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Friday, July 20, 2012

The "Dark Knight" massacre -- 4 updates

I was going publish a piece about Occupy Wall Street this morning. At the moment, though, everyone wants to talk about the "Dark Knight" shooting in Colorado.

As soon as the news hit, blogland waited to discover if the gunman, James Holmes, harbored any sort of political motive. Initial reports have identified Holmes as a member of a Colorado Tea Party chapter; I would advise against accepting that assertion until we have confirmation. (Update: ABC has tentatively linked Holmes with the Tea Party.) It does appear that the suspect's mother had reason to fear something like this would happen.

It may be worth noting that Rush Limbaugh had targeted this film. Like all other right-wing radio screechers, Limbaugh knows how easy it is to rile his audience of rage-junkies by pretending that "Hollywood" is run by liberal conspirators. Thus, Limbaugh stupidly claimed that "The Dark Knight Rises" was intended as anti-Romney propaganda, since the name of the villain, Bane, sounds like Romney's firm, Bain Capital.

Of course, this claim is silly even by Limbaugh standards. The character "Bane" has been around for a long, long time. The lead times involved in film production mean that the film-makers chose this script long before the Republicans chose their nominee.

Ironically, advance word now holds that, in the film, Bane leads a grotesque parody of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The film's perceived disdain for the 99 percent has caused some critics to call the work ultra-conservative, and even fascist.

We will have to wait and see if Holmes jumped to a wrongheaded conclusion based on Limbaugh's misinformed demagoguery. At this point, nothing would surprise me.

Two forecasts:

Prediction 1: The NRA will send out a fundraising letter accusing the Obama administration of plotting to use this incident as an excuse for the mythical Great Gun Round-Up.  

Prediction 2: Within three hours, the Alex Jonesian conspiracy buffs will have cobbled together a really stupid theory involving MKULTRA.

If Holmes is a tea partier, can we fairly use the actions of a lone madman to tarnish an entire ideology? No. But this incident does illustrate the madness of our times. I think there are a lot of guys like Holmes out there, brimming with frustration and misinformation. Such young men live in both blue states and red states; inchoate anger is a phenomenon sweeping across all political boundaries.

But fury combines with a firearms fetish only on the right.

Update: Well, I certainly hope this is a hoax. This site claims that Holmes frequented a site called 9gag, which appears to be devoted to comedy. (I'm unfamiliar with it.) It is said that Holmes posted this image...

Moreover, the report holds that other 9gaggers egged Holmes on, and applauded him for carrying out the threat. Until I see confirmation, I will presume that the image above is fake.

Update 2: I searched the 9gag site for the phrase "TDKR Sacrifice" and for the alleged Holmes nick, Jamesholmes154. Nothing. I've seen no indication that the string "jamesholmes154" existed anywhere on the internet before this day. Although many sites say the initial information appeared on a YouTube video, nobody has seen fit to favor us with a link to said video. The hoax appears to have been perpetrated by some rather sick aficionados of a competing website.

Update 3: ABC News has retracted the earlier report that Holmes belonged to the Tea Party. Apparently, the misinformation came to us by way of Brian Ross -- who, as long-time readers may know, is someone I have long mistrusted. If I had known he was responsible...

The Breitbarters are saying Holmes is a Democrat. Maybe. Right now, I'd remind readers that the Breitbart crew has a long history of lying -- and that Fox News has a habit of slapping the "D" label on anyone the public dislikes.

Update 4: Holmes attended the University of California at Riverside at the same time my ladyfriend studied Art History there. She does not recall running into anyone by that name on campus. However, you may rest assured that I have an excellent idea as to how much he owes in student loans. Since he seems to have lost his chance to stay in grad school, he suddenly found himself in a very depressed job market while facing the prospect of paying back a burdensome student debt. I doubt that there are many opportunities available to a neuroscience major who does not have an advanced degree.

I'm not saying that we have a motive. But it's not hard to imagine that a situation of this sort might drive someone insane.

Saw this link on a comment posted on mediaite:

Check it out Joe...
So far, Anon, you've given me crap. Your link goes only to a "private investigator" in Florida who is clearly a far-right nutcase. He offers NO evidence. OWS is not something that has any sort of official membership.

(Oddly, though, I was going to post about the "Black Bloc.")

There is a Jim Holmes listed as a Tea Party member in Colorado.
I'm hoping that 9gag rumor was a hoax too...
A 24 year old Lunatic from Aurora, Colorado, being a Registered Democrat is not going very far out on a limb.

Makes more sense then implying the Shooter was a probable Member of the TEA Party, like Brian Ross and George Stephanopoulos from ABC News did. - comment from earlier article.
Given Occupy's violent history, thia isnt really surprising.
The "James Holmes" in the Tea Party is 50 years old...a fact which is clearly available to ABC news - and to you. You are quick to denounce the findings of a private investigator even though Holmes clearly matches the description of someone from Black Bloc/OWS. It's impressive that you can so eagerly and easily accuse a commonly named, flag waving, tea party member of being a radical, violent 24 year old nan. Can't imagine you motives....
cera, you're weird. You offer NO evidence for you claim, yet you castigate others for not doing their homework. The listed Jim Holmes may or may not be 50 years old -- I don't know. But a link is always helpful.

