SOCIOLOGICAL: Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg VA: Shootings April 2007.

The Killing of American Scruples.
© Jon Dunmore, 23 Apr 2007.

Blacksburg, Virginia: On 16 April 2007, a sniper claimed the lives of 32 people at Virginia Tech university, before turning the gun on himself. His fame was sealed. But his actions should have had entirely the opposite effect.

I gather from all the psycho-babble that the technical term for the sniper at Virginia Tech University is "Unbelievable Dickhead." So, to exercise something which the nationwide news networks have forgotten should be the cornerstone of their existence - scruples - I refuse to name the Unbelievable Dickhead responsible for the deaths of 32 people at Blacksburg, Virginia on Monday, April 16, 2007.

You already know his name. The sensationalistic jizz-rags and unscrupulous airwaves that call themselves reputable media and nationwide news networks have already prostituted themselves in tripping over their journalistic integrity to run down advertiser dollars and viewer ratings by splaying this Unbelievable Dickhead's name, face, rants and biography over every iota of available breathing space.

In April 2007, radio talk-show host, Don Imus, says "nappy-headed hos" on air and is fired by NBC from his job of over 30 years, vilified, ostracized, criticized, maligned, disgraced, defamed…

While in that same April of 2007, an Unbelievable Dickhead shoots and kills 32 people needlessly - and is made famous by the nappy-headed hos running his raving lunatic suicide video on a constant loop. At NBC. And innumerable media outlets and radio stations nationwide…

We like to believe we are living in a rational society; a society that would reward Good and punish Evil. You'd think that would be the aspiration of a country that can't separate church and state, but rationality has never been less apparent than in this last week of being face-shoved into the shit of this shooter's idiotic, meaningless twattering.

In a society more interested in Anna Nicole's dead boobs than impeaching a reprehensible, superstitious, blood-mongering faux-leader; in a society that allows wrongful-rape accusers to walk free after destroying the lives of the men they accuse; in a society that grants its male priests and female schoolteachers prime access to underage boy-meat with no repercussions… is it any wonder?

Sensationalism wins out over sober reporting every time. But what should worry us is that this trend has overrun our society in toto. Whereas once it might have been judicious to report outré happenings, such as car chases, serial killers, school snipers, pederasts and religious extremists as cautionary tales, nowadays their reportage IS the news. Is the ONLY news.

And these tales are not "cautionary," rather, these tales are now the sole engine that pistons the "News" - and in successfully garnering viewers, only fuels more of the same. That's ALL the news there is: car chases, serial killers, school snipers, pederasts and religious extremists.

Would that shirtless trailer-trasher be so inclined to lead a police car-chase were it not for the fame he KNOWS he will achieve through live helicopter coverage? Would a serial killer publicize his depraved journals were it not for the book deal he KNOWS he will cut in prison? Would an Unbelievable Dickhead film what the media calls his "manifesto" (a term which places an unwarranted import on his idiotic suicide video) were it not for the fact that he KNOWS it will be played to a dunderheaded populace preoccupied with stupidity over substance; to a nation where talentless gits like Sanjaya are more well-known than musical giants like Salonen?

And knowing this, Unbelievable Dickhead achieved what he wanted: fame (for achieving the record number of deaths in an American shooting to date) and - pity. You actually read that right. Not two days after his sniping at Virginia Tech, psychologists and other so-called experts on crime, family dynamics, social stressors and the like, were offering their blunted opinions on radio and television, making it quite obvious that the MURDERER of 32 people is the VICTIM.

We are privy to Unbelievable Dickhead's rancorous photos, which the media touts as "chilling." But they are not chilling. They are infuriating; infuriating that they are being shown at all, for they serve no purpose, but to garner viewers. His name is repeated on air with the rapidity of machine gun fire, his fame growing with each verbal ejaculation (and if you automatically cannot help but think of the sexual allusion of that term, believe me, that's how most of the "news" programs are feeling it; a vicarious dripping penis thrill that so much wrong can bring so much right to their quest to hold the public's gaze longer than the next unscrupulous rag mag or ditz tv broadcast).

