Thursday, January 29, 2009

Murder/Suicide is not Badass

I can't stand this new trend that has been keeping the media going for the last several weeks. A guy loses his job, comes home, shoots his wife and children and then kills himself.

Who could do this? Who could veer so quickly from a normal person to an absolute demon who would turn a gun on his family? And for what? For money? Really? Kill yourself, dude, don't go taking your family down with you. Or, better yet, just walk away. Or, hey, deal with it. Show your kids that there is something in this life more important than money and jobs and it's their love, for god's sake.

We live in a shared cognitive reality. We all agree that certain things are important and certain things are desirable. That's how a society makes sense out of things as quickly and efficiently as possible (even if accuracy isn't a goal) and makes it possible for society to continue to grow as an organism.

So we have money. If I write "100" on a piece of paper, no one wants it. But if I have a different piece of paper that has a "100" on it and it happens to be the one that everyone agrees is worth something, then people want it. I see this in my kids. One daughter gets a hold of a bead she found on the ground at a park. It's a nothing little dirty orange bead. And she drops it. Then, the other daughter picks up the bead and exclaims, "Oh, wow, what a beautiful bead! It's magical" and then the fight starts. The I-had-it-firsts and such.

The bead has no value except that it is exclusive. It can only be held by one person. This is the same thing as money.

And we've gotten to a place where this matters so much that the economy is not just a metaphor for our happiness, but is the happiness. I just don't like it. I can't stand the way this priority is splashed all over everything so pervasively that this kind of thing happens.

Loosing a job is sad, loosing money is sad, but killing your kids?

The most recent such killing happened today in Ohio. And what did the newspapers do first? They called the man's employer to see if he had lost his job. That was the first thing they did. As if in our new reality, that makes some sort of logical sense, some sort of justification or motive that should be respected. Turns out, he hadn't lost his job. The papers are baffled.

Anyway, it sickens me. To no end, this sickens me. Get your head out of your ass, people. Remember what your priorities should be. Why did you have the job in the first place? Security for your family? Don't put the goddamn cart so far in front of the horse.

1 comment:

New-Dad-Blog said...

Great post, my wife and I were just talking about this last night.

Money is important, but it's not everything. One of my favorite quotes is from the movie "Bugsy". When asked about his extravagant spending habits he tells his associate "It's only dirty paper, we'll just make more of it".

Now I'm not flamboyant with money or anything but I don't let it run my life and dictate my happiness.

And to kill yourself and the kids over it? besides the fact that there has to be some form of mental illness invovled, once it's over it's over. There is no redos.