April 29, 2003 edition
Where’s Alexander Haig when we really need him?; and
Yo, wazzup? Anything you need, Yo?
Well, there has been another shooting in an American school. This time around it’s Red Lion, Pennsylvania that gets flagged on the map. Wait a minute! There’s a flag there already. More on that later.
A 14-year old, said to be heavily armed, shot the principal and then turned the gun on himself. Murder/suicide in an academic environment: what the hell is going on in this country?
Don’t go blaming video games. These games don’t jump into the backpacks of unsuspecting students or sneak into computers at night. Don’t blame the backpacks. Don’t blame the television. Don’t blame anything, but consider everything.
Maybe the mind just snaps. Where do these students go (in their minds) when the elastic snaps? What leads up to such acts of violence? What part do parents, siblings, genetics, peers and authority figures contribute to this? Questions. There are more questions than answers. But the faster these events get swept under the carpet or hushed up, the sooner a similar event will rear its ugly head.
Could it have been sexual abuse? Corporal punishment? Or seemingly benign mind fucking? The story is still too fresh for the armchair psychologists to draw an arrow to point out any sort of cause, trigger or pre-existing environment to contribute to such an act.
The student was not known for being a disciplinary problem and parents said they had no reason to believe anything was wrong. Uh . . . okay. But it’s pretty obvious now that something was seriously wrong. News reports noted that the school has security cameras but no metal detectors. I bet that will change pretty quickly. It would fit snugly into John Ashcroft’s plans for this country.
Oddly enough, this same school district was in the news in 2001 when a Tennessee man armed with a machete attacked a principal, two teachers and 11 of the 23 kindergarten students.
Maybe with all the down time they’ve had of late, perhaps the UN inspectors can take a road trip to Red Lion, Pennsylvania, and check the local water supply, because there’s something seriously wrong there.
The mind is a terrible thing to ignore. Tell tale signs of problems get left unaddressed, due to vanity, denial or simple oversight. Nobody wants to admit that someone in the family suffers from a mental disorder, yet when a gun is drawn or machete wielded, it’s obvious that there is a problem and more importantly, it’s far to late to do much of anything about it. The tool or weapon has been drawn and blood will spill.
Oddly enough, in less than a week’s time, this story is deader than the principal. Go figure. It just goes to show how fickle the American public and media worlds are.
There seem to be a lot of people who want to “take over” in the aftermath of the War on Iraq. For the past week, not a day went by without there being some front page news story about a new power struggle in the post-war Iraq. The following are just a few from print media:
U.S. Warns Against Claiming Authority in Void
U.S. Tells Iran not to interfere in Iraq Efforts
Pentagon Sending a Team of Exiles to Help Run Iraq
Clerics in Iran Say Shiites Must Act
But the most ominous warning in the news was broadcast over the radio, though I don’t recall what network or station aired the story. The lead-in was something like, “the coming U.S. military administration of Iraq.” To quote one Scooby Doo, “Ruh roh.”
So there’s a power struggle in the ruins of Iraq. It’s not going to get any prettier without some sort of battles going on. Hopefully the battles will be ”fought” in a “civil” manner. But the bottom line remains that the very diversity of the country’s populace is going to be problematic for developing political leadership types.
On a related note, WNPR’s All things Considered reported that the war in Iraq is being considered a “boom” for manufacturers of weaponry. Paraphrased, a munitions manufacturer‘s rep said, “The best way to demonstrate a weapon is to do so in a war environment.”
If the preceding two stories aren’t enough to convince you that this world is seriously fucked up, consider that the War on Iraq has been boiled down to a deck of cards with the faces of the Middle East’s 52 baddest bad asses on them. And if you don’t see the foolishness and absurdity of this, you’re a member of The Fucked.
A weekly medical visit I’ve been making lately takes me right through the thick of what I’ll refer to as The Mix. It’s the sometimes scary but always entertaining north end of Hartford, where this scribe sticks out like a sore thumb. If the police scanner screams out that shots have been fired, it’s either Park Street or the north end.
It seems no matter which route I take, I always end up getting approached by the boys in the hood with them asking, “What can I get for you?”, or that oft heard urban page, “Hey, YO! Yo, whatchu need, Yo?” Sometimes there’s a medley of four or five voices “Yo’ing” to me. Well, Holmes. Yo no necessita nada.. Usted comprende? And by the way, my name is Jeff, o Jefe, and not Yo.
All these freelance pharmaceutical representatives approaching got me to thinking that I’m being singled out due to my race: I’m white bread driving through the hood. And if there’s white bread in the hood, he either works for the public works department, is a cop, or is trying to cop.
So much like blacks get singled out when driving through the glamorous neighborhoods of The Affluent, such as Avon, Canton and Simsbury, I’m also a victim of racial profiling. So here’s my notice to any of the stylez bois in the ‘hood who happen to stumble across this website (fat, uh . . . make that phat chance):
“Just ‘cuz I’m white bread, Yo, doesn’t mean it’s cool to gwan axing me if I need anything, you know what I’m say-ying? Word up, Yo: not all white bread be dope fiends or crack heads.”
On a humorous note, the last time I was approached was while loading up on petrol at a gas station. This dude comes up to me and said something like, “Yo, what do you want? I got whatever you need.” I paused for a moment and then replied, “I want a blow job.” The dude departed. Thank goodness he didn’t quote me a price.
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Revised - Friday, September 9, 2005