of the people, so often young, who have committed unspeakable acts of violence and horror, I see pretty young people infected with some kind of bitter germ, (germ of an idea?) that has taken over their being and blinded them. It has blinded them to beauty or love. It has left them starved, but they don't know for what. Have they never been exposed to simple love or kindness? Is there some ignorance of beauty that has been withheld from them from birth? How did they get so twisted, that misery is pleasure, violence a balm, at such an early age? Surely we cannot just write it off as bad seed, can we? They are so young! Shouldn't we as a society and as individuals be asking ourselves how such grotesque spirits can be produced by our society, and at such an age where one would expect to see hope and optimism?

I think we need to look at what our society offers both to our youth and the peoples of the world as a lens through which to see the world. By that I mean the vast wasteland of mass media, the majority of which is crude, simplistic, violent, and ever-present. What is it in the human spirit that is drawn to nihilism and pain? Is a lack of exposure to the natural world? Is it something as simple as lead in the water? A diet of synthetic, chemical food of carbohydrates and cheap fat? We sell our media crammed with emotionless sex and mindless violence around the world and it is dominant everywhere until it creates some other violent, puritanical backlash like ISIS. Hollywood admits that it creates so much violence and mayhem because you don't need to know English to be titillated by it.

Who can not look at spectacle?

This evening I heard a program on NPR, normally the evening news hour, devoted solely to the violence in Chicago. The blame was laid on poverty, lack of decent jobs, lack of capable parents, as well as a sea of guns from out-of-state, states as far away as Virginia. On another program I heard a police officer say the trouble was kids were often being raised by grandparents in their 20's and 30's! Yes, that is a thing! On a positive note, I also heard that if a child has one involved adult who spends time and really offers an alternative reality to a violent life there is more than half a chance that the child will choose the better path. Where are these mentors? Where is the money? What can be more expensive than the path that we are on?

I have news for you. You cannot arm yourself enough to protect yourself against someone out to get you. You have to eat, use the toilet, fill your gas tank. The predator always has the jump. The only solution is to not create that poor child changeling that becomes that predator in the first place. It is actually very darkly hilarious that the folks who most fear the rogue youth are the same folks that want to defund Planned Parenthood, the only available option to limit the number of these poor unparented children that I know of. These folks want a return to abstinence while all our media, high and low, are saturated with sex. Will the subject of sex ever become boring? I think not. We could decouple it from violence, though, if we had a mind.

Meanwhile, we want to return to a past that never existed, where the poor blacks I toiled next to smiled and didn't notice their meager pay and backdoor entry. Maybe this new Leader of the Free World who has made his fortune promoting gambling and fake reality TV will inspire charity, chastity, honesty, and respect for our Fellow Man, values I have never heard him voice or display, ever!

I am wearying. I will end by saying, I know, like I know the sun will rise, even if the earth is dead, that there is no such thing as this thing called race. It is completely unscientific. It is a self-reinforcing construct. Pity the poor children we have allowed to become demons, from Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and Dylan Roof to the four torturers of the disabled child on the train. They are our forgotten, abandoned children who only get our attention when we are ready to kill them.

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