So, another kid grabs a gun and goes Gunsmoke in Cleveland. It seems immorality is becoming more and more fashionable these days. I remember when stories like this would head the news for a week. Reporters would descend upon small towns and interview the hundreds of Aderol-addicted kids whose comments made Beavis and Butthead sound like Einstein and Hawking. Then, in search of something emotional, they’d jab fluffy microphones into the chins of blubbering mothers and weeping daddies and pray someone would provide a sentimental sound bite. We lay people would say a prayer that our kids were safe and give them a tight squeeze upon their post-educational arrival home. You’d hear a coast-to-coast sigh of relief and the national water-cooler conversation would revolve around whether the shooter’s parents were negligent or drug addicts or simply unaware that their child had the cute little habit of getting his daily ass kicked by a bunch of suburban hoodlums whose agenda included neck-high, rectum-deep wedgies and snide passing-period comments in hopes of torturing the poor lad into the cesspool of low self- esteem. A day later, we’d get professional insight from some national panel of intuitive psychologists:
“The second grade drawings on the family’s refrigerator reveal that the little trigger puller’s future was predestined. After all, look at the way he colored outside the lines on this here stuffed-bear picture.”
“His awkward habit of wearing sagging pants and the way he always sported that backward baseball cap should have been a signal that someone was about to plugged. Not to mention the steady diet of cartoons and sugary cereals.”
“Someone should have seen this coming. His latest text message used abbreviations like POS (parents over shoulder) and ROFL (rolling on the floor laughing), clear signals that he was about to pull a gun from his left hip and go on an execution binge. Plus, he drank soy milk and we all know what that means.”
Times have changed. Now we’re desensitized to high school shootings. They’ve happened frequently enough that news stations see them as one-day tales. The Cleveland story lasted five hours. Kid shoots kids and life goes on. I’m not sure what this says about our society. It’s hard to imagine what it’s going to take to capture our attention in the future. Maybe we’ll become a nation that focuses more on the ass-size of three over-hyped sisters or accede to the eccentric rants of some Jersey slut who thinks tight skirts and drunken binges are the fruits of life. Nah, that would never happen!