Read what I actually wrote, not what you imagine I wrote. Did I not tell readers to wait for confirmation? Did I not emphasize the word "tentatively" in relaying the ABC report?

In the meantime, a quick glance at the right wing sites (especially Free Republic) tells us that the righties are responding in their usual fashion: CONSPIRACY THEORY CONSPIRACY THEORY CONSPIRACY THEORY. All conspiracy, all the time. And no evidence in sight. Just pure rage. (I'll be devoting a post to examples, if time permits.)

THAT doesn't bother you. Instead, you're bugged by what *I* wrote. You think *I* have been irresponsible.

Talk about double standards! What a fucking hypocrite!

OWS, violent? My ass. I've hardly been uncritical of the movement, and as noted, I had planned to publish a post about the Black Bloc infiltrators. (Which I had already slammed in a previous post.) But let's face it -- political violence in America is a purely right-wing phenomenon. There is no left-wing equivalent to Oklahoma City. OWS is composed of inane, grass-addled idealists with guitars.
Apparently, a troll from Breitbartland has decided to target this site.

Yeah, I knew it was only a matter of time before the Breitbart Bunch decided to spin it as OWS-connected. Especially after they were exposed as the mental id-jots they are concerning the nonexistent Bain/Bane connection.

So fricking predictable.

However, the fact that OWS flirts with Black Bloc and "Insurrectionary Anarchism" is going to turn around and bite the movement on its ass. The movement needs to strongly disavow any such violence and they need to do it yesterday.
Agreed, Lea. The Black bloc thing is obviously a ratfucking operation straight out of the Kitson playbook. Kitson called such things a "pseudogang."

The Breitbarters are lying their asses off about OWS, as they do about most things. They castigate OWS protesters for violence that was actually perpetrated AGAINST them.

That said, I think it is time to replace the OWS brand. We need something more structured, and more political. The singalongs and campouts are otiose.
Joe....It seems "Breitbart's Basement Brigade Trolls" have decided to bless you with their stupidity!

Anyway....Now let me get this straight...The drug addict that is "Limpballs" acts the fool that he is and attacks the new Batman movie and one of the "Bat's" arch enemies, as evidence ( never mind that Bane has been around since the early 90's...Duh...any 12 year old knows this! ) of Hollywood's supposed "Liberal" plot to destroy Romney and then we have a lunatic blasting caps in a crowed movie theater screening the "VERY SAME MOVIE?"

It's time these "Hate Mongers" were made to pay for the hate filled...violence tinged..obnoxious language they pollute the airwaves with!

Can you imagine the "OUTRAGE" and "FURY" that would have been leveled against a...say...Maddow, Rev. Sharpton, Clinton, OBAMA...etc etc had anyone of these folks said what that fat ass, drug addled sack of shit says on a daily basis?

ENOUGH already!
Sounds like his mother wasn't all that surprised to hear that her son was involved. Which leads me to believe that he had a history of mental illness.

Unfortunately, the availability of mental health services is at an all-time low (primarily because psychologists and psychiatrists are poorly reimbursed by health insurance and Medicaid) and apparently really hard to access on college campuses nowadays due to budget cuts.

NBC is reporting that all of his weapons--2 40-caliber handguns, a pump-action shotgun and an assault rifle--were purchased legally in the last couple of months.

I know right-wingers will argue, but really, these two things seem beyond politics: increasing mental health access for young men at risk (since the onset of schizophrenia can occur during late teens/early 20s) and limiting the number of guns a single person can purchase in a 12-month period. But GOD FORBID we devote resources to those who need them or restrict people's God-given right to own an arsenal, right?
I wouldn't be so quick to either propose a mind control scenario or dismiss it out of hand. With so many past violent events showing evidence of other-agency genesis and mind manipulation (Columbine and the RFK assassination for two random examples) the possibility can't be ignored.
The boy was a neuroscience student, introducing the idea of his possible exposure to something dark wrapped up in an academic routine.
The Anschutz family who funds the medical facility/school he was in contact with for graduate study looks to have white Russian and Nazi antecedents. They are definitely very rich and very right wing.
These things mean little by themselves, of course, but the boy's life needs to be examined in context of all the possibilities, even if to finally eliminate the worst ones.
It will have to be someone other than myself that does that closer look. I have no stomach for it and the clinical outlook needed for such research is beyond me. The attempts to make political fodder of this horror are nearly as sick as the event itself.
From the desk of Ms. Vandal.

Yes, I went to UCR with him and we grauduated in 2010. On a campus with 20,000 students, I did not know him. The art history building and the science buildings are not close together on campus.

I also went through Poway Unified School District, too. (But I just celebrated my 20th high school reunion, he graduated about 2006).

I am also amazed he did not goto UCI for grad school if his major was neuroscience. UCI boasts one of the best departments in the US for brain research. (I also went to UCI, again, for art history). Or UCLA for that matter (got in, didn't go - long, sad story).

I think one of the things that bothers me the most is this man is probably very disturbed. And yet he was researching neuroscience. One of the people I knew in my past was the head of the Psychology Department at University of San Diego, who had a very real snap with reality after his divorce and was arrested for making terrorist threats against his ex-wife (that wasn't the creepy part. The creepy part was the shrine he kept in his garage.) .... an incomplete thought here.
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