After the shooting in a Colorado Cinema that left 12 dead, The New Yorker's Anthony Lane opines that it is not movies that bring a person to commit murderous acts, but that "having a mind to kill, at least in any systematic fashion, means that your mind is ready-warped."
The first thing to say is that there is no link whatsoever between that childish taunting and the events in Aurora last night. One was virtual, hiding away behind the anonymity that is both the camouflage and the goad of those who prefer to do their bullying online; the other was all too real. Marshall Fine, thank heaven, will not die in a fire; but many families are lamenting loved ones today, because of something that happened at a movie theatre. The film, which the killer most certainly will not have seen beforehand, presented him with an opportunity; it did not urge him on, or trigger him into homicide, but it was, nonetheless, the occasion that he sought. He would have known that people had been talking of "The Dark Knight Rises" for months; that the excitement was mounting; that they would flock, in a good communal mood, to the first available showing. They wanted to be among the first to give their verdicts, before breakfast, and to talk about their triumph at work today. That is one of the social thrills that cinema, unlike TV, can still deliver, and long may it endure. It is the most hideous of ironies that an unstable individual saw that coming-together as his chance. His actions needed no model in a fictional monster, just a profound hostility to regular folk who had gathered, en masse, with their friends and their sodas, to have fun. The screen gave him a stage.
The old clip from above is from Charlie Brooker's insightful and though provoking perspective on news coverage's perpetuation of mass shootings in schools. Full version here.
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