- November 1999
- RULES FOR BLAME
In the world of the New Millennium, Ms. Manners has been replaced by a new set of standards. These standards are a constant reminder of how far ahead we, as a society, are moving (or running backwards). Below is collection of frequently used blames for any violent crimes that surprisingly seem to be popping up (of course, the newsworthy ones seem to only occur in nice upscale areas where "things like that just don't happen"). Read on and see which ones you have used in the past when you have been gawking at the TV news or cop show, drool pouring off of your lip, absorbing every ounce of detail.
1) Blame music. Those wild beats, those crazy rythyms, those pulsating vibrations - all geared to set off the minds of otherwise innocent teenagers everywhere. When is the last time anyone really heard a song lyric asking the listener to act out destructively with serious intent? All new music for every generation throughout history has been blamed for everything from indigestion to cancer, from "evil thoughts" to the coming of the Anti-Christ. Music may express frustration that is good to share and allow people to share their feelings in some, albeit more impersonal, way by hearing that someone else may feel as they do. It certainly is not an incentive. In example, when Bon Scott sang for AC/DC the lyrics, "I'm on the highway to Hell", he was making a commentary about a lifestyle and not asking others to join him. His death showed the result.
2) Blame Hitler. Whenever possible, infer Hitler somehow into the foray after any anti-social violent act. With the amount of mentions that Hitler gets in the news, he almost becomes a national icon - surpassing Jesus in comparison. Trust me, it's not like he needs the extra publicity, we as a society just seem to love to give it to him.
3) Blame guns. Never mind who gave the aggressor the weapon or what prompted the inclination towards violence. The gun always makes a person behave anti-socially. What other explanation is there for rednecks? Guns don't kill people - bullets do. Sort of. Only the trigger-finger of the person with the mindset to pull it really kills people.
4) Blame gun laws. It really doesn't matter that most crimes are committed with stolen or unregistered guns, keeping honest people from owning guns will ensure that the criminals will abide by these same rules just to "keep up with the Joneses." Sure. If someone wanted to do an annonymous crime, he would certainly not use his own gun.
5) Blame TV and movies. Since subliminal advertising is no longer legal ("Coke" ads flashing on movie screens in the 70s and the like) and you can't really make out the word "sex" in Saltines, it has apparently become a rumor that movies provide a message along the lines of "kill your family and friends". It is possible that Schwarzenegger or other actors muttered it under their breath during some particularly horrifying scenes. See "Matrix" for a possible Keanu Reeve's utterance of "Whoa! Let's shoot up a McDonald's or a high school... dude" during a nasty fight scene.
6) Blame video games. These bastions of reality mirror the real world in such an uncanny manner that one can almost see the creatures from Doom and Quake hiding around every corner in even the nicest suburban neighborhoods. It sure is hard to distinguish reality from such a well-crafted virtual world.
7) By NO means should one ever blame bad parenting or irresponsible behavior on one's own personal part. This would be in poor taste and go completely against the grain of any governmental control from any level. The parents cannot be expected to create a living and support a nice house in suburbia and as well be forced into actually participating in any "good old-fashioned" child rearing. The same in the ghettos. Welfare parents cannot be expected to raise up off the couches for anything more than a beer. Fathers cannot be expected to stay with their families. All this is asking far too much of such a busy society of this day and age. That is why we have Legislative Laws to help babysit our rather dark and mundane lifestyles.
Personal responsibility cannot be expected so long as there are attorneys and crack judicial experts on anyone's payroll. God forbid that someone could stand up for themselves and say, "I know what I did and I did it on my own accord." This would prevent sucking any dollars out of filmmakers, musicians, artists, and... the NRA.
If any part of the above-mentioned Rules Of Blame seem ridiculous, inane, or plain stupid - just image what you yourself must look like to other people who still have retained intelligence and self-thought processes.
Written by Philip Anderson
Philip Anderson is a musician, in addition to being a writer/photographer. He has performed as a guitarist/vocalist, as well as songwriter, in several bands over the past 20 years. As a writer and photographer, he has been published by several magazines and in several books, and had his works appear on television.