Last week, a gunman entered an elementary school in Sandy Hook, CT, only 40 minutes from where I live, and murdered children. This unthinkable and vile act has sparked a tidal wave of gun control debates in the mainstream media who have shamelessly politicized this event without even waiting for the funerals, or the investigation to be complete for that matter. In my eyes, the media have lost all credibility before this event, but it only solidifies this feeling as their ineptitude was displayed en-masse as they climbed over each other in the mad rush to be the first to report something, even if it was entirely false. I don’t need to document those false reports here, but the shooter’s name, where his mother worked and lived, the fact that he had killed his father and the biggest one that is still outstanding, whether or not there was an accomplice are some of these inaccuracies. The lack of credibility of the media is not something that should be ignored here, because they are leading the charge on the debate of what should be done about this tragedy. If an unreliable person tells you incorrect information, would you trust them to tell you what should be done to rectify the situation? I trust that the answer is “no”.
In all of the conversations about gun violence I have yet to hear anyone discuss why it happened. It seems that we are ok with the fact that we don’t know the answer and instead just focus on what was held in his hands when he committed the act. Of course this is perfectly symptomatic of the shortsighted, knee jerk reactionary culture we live in. NPR has had round the clock conversations about gun control. Yet I’ve heard nothing about our worship of violence combined with over medication by anti-depressant drugs that have violent outbursts listed as their side effect. This is not a good combination and yet nothing is being done to discuss their use for soldiers, despite the rampant increase in suicide amongst the enlisted. “Hey soldier, are you depressed because of the awful things the government is making you do in Afghanistan? Here take an anti-depressant and get back out there.” I have heard lots of conversation about access to mental health care, but this of course means more drugging, not helping people to find themselves.
The American society is built on two cornerstones: fear and advertising.
The Power of Fear
Fear is THE basis of governmental power. It is the tool that government propaganda is built on. Without the federal government the society will collapse. There wouldn’t be any roads, food or money. We wouldn’t have electricity or running water. The United States would look just like Mad Max. This is of absolutely absurd as I’m sure you know. We only got the department of education under President Jimmy Carter, and without question our education quality has plummeted since then. We also got a department of energy from Carter and the cost of energy has only skyrocketed. The government provides many benefits to our union, but it is not the source of all that is good. It survives by convincing people that they need it. Chief among the services that the government claims it provides is security. And whenever it fails at providing this service (9/11, Oklahoma City) it responds by saying it must have more authority to protect us and that we must give up more of our rights for it to accomplish this. The government also uses every possible occasion to fear monger by using unrealistic examples of Iranians or Libyans or Syrians as the next boogie man while supporting Al-qaeda to do the dirty work of regime change. But unfortunately, like all services the government provides, the more authority it has the worse job is does. However, this doesn’t stop the government from using a page out of the advertiser’s book of propaganda, which we will get to in a second, to sell it’s product to the public. That propaganda is largely revolving around fear. We are afraid of everything in this society. From inward and exterior threats. Instead of rational fears we instead are used by the politicians and lobbyists to fear each other. It is no coincidence that we have the rudest, most intensely narcissistic society on earth. There are many kind and good people in this country but they are a quickly diminishing minority group. I recently took a trip to Montreal and was shocked at how polite and well mannered everyone was. It was almost weird at first, and then as I got used to it I didn’t want to come back to Connecticut, a place where road rage is more common than holding the door for someone or greeting a stranger. In Connecticut I feel like a stranger in a hostile land, and I was born here. Americans are literally afraid of our own shadows because this is what we have been trained to think. We are afraid of republicans in power, democrats in power, poor black people, rich white people, teenagers, Mexicans, Christians, Jews, Muslims, viruses, raw milk.. we’re even afraid of the sun! We’re afraid of people with more than us and people with less than us. We’re afraid of our boss, we’re afraid of our employees. We’re intimidated by people with muscles, nice cars and haircuts and we feel superior when we have those things.
