Saturday, July 21, 2012

A few scattered notes about the Dark Knight killer

Well, was the hair red or not? Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates says that James Holmes did not paint his hair red. The widely-repeated report of a dye job came from New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. I'd say that the guy in CO is a better source than the guy in NY.

And yet -- just a few minutes ago, this story came out. Allegedly, Holmes had a profile on Adult Friend Finder. In his photo, the hair is indeed quite red.

I italicized the word "allegedly" for obvious reasons: We've already seen one or two nasty hoaxes arise out of this case.

Update: Looks like that really is him. If you want to see something almost as depressing as a pile of dead bodies, look at the comments engendered by the afore-linked Mediaite story. He used the name "classicjimbo" on AFF.

An Anders Breivik parallel? A friend to this blog pointed out a couple of odd ways in which the Dark Knight attack resonates (if that word is permissible) with the Anders Breivik massacre in Norway.

First: The Aurora attack occurred very close to the anniversary of the Breivik murders.

Second: Methodology. Both killers planned bomb attacks which, it would appear, were designed to divert police resources from the shooting. Breivik used a car bomb. Holmes set up explosives in his apartment.

Just before Holmes left home, he raised the volume of his music system to unbearable levels. Apparently, he presumed that the neighbors would alert the cops, who would break in and set off the booby trap. If the trick had worked, a lot of police manpower would have been in concentrated one part of town while Holmes went about his business elsewhere. One may argue that the willingness of those neighbors to tolerate loud music saved lives.

Are members of the International Brotherhood of Maniacs cribbing from each other? A disturbing thought, that.

Facebook. One aspect of the media's response disturbs me: The teevee talking heads cannot fathom why Holmes did not have a Facebook account.

Has Facebook become so ubiquitous that those who refuse to join the Borg are seen as outcasts, misfits -- even potential criminals? Holmes, by some accounts, had a genius-level IQ; perhaps he avoided the FB for the same reasons I do. The fact that I refuse to give my private information (including my cell phone number) to a company funded by the CIA doesn't mean I'm a potential mass murderer. The fact that I refuse to be a sheep doesn't mean I'm a wolf.

Motive, motive, motive! At this time, the question of motive bedevils everyone. Well, almost everyone. Believe it or not, there are people who ask: "What does it matter why he did it?" One mustn't slap the silly-billies who utter such words, although the temptation is understandable.

According to this CBS report, Holmes was fairly chatty with the cops until he lawyered up, yet he refused to speak to motive. What's the point of making a grand statement if the message stays hidden? I refuse to believe that an intelligent individual, however alienated or disturbed, could put so much effort into planning a purposeless act of nihilistic surrealism.

Some would argue that the Joker is the fictional personification of nihilistic surrealism. But in the comics and recent films, the Joker has a goal: He wants to make others see the world as he sees it, and he wants to drive decent people over the edge. If such was Holmes' motive, he failed. Glenn Beck is the real Joker.
I agree with your last point...oh, and Michelle Bachmann was his guest just a couple of days ago. SCARY THAT!
I agree with your last point!
It would seem that with his firebomb diversion and head to to battle armor and cache of ammunition that he planned an extended period of slaughter at the theater. We can probably be grateful that the bliss he anticipated from the rampage didn't materialize and he simply got tired of the exercise and sat down.

I think the psychiatrists among us (if any) should discuss this possibility.
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