As well as psychologists now examining his psych records and discovering he was always troubled and a troublemaker ("he was in such pain" - oh, cry me a river over this murderer's "pain" and tell it to the victims' families), other students step forward to offer their summations that he was always "teased and picked on." Oh, boo fucking hoo! This is the KILLER, remember? NOT the victim.

Let me tell you about this mental retard based solely on results: he's a Loser, a nerd, a geek, a psychotic, unbalanced fuckwit. And that's not because he killed anyone I know. I know none of the victims or their families. And here's the clincher - neither do you! But how do you know HIS name? WHY do you know his name?

Yes, I am writing about this murderer too, but in deference to the families of the victims, I refuse to mention his name; nowhere will I espouse his ignorant mouthings that pass for "philosophies"; I refuse to publish his pictures; I refuse to make a martyr out of this moron.

Instead, I have listed the names of the 32 dead. Read their names in the sidebar. They are each more important than the moron who killed them. They are not heroes, yet their killer should not be raised to hero status above them.

Following the pity comes the lip service, society deceiving itself that all this publicity over the incident is "to prevent it happening again." But it WILL happen again, not through any negligence on society's part, but because - as Amy Holmes noted on Real Time with Bill Maher (April 2007) - this is not an issue on gun control, rather about starting a "much-overdue conversation about NUT control." The nuts will always be out there and if you refuse to eradicate them and their nut genes, all your obsequious efforts to prevent these incidents are stopgap, makeshift and inadequate, especially if you don't stop PUBLICIZING the incidents for latent nuts to emulate. As we speak, you can guarantee there is a latent Unbelievable Dickhead out there contemplating, "What if I shot even more people, then don't turn the gun on myself? I'd be famous now with a "manifesto." Maybe Ashton Kutcher will play me in the movie?"

Sensationalism is what drives a country to be more concerned with tiny slips of politicians' tongues, instead of their world-girdling policies or true demeanors; when Senator Joe Biden - one of the most lucid, intelligent and sparkling candidates for the Presidency in 2008 - is marginalized over an out-of-context remark about Senator Obama; when Obama himself and John McCain state that lives were "wasted" in the Iraq war and then have to apologize and amend the word to "sacrificed" (isn't "sacrificed" as bad, or worse than, "wasted"?); when media irresponsibly snipes at politicians' miniscule shortcomings (as is happening too many times to recount during the 2008 Presidential race in America), we can only speculate at the depths the country has sunk to in choosing its leaders on the strength of mundanity. "You don't offend anyone, your policies are completely innocuous, your lip service covers the broadest of spectrums (like a fortune cookie, or a zodiac reading); we've raked you over the coals to ensure you've been leached of any personality - you'd make a great President!" Or a guest on Oprah.

Sensationalism scars the landscape of print media with wanton sluts Britney and Paris staring vacant-eyed at us from every supermarket shelf, even infiltrating the cover of the reputable, "sober" Newsweek (Feb 2007) - the magazine claiming their cover splash of "The Girls Gone Wild Effect" was not to sell more magazines, but "a serious-minded attempt to figure out how the prevailing celebrity ethos of women behaving badly is - and is not - affecting girls" - while selling more magazines in the process. I personally witnessed the dumbing-down effect in action in a doctor's waiting room, where this issue was laid out with other magazines: three other Newsweeks (cover stories: "Young Jihadists," "Understanding Menopause," "Black Hawk Down"), a National Geographic (cover: "Healing the Heart"), Sky and Telescope, even a Good Housekeeping with Cultist Cruise on the cover! The first magazine an old lady chose as she sat to await the doctor - the magazine with the two cunts on the cover. As soon as she put it down, it was snapped up by another middle-aged lady. Far be it from anyone to rest their case on the statistics of two ladies in a Reseda doctor's office, I will bet my brain that that scene repeated itself in waiting rooms across the country that week.

