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Archive for April 18th, 2007

BU Student Gamer Crosses the Line

Posted by dowbrigade on 18th April 2007

lgvt.jpegA part-time Boston University student who hosts a popular video game review show on an MTV Web site allegedly sent an e-mail threatening to kill an ex-girlfriend and recreate the Virginia Tech bloodshed at her school, according to a Boston police report obtained by the Herald.

“(I)’m gonna (expletive) bring a gun to your school and kill you and K (another female student) and everybody you love. It’s gonna be VT all over again,” 20-year-old Andrew Rosenblum allegedly wrote in an e-mail to the victim just hours after 32 people were gunned at Virginia Tech.

“Seriously I’m just that demented,” Rosenblum wrote, according to a BPD report. He ended the message with a threat to commit homicide and suicide: “killing people can change people’s lives forever. (T)he best is in the end when I pull the trigger on myself, too.”

from the Boston Herald

Another hit to the image of both Boston University and the gaming community, as well as another reminder that while the human body is a remarkably robust and resilient organism, the human psyche can be incredibly delicate, and when suffering from catastrophic meltdown, incredibly dangerous.

Much discussion has been heard of gun control, early warning signs and emergency response systems. But to the Dowbrigade, these are all peripheral issues. Sure, without semi-automatic handguns and hollow point bullets it would be harder to kill 30 people in a few minutes. If a Neolithic proto-human went berserk in a cave 30,000 years ago, he probably could have taken out but 3 or 4 folks before going down or running out of juice.

On the other hand, suppose this incident had taken place in Japan, where guns are largely unavailable. Armed with a quality katana, a well-trained martial arts expert could probably kill that many people without resorting to a firearm. Hell, Uma Thurman killed the entire Crazy 88 with a samurai sword in ONE SCENE in Kill Bill (vol.1). The problem isn’t weapons.

The problem is that the human psyche, which evolved over tens of thousands of generations while we wandered around the savanna chasing animals and rooting for grubs and berries is not always up to the incredible pressures and distortions caused by our unnatural modern life. The effects of urbanization, mass culture and especially technology on daily life, in a certain small but significant percentage of the population, produce not a shutdown or paralytic breakdown, but a deadly explosion, a human hybrid of a suicide bomber and IED.

Don’t misunderstand us – the Dowbrigade is a big fan of technology and the rush of post-modern culture. We adore advertising. We see beauty in buzz. But we have achieved this transcendent perspective only after years of intensive auto-psycho-(delic) therapy, and recognize that these are influences we were not innately inured to. Others proved less resistant. We have seen the finest minds of our generation crash and burn.

The human mind is the most powerful instrument in the history of the planet, and when it implodes the results can be spectacular. The problem is exacerbated by psycho-pharmaceuticals which mask the problem without fixing it, often for years, creating these walking time bombs just waiting to be activated by going off their meds or fixating on a psychic trigger.

Is there a solution short of sending everybody home and throwing civilization into reverse? Maybe making different lifestyles available to more people by recognizing that different people can contribute in different ways, and life in the fast lane isn’t for everyone. Maybe by making an effort to find our moral compass, and reaching a consensus on what living in a post-industrial democracy entails, and requires, and makes possible.

Not easy tasks. But we are afraid that unless we at least start down that past, these incidents will happen again and again, until they touch every life in America.

Posted in Prose Screeds, Serious News | 3 Comments »