Perhaps I'm just emotionally stunted, but whenever a tragedy like this occurs (and it IS a tragedy, don't get me wrong), the thing that amazes me most is not the senselessness of the deaths, but by the reactions of all involved. In short, I'm shocked that people are still surprised by this kind of thing.
"How could it happen?" they all wail.
How could it NOT? Eris on a Pogo Stick, people, we've only been murdering each other for thousands, if not millions of years. We are a race of predators, and if you have any doubts of that go look at your teeth in the mirror -- you'll see tools specifically designed for the biting and tearing of flesh. Killing is in our genes and in our blood.
The problem, of course, is that we've managed to short-circuit the system nature uses to govern predator populations. Our numbers are no longer constrained by the prey population -- domestication of animals and the invention of agriculture has effectively removed us from the food chain. We are the ultimate apex predator.
But what happens when a species of predator no longer needs to engage in predation? The answer is simple: We prey upon each other. Small-scale predation is known as crime. Large-scale predation is known as war. In case you doubt me, the next time you watch an episode of COPS or whatever, watch it the way you'd watch a Wild Kingdom episode:
- Was that a gangbanger engaging in a drive-by shooting, or was it a male predator seeking to eliminate rivals for territory, resources, and access to mates?
- A pedophile? Look, it's common practice for predators to separate the young, the old, and the sick from the herd.
- And don't even get me started on the similarity between child neglect and the way lionesses treat their young when their mates die.
I could go on for several more paragraphs, but it's late and I'm tired, and I fear I may start to ramble off-thesis if I'm not careful. Instead, I will close with a selection from the Principia Discordia:
One day, I came upon a man urinating in a bus station. When I confronted him about his action, he turned to me, without stopping, and said:
"Keep in mind that since the universe is in constant flux, nothing that occurs one moment has any relevance to anything else. Everything you believe, feel or thins is based on the false assumption that truth exists. Thus, you are free to do any action which brings you pleasure. That humanity feels constrained by morals is one of the funniest jokes I've ever heard.'
So I beat the shit out of him and took his wallet.