Copyright 01.13.2011 By Chase Kyla Hunter, All Rights Reserved.
[ Author’s note: Please be patient, as the related video clips for this page, which are posted as evidence of what I am writing about, will take some time to load. Hit “refresh if the page stalls. My blog traffic is at an all time high.]
During the first week of 2011, I was still reeling from the impact of thousands of dead birds, millions of dead fish, the quivering of the New Madrid fault zone and global flooding in 4 nations when the dismal new year’s sad and sorry news broke: a young schizophrenic recluse in Arizona named Jared Lee Loughner had snapped at a Safeway grocery store political event, and gunned down the politician he had targeted some three years earlier, DNC Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford. He had also gunned down twelve others, thirteen total, and six died. Immediately my thoughts ran to motive and mental state. From the outset this crime sounded like so many other outrageous “young men gone mad” moments we have had to endure as a nation in recent years.
It never occurred to me, even once, during the opening moments of hearing this breaking news, looking for stories on the event, and trying to glean what exactly had happened, that the shooter could have been influenced by any kind of political message, rhetoric, or even by politics at all on any level.it could have been a copy he shot, or a classmate, a teacher, or one of his own parents for that matter.
Madmen of any age don’t need any kind of intelligent reason or any kind of justification for what they do. Like Harris and Klebold in Denver in 2000, they unravel in private over weeks, months, or years, they desperately need psychiatric intervention and help which never arrives, as they are invisible members of our society. They live on the fringes. They go unnoticed by most tragically, they get worse, they make their plans, they identify their targets, and if no one notices the horrific warning signs in time, they eventually act on their homicidal fantasies.
We have all seen this before. No one, not one person, when Harris and Klebold began shooting and killing their own classmates in Columbine High School in April of 2000 would have ever dreamed in a thousand years of accusing an innocent local or national politician or a coach, teacher, pastor, or even another student of “uttering rhetoric” of any sort that would have influenced these two deeply disturbed teen age boys. It was properly assumed that their problems originated within themselves, and when their internet rants and diaries were located, the assumption proved correct. We still had at least half a brain as a nation. Those days, are apparently gone now.
Even eleven years ago, our nation still maintained a modicum of normalcy and logic to it’s political thinking and public speaking about news, crime and punishment, politics and mental illness, that is now tragically absent from public life altogether. Our national political “dumbing down” has now hit absolute and final rock bottom. We have ceased to be able to discern actuality from personal hyper-politicized social fantasy. We are an unraveling, torn asunder nation, not just split between the political fantasy land of make-believe “left vs. right”, but butchered down the middle in a way that looks like it may be irretrievable. Is this really true?
I have watched in growing horror over the last six days as my country comes completely and totally unraveled at it’s threadbare seams. Everywhere I look in every media portal I am reading ludicrous, unheard of, ridiculous fecal matter presented in the press, on TV, video, internet media which reflects outright nonsense, total fabrication, falsehood after falsehood reported as fact, and every single bit of it is penned to either justify the extreme left’s modus operand-i and view on this shooting, or the extreme right’s modus operand-i and view on it.
Journalism has gone flew out the window and left the scene entirely. Both polarized sides are now becoming so off-base in their thought, commentary and observations as to drain all credibility from American political public life in all shapes and forms. This is something more than some huge “national misunderstanding”.
This is a highly visible, very public national psychological meltdown. This is venomous, it’s illogical from the ‘get-go” on both sides, and it’s so damaging to our national reputation as a country that I wonder how we will ever regain our footing as “One Nation Under God.” Remember that phrase which is printed on every bill in your wallet? A long time ago I can remember the days when we used to be proud to be “One Nation Under God.” Where have those days gone?
I have long been quite vocal in that I AM NOT an Obama supporter. But when Barack Obama, Janet Napolitano and Eric Holder all read from the Bible during yesterday’s Arizona Memorial service for the victims of Loughner, the reaction to that from so called Christian talk radio hosts [ like Michael Savage, Lars Larson and others ] appalled me just about as much as the crime itself. Today I grimaced, listening to talk radio on both “left” and “right” sides of the country politically and both sides now are screaming with vitriolic rage at the other, and both sides devoutly believe that the other side is literally trying to destroy the nation from within. This is far beyond rhetoric. These are replete distortions of comprehension that now have gained enough traction from both sides to actually derail all pretense of normalcy and civility in the nation.
This raging media melee is a nation at all out war with itself. Is there not anything I can say or do by way of the spoken word, short of a hard cold slap on the face, that will cause both sides who are pouring forth their distorted and fabricated / imagined “positions” on the shooting to take pause and try to regain some composure about what is happening to the nation at large? What I see taking place is serious enough that I feel it will scar the country for years on end.
My closest friend, someone I see and speak with every day, holds political and personal spiritual beliefs which are very different from my own. We have never, not for once, ever argued over our beliefs, our politics, who we might vote for or how we worship, or even IF we worship. We get along great and are incredibly fond of one another’s company. We are just as different as night and day. If I can do this, why on God’s green earth can’t the rest of the country do the same? Is there any reprieve from the incessant blather, the utterly nonsensical spew which now erupts from every media portal at every moment 24/7?Are we too far gone in America to retrieve our fundamental dignity, our respect for one another as fellow human beings, our core center as people living in one country under the same flag? Where is my America? I miss her so much.
Chase Kyla Hunter
Related video clips:
- Obama Arizona Memorial Speech: We Must Communicate ‘In A Way That Heals,’ Not ‘Wounds’ (huffingtonpost.com)
- Obama call for unity at Arizona memorial (bbc.co.uk)
- Obama to Arizona memorial: “Gabby opened her eyes” (shortformblog.com)
- Obama to attend Arizona memorial (bbc.co.uk)
- Obama at Arizona Memorial: ‘We Can’t Use This Tragedy to Turn on Each Other’ [VIDEO] (observer.com)
- Obama leads Arizona memorial service (reuters.com)
- Senator Gillibrand To Attend Arizona Shooting Memorial (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Barack Obama visits survivors of Arizona shooting before memorial address – The Guardian (news.google.com)
- Arizona shooting memorial held (bbc.co.uk)
- Memorial to honor youngest victim of Arizona mass shootings (cnn.com)
- Review: Tucson Arizona Shooting, Obama’s Memorial Speech (daveloveless.wordpress.com)
- Obama calls for healing at Arizona memorial (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- President Obama arrives in Arizona for memorial service as he prepares to meet family members of shooting victims (dailymail.co.uk)
- Bag holding ammo found near Ariz. suspect’s home (msnbc.msn.com)
- Obama Arizona Memorial Speech: FULL TEXT (huffingtonpost.com)