Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Monday Bloody Monday

AP Photo

Tell me why I don't like Mondays
Tell me why I don't like Mondays
I want to shoot the whole day down

-- The Boomtown Rats

this is really troubling. the identity of the gunman who shot 32 people in Virginia Tech before turning the gun on himself--what is now considered the deadliest shooting rampage in modern US history--has just been revealed. it turns that the asian guy was a south korean native residing legally in the US and is not 19 as initially reported, but 23 years of age.

even more disturbing for me is that the guy was a senior student of creative writing in the said university, majoring in english, who had written a few plays, the ones shown in video footages all around the web littered with lines that read "i'd kill him", "he should die", etc. according to one of the gunman's former cw teachers who was interviewed, the gunman's works hinted of deep-seated, if not outright, anger at the world.

now the mourning american populace is looking for patterns, how to profile the killer, the psychology of shooters, etc. preventive psychiatric measures and clues to the personal life of the gunman himself. was there really a love triangle? did he, in fact, talk to anyone after he killed the first two victims? were the killings pre-meditated?

some initial reports seem to put the easy and convenient blame on the guy's writing, the literal paper trails of his so-called "history of violence" which actually is non-existent.

yet there are more pressing issues here: the lax gun law in virginia, the two-hour gap between what the police thought was an isolated incident (two people murdered!) and the killing spree (30 more innocent lives!), the fact that the classes went on, on-campus (mis)communications.

AP Photo

the world is watching as the sorrow starts to sink in. how surreal. yet, sadly, all too real; it did happen. truth stranger than fiction. so many needless deaths. a 23 year-old. a virginian. a quiet, alienated asian. an alien. a writer.

and i'm really affected--no, wrecked--by this. wasak.

*btw, as Augie Rivera pointed out to me just now, the song above by Bob Geldof and the rest of the Boomtown Rats was also about a school shooting in London. and yep, on a monday.

"The pre-Littleton school shootings, the one that that sticks in people's minds best, is recalled primarily because of its impact on pop culture — it inspired the popular Boomtown Rats song "I Don't Like Mondays." Released in October 1979, this song captured the insanity of the moment by working the killer's chilling utterance into its lyrics.

Of course fallible memory being what it is, folks now remember the shooting spree behind the song in only the most haphazard of fashions. They recall that there was a shooting at a school, that lives were lost, that the shooter was female, and that by way of explanation for her actions she said "I don't like Mondays," but some have her as a high school student gunning down students at her own school, while others remember her as a high school teacher who turned a gun on some of her pupils."

well, they're likely to remember it now.


no poem today. just mourning for the departed,
those poor, suffered children and teachers.