The last thing I expected logging in to Social Media today was a bunch of headlines about an “Easter Massacre.” What a mess. This site has the video the shooter livestreamed on Facebook, and it’s agonizing to watch. A poor 74 year-old man was just walking home, minding his own business, and a piece of human garbage randomly selected him to be shot in the head for no reason whatsoever.
Fortunately for the nonce, it would appear the shooter’s brag about killing thirteen others is probably bogus. Hopefully they find this guy and put him down.
This idea of livestreaming your criminal activities is just sick and intensely narcissistic. A few years ago, an IRS scammer who bilked millions bragged on Facebook that she could never be caught, being that she was so clever and all. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how that ended up.
We have a peculiar brand of evil, here. It isn’t the intensely sociopathic, cold-blooded evil which we traditionally associate with acts like this. That kind of evil tends to want to hide itself. The sociopath often pretends to be a normal human being. No, these individuals are narcissists. They crave attention and recognition. Indeed, they crave it so badly, it overrides their empathy toward their fellow man. At that point, killing, stealing, assaulting — whatever — all becomes part of some grand effort to become popular even if that popularity is effectively negative.
These people would rather be hated by many, than loved by a few.
The disease is not limited to casual murderers killing old men on the streets, or tax scammers bilking people out of their tax return money. It can also be seen at a meta level in the recent Antifa protests and attacks at Berkeley. This is attention-seeking behavior, a desire to be seen in the headlines, to be famous, or infamous even. They will pepper spray women in the face for daring to have the temerity to wear a Trump hat.
But, like the child throwing a temper tantrum, it’s not merely about being angry that a candidate lost, or a particular political effort failed, it’s about wanting attention, it’s about everyone in the grocery store seeing the child throwing his arms around and screaming.
In other words, it is narcissism. It’s media coverage they crave, it’s even blog posts like this one, talking about how evil these people are. Some of my readers might be thinking something along the lines of: “well, if you believe this, Dystopic, why are you writing about it? Why not starve them of the attention they seek?”
Therein lies a conundrum. If I don’t discuss the issue, the media still will. They will sensationalize him, either as a monster, or maybe the product of the Capitalist White Supremacist CisHeteroPatriarchy, or something else equally inane. Whatever the angle, they will give him the attention he wants regardless of what I do. But at the same time, we must understand why people act this way and what they presume to get out of it.
I’m not sure what we can do about this attention-seeking brand of evil, save to be armed and ready every moment of the day. How much better, after all, would it have been to see this would-be murderer get shot by a concealed-carry holder on his own livestream? What if the old man simply blew him away and went on about his business? Maybe that’s all one can do about this.
Nonetheless, in the coming days, it is possible the media may try to make excuses for this man. Don’t forget the shocked and confused face of a 78 year old man, just walking home, in the moments before he was shot in the street. Narcissism or not, this was pure evil.