Lock this kid up, he's a danger!!

Apr 27 2007 Published by under Culture, Rant

Check this poem out, posted at Bad Fortune Cookie (found via BoingBoing).

Disturbing, eh?

Of course, when a student writes a disturbing essay, what do we do in the post-VT massacre world? We lock him up! Freedom of speech be damned, we're locking people up for writing disturbing things!

Hysteria is such a bad thing. After the Colombine school massacres, for a while it became presumed criminal behavior to be a nerd in a trench coat.

Yeah, the disturbing writings of the VA Tech murderer were part of a larger pattern of warning signs that were all over the place suggesting that this was a guy that perhaps we should be scared of. But paying attention to those sorts of things is effort. It's much easier to go hysterical and treat any disturbing writing as something as dangerous as a 4oz bottle of liquid on an airplane, no matter what the source.

Keep some perspective, people. No need to lock up the kid with his funny little poem about the evil hamsters. And let us all bear in mind that the consequences of destroying freedom of expression are extremely severe and far-reaching.

10 responses so far

  • Panya says:

    Think about it from the point of view of those of us who have legitimate (chemical) reasons to be writing 'disturb'ing things.
    When 'they' lock me up, I hope y'all are as forthcoming with bail as you were with help after the fire.

  • Rob Knop says:

    You have chemical reasons for writing disturbing things? Is this some sort of brain chemistry thing or something?
    Everybody just needs to play more Grand Theft Auto. (I know I do.)
    But, the truth is, freedom of speech means that it's legitimate for any of us to write anything we want, as long as we aren't libeling somebody or providing direct individual threats against somebody.

  • Panya says:

    Sorry; you hit it dead on. My brain chemistry is out of whack and I smarted off when I shouldn't have.
    What I meant literally was that people who are clinically depressed sometimes like to write out their lows and people reading that sort of thing are understandably disturbed. From the little information we got, I'm convinced Cho was suicidally depressed and could not figure out how to accept help. What you posted about looks to me like the inevitable result of that, meaning that depressed people, especially students, are going to get a lot of crap just for being depressed, whether or not they're getting help.
    That stopped making sense somewhere, didn't it? I apologise for smarting off, and you can clear my comments if you want.

  • Rob Knop says:

    I didn't think you smarted off...!
    Re: Cho, he probably had more than just depression going on. He was clearly highly screwed up from a very early age.
    In any event, chemical imbalances in the brain are indeed just medical conditions, and it's too bad that we have to be all circumspect about them in ways that we do not have to be with regard to other medical conditions. I'm on antidepressants myself... but I am a bit embarrassed to admit that. (Although this is far from the first time.)

  • bill says:

    "And let us all bear in mind that the consequences of destroying freedom of expression are extremely severe and far-reaching."
    And so is death. Mass, sudden death, even more so.

  • Rob Knop says:

    bill -- are you suggesting that because of the fear of people like the VT murderer, it was appropriate for the high school student to be arrested for the contents of his essay?

  • Melissa G says:

    Right, let's lock up everyone everywhere in the whole wide world. It's the only way to be sure.

  • kamimushinronsha says:

    When are they going to arrest the guy who wrote the screenplay for the movie Seven? Or how about Anthony Burgess? Now thats "disturbed" writing, while also being strangely entertaining.

  • Rob Knop says:

    You know who REALLY needs to be locked up?
    The designer of "It's a Small World" at Disneyland!
    No work of art, literature, or performance has ever driven me nearly as insane.

  • Rob Knop says:

    It's the only way to be sure.
    And all this time I thought nuking the whole site from orbit was the only way to be sure.