Sunday, April 18, 2021

Tragedy as Farce

 Karl Marx, commenting on Hegel, noted that history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.  While I agree in broad terms with Onkel Karl, I think he isn't 100% correct- history repeats itself more often than he suspected, but it has degenerated into 'tragedy as farce'.

The FedEx shooting in Indianapolis was certainly a tragedy, a gunman murdered eight people who were simply working.  Because four members of the city's Sikh community (having a centuries old tradition of working as drovers and teamsters, many Sikhs are drawn to the transportation industry) were killed. I suspected a racial motivation for the massacre, and I still haven't ruled that out... though things get weird.

The gunman, who was a former employee of the FedEx facility, was visited by the FBI last year, his mother having warned the authorities that her son might try to commit 'suicide by cop', and a shotgun was confiscated from the home.  Of course, the fact that he was able to get his hands on semiautomatic weapons is a testimony to the abysmal state of mental health care AND firearms regulations in the United States.  Wasn't there a way to monitor this unwell individual?

Now, about the weird angle of this horror... apparently, the shooter was a 'brony', a member of the 'My Little Pony' fandom, and had an... uhhhhh... erotic fascination with one of the characters, as evidenced by a Facebook post:

"I hope that I can be with Applejack in the afterlife, my life has no meaning without her. If there's no afterlife and she isn't real then my life never mattered anyway."

The real problem here is that, in this all-too-online age, just about everything is overlaid with layers and layers of irony.  The adult male 'My Little Pony' fanbase became prominent on internet sewer 4Chan, with a lot of right-wing extremists latching onto the children's cartoon and creating Nazi depictions of its characters in order to be 'edgy'.  Of course, 'ironic racism' is still racism, and online extremists use an ironic pose or a 'just joking' frame to 'hide their power levels'- itself a phrase adopted by 4Chan users from anime to describe hiding one's affiliations with extremist groups.  Once again, it is difficult to separate the jokey obfuscation from the genuine hate.  It very well may be true that the Indianapolis shooter was using a pose as a sexually frustrated cartoon pony fetishist to hide the fact that he was a racist, right-wing extremist.

Meanwhile, the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has been pulled from use because of six recipients experiencing serious blot clots, but nothing is being done about the continuing death toll caused by mass shootings... now THAT's what I call a farce!


Tim said...

You Bastard: Remember when the Fall of Trump and the Demise of Plague and The Biden Age meant a return of Boring and Normal? I almost do. Almost.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Sadly, mass shootings have been Normal for a couple of decades. The real state of the nation is Terrifying and Normal.

Richard said...

What are you talking about? Who is Applejack? Don't give me this. I'm an old man who has survived trump and other world changes. I expect to be dead and forgotten. The least you all could do is carry us forward.
We have been working on this for thousands of years. More than thousands. I get so tired of these bullies.
Speaking of shootings, what is wrong with the way you raise your young people? I despair.