Sensationalism prompts the average consumer to believe that there is nothing out there BUT the sensational story. In April 2005, radio talk show host, Tom Leykis was aghast at the fact that The News - not Entertainment News, or Music News, but THE News - actually featured a story on Britney Spears being pregnant. Leykis made the point that The News had become so moribund and out of touch that in a desperate attempt to woo back their audience, they stoop to sensationalism rather than widening their range of legitimate topics. The scary part of Leykis' show was when illiterate housewives started calling in, to a woman, all touting themselves as "educated" and " intelligent," yet arguing against their cause in maintaining they didn't need to watch The News to be "smart." In a sense, they were right. But for the wrong reasons - you see, they never knew The News as it once was: an informative culture unifier. To these "educated" hausfraus, The News only came in two colors, and they argued, "Why should I watch the SERIOUS News" - covering budget deficits, Iraq, congressional hearings - "when I could watch the OTHER News?" - the fun stuff about washed-up hacks even more moronic than them, only famous. The scary part was that none of them exhibited a clue that anything other than the "serious/sensationalism" dichotomy existed. They were only seeing what the modern whore-marketers deigned to broadcast, while medical breakthroughs, council improvements, author speaking tours, paleontological discoveries, astronomy, biological reports, geological surveys, import and export news, general knowledge, technological advances - and a million other facets of humanity - went M.I.A.

In the same vein as one murderer absorbing undeserved fame after taking many lives, the War in Iraq's escalating death toll garners fame for the one man who deserves to suffer more than any who have lost their lives under his villainous aegis - George W. Bush. Newsweek actually did the scrupulous thing when they ran their "Voices of the Fallen" article (April 2, 2007) - devoting a whole issue to publishing letters, journals and e-mails of soldiers who never made it back alive. Reading these entries, at last it sinks in - that this is not a videogame war like The Gulf, fought on computer monitors with generals cheering like sophomores every time a target blows up onscreen - this war is being fought like the bad old days of WWII, with real people from real families, paying the price for the brainless decisions of their vampiric government.

The fact that they volunteered for their demise is another talking point which would take us off-topic here. But maybe not too far: might the sensationalism and glorification of the simulated violence in war video games (the Playstation kind, not the Colin Powell kind) prompt these grunts to see themselves as superheroically as their pixel counterparts, thereby volunteering for service without realizing how gruesome the reality is? To say nothing of the military advertising campaign, who have changed their reprehensible slogan "Be all you can be" to the equally-reprehensible "There's strong. And there's Army Strong," desperately trying to convey in thirty-second spots how bottom-rung hacks in the military milieu will somehow gain more "life experience" than corresponding hacks in the civilian workforce - utterly failing to mention their more-than-likely "death experience."

Unscrupulous sensationalism then, can be said to cause nothing but pain. It is the unscrupulous sensationalism of advertising in the first place that leads us to covet. Which leads some of us to aspire and strive, but others to steal and begrudge. Unbelievable Dickhead was the latter type. Citing Jesus in his "manifesto" only sealed his fate as a loony - but then isn't it hypocritical to allow evangelists to cite Jesus and receive tax impunity for it, instead of regarding them also as the loonies they are? (If the superstition of religion was not a part of the equation, the murderer would not have retained that sense of righteousness - but that's another essay.)

We are ALL in pain, we ALL seek approbation for our lives, our talents, our aspirations. The press and "experts" read his diaries and laughably inept "plays" and fuss and mollycoddle over his cries for help - which of course, were never paid any attention while he was alive.

He wasn't the only person in this world in pain, you know - read some of MY diaries from high school, when I had to balance the Higher School Certificate with Musicianship Certificates, or when I moved out of home to devote my life to rock and roll, or when I first moved to the States alone and broke - there's enough psycho-babbelicious meat in those journals to get me free psychiatric help until - well, until the next school shooting at least…



Ross Abdallah Alameddine
Christopher James Bishop
Brian Bluhm
Ryan Clark
Austin Cloyd
Jocelyne Couture-Nowak
Daniel Perez Cueva
Kevin Granata
Matthew Gwaltney
Caitlin Hammaren
Jeremy Herbstritt
Rachael Hill
Emily Jane Hilscher
Jarrett Lane
Matthew La Porte
Henry Lee
Liviu Librescu
G.V. Loganathan
Partahi Lombantoruan
Lauren McCain
Daniel O'Neil
Juan Ortiz
Minal Panchal
Erin Peterson
Michael Pohle
Julia Pryde
Mary Read
Reema Samaha
Waleed Shaalan
Leslie Sherman
Maxine Turner
Nicole White

More info on victims
Virginia Tech

Added: 2007, Apr 23