Monday, November 20, 2006


The upside of the New Age of Internet is that you don't have to believe what the newspapers say, but instead you can find out background information on the people in the news and, sometimes, even get a different truth from the people who are directly involved. Some weeks ago the newspaper reported that a teacher had decided on a student's grade by throwing a dice. The newspaper quoted the student, but a fellow student replied to the article online, saying that no reported ever interviewed the student. So where does the quote come from?

The shooting at the school in Emsdetten is, of course, a more serious topic.
I read that the student was a satanist and that he played violent computer games (Counterstrike). Only three days ago I had a discussion with three other students on the effect of violent computer games and whether they make the players aggressive. I was the only one who thought they didn't. Needless to say, such an overwhelming majority didn't encourage me to argue my point further. Now the overwhelming majority called media keeps arguing for a ban on violent games, and I'm more than surprised such a thing would even be considered.
As I said, the internet is a marvelous tool. You have tons of teenager write blogs to share their thoughts, so future employers can read them and decide if they really want to have an outspoken person like that in their company. You also have the Livejournal of the boy who did the shooting in Emsdetten, as well as forum postings in which he talks about his aggressive feelings and intentions and asks for help.
His goodbye letter shows a lot of aggression and anger, as well as a lot of exxageration and thoughts that shouldn't be there. Still, all the information that you can gather on non-news sites tells me that he was a pretty normal teenager, facing the problems that most teenagers face. Problems in love matter and at school, being bullied (including physical attacks), being the outsider. To me he seemed like an intelligent young person who was very critical of society (and, in my opinion, a lot of his criticism was/is justified). That happens when you get disappointed by society a couple of times too much.
All his postings and blog entries are from a year ago (or older). It looks like he had a lot of anger inside back then, but as far as I dare to judge, not enough to do it. I'm more interested in what happened in this past year that made his anger take over his intelligence than in what colour his clothes were or what kind of games he played. The colour of your clothes or the games you play for fun don't make you take a gun and shoot people.

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