The Effect of Advertising
The advertising industry is built on pointing out a consumer’s insecurities to convince them to buy a product that will make them feel better. I’ve gotten rid of cable in my house and I feel much freer from the mind control but ads are still all around us. Every ad demonstrates that men don’t have enough hair, are too fat, don’t know enough about sports, aren’t stylish enough, don’t have a cool enough car, phone or watch. And because of this, you will die fat, bald and alone. Women aren’t skinny enough and their boobs are too big, too small or aren’t perky enough. They definitely don’t have enough bounce or shine in their hair and because of this they will die as a crazy old cat lady that nobody comes to visit. Kids are exposed to advertising that makes them feel self conscious at incredibly early ages. Even Barbie gives young girls self image issues and boys desire iPhones before they even have a schedule to keep. But do these possessions make us happy? Of course not, they only temporarily fill a void within ourselves that has been vacated by our ancestor’s understanding of destiny and spirituality. When we look like the ads we see we feel good about ourselves because we, at least for the moment, are fitting in to what we think society deems as normal. If you have teenagers or drive by schools as they let out you will know what I mean. How many groups of teen girls with long hair, Uggs and skinny jeans do you have to drive by to notice that they all look the same? It’s as if they got an email the night before with the next day’s dress code. Americans do not embrace the idea of individuality, but instead have a cult of sameness. We kick and spit on those who are different and this is where the bullying epidemic comes from. Again, Americans never ask why, instead we just race for the cure.
A Sick Society
The American society is sick. We are so inundated with insecurity, hatred, anger and selfishness that we are destined to implode. It’s only natural that some states are talking about secession. Why wouldn’t they? Do you go to parties that are full of people you don’t like? Do you purposely look for roommates you can’t stand? Of course not. But getting back to the original question of why, we need to look at not what was used in the murder, but what caused the murderer and other murderers who follow the same pattern to cause these acts of evil in the first place. I don’t have all the answers, instead I want to just change the discussion to causes rather than effects. Firstly, we have an extraordinarily low quality of life. Did you know we only take an average of 12 vacation days a year? Our food quality is awful and critically deficient in essential vitamins and minerals. Most kids grow up on sugar and are critically malnourished by the time they reach puberty. Don’t just look at the body weight, just because Americans are big doesn’t mean we have enough magnesium, vitamin D and Omega fatty acids in our diet, all of which contribute to high level brain activity. Our entertainment is saturated with violence and violent video games like “Call of Duty” are the top sellers. How many parents have seen this clip from their kid’s game where they play the role or terrorists who mow down civilians in an airport?
How many of you have seen your kids playing Call of Duty multiplayer with other players online? Do you know that when your character is near death you have the option to kill yourself so that you can come back quicker and get back in the game?
It has been revealed that Adam Lanza was serious Call of Duty player. Clearly he was influenced by the depictions I’ve shown here. Were these games to blame? No, millions of people play these games and watch violent movies and don’t do anything mean to anyone. But the inundation of violence is definitely contributing to our increasingly narcissistic and violent culture. We need to rediscover our potential and the key is kindness, spirituality and healthy body. These things together create a healthy mindset that seeks to protect instead of destroy. Do not allow yourselves to be used by the propaganda to seek knee-jerk answers by blaming any one thing in our culture. Instead, seek out a holistic solution by getting off of our addiction to electronic entertainment, junk food and medication.
The answer to our sick society is to reverse trend from the selfishness of an ego-maniacal culture of death worship. Those of you who have fallen away from spirituality, you need to get it back. Even if you don’t believe in God, you need to believe in your destiny as a human being to achieve something great. I am immune from the propaganda machine because I believe in the butterfly effect of my every action. Ripples of consequence that will be felt throughout eternity. Perhaps I am not destined to be famous on this earth, but my progeny, whether biological or not will achieve great things and my spirit will live on. I have dedicated my entire life to raising up the human species and all of God’s creation in humbleness. The reason I say this is the answer, is because when someone has given up hope of finding their purpose the only thing left is to grasp on to a moment of infamy that the media will surely provide. If the post on 4chan is to be believed, them Adam knew that his actions will grant him the remembrance he desired.
Be kind to one another. It was God’s commandment to us, but it’s also the only thing that separates us from animals.