they’re weird

When an unspeakable tragedy occurs, there’s an odd bit of Human Nature that motivates people to jump into the Pathos Pool and scream, “Me Me Loook at Meeeeeee!”

At least that’s how it seems to me when I see all these ‘public figures’ making their pronouncements about things like the school shooting yesterday.

In my day On my planet, if someone suffers a tragedy the appropriate response is to quietly murmur one’s condolences, knowing that no words can really help, offer to do anything one can to help, and bring a nice covered dish to leave in the oven or fridge.

What is not appropriate is to seek out the public stage and holler about one’s own emotional — or worse, political — reaction to the tragic events. It is unseemly and unattractive. It is especially unhelpful to do this before the dust has even settled and any actual facts are known.

As for the “Reality-Based Commuuuunity,” with their much [self-] vaunted “superior sense of empathy,” I wonder at their utter unawareness of The Point: people who twist off and do such things are mentally unbalanced. They [and their families] have been living lives of quiet, excruciatingly painful desperation for years until whatever demon is theirs completely steals reason away and such acts somehow make sense to them.

But those with their “superior sense of empathy” have arranged the Law in such a way that helping those who are too effected by their disability to know they need help cannot be helped by those close to them who know full well that they need help.

Idiots blame the tool for the misuse of the tool. In so many ways. Yes, involuntary commitment has been used for vile and inappropriate purposes. That is what needed to be addressed. But the “empathy endowed” decided that involuntarily committing anyone was a breech of their civil rights and now people who would have been helped by being in a safe, clean place where people understood what was going on with them are wandering the streets having arguments with mail boxes and sleeping in creeks.

Or they are still living with their families who have absolutely nowhere to turn when their loved one begins talking about the voices and the visions.

But somehow, the “empathically gifted” ones think it is a violation of civil rights to give such people a safe place to live with regular nutrition and good medical attention. Instead they believe it to be a better use of public resources to give them free booze, free needles and free cell fones.

WTF, indeed.

Finish your assignment! »

…and yes, I am aware that the “empathically gifted” would likely move to classify incorrect political opinions as mental demons and put us all in “nice, safe” well-guarded places. So there’s that to consider.



  1. S2
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 9:00 am |

    Idiots blame the tool for the misuse of the tool.

    This time, they’re blaming the tool that wasn’t even used.

  2. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 9:46 am |

    Claire, you just expressed very clearly what I was raging at in an earlier thread. Thanks for that.
    Another guy who experienced monstrous horrors said this about non-participants’ commentary:
    “Facts are mere accessories to the truth, and we do not invite to our hearth the guest who can only remind us that on such a day we suffered calamity. Still less welcome is he who would make a Roman holiday of our misfortunes. Exaggeration of what was monstrous is quickly recognised as a sign of egotism, and that contrarious symptom of the same disease which pretends that what is accepted as monstrous was really little more than normal is equally unwelcome.”
    Max Plowman from Subaltern on the Somme

    Plowman knew of what he spoke; his battalion of about 1,000 men had 300+ killed and 400+ wounded in one afternoon on the Somme.

  3. JoeBandMember™
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 9:49 am |

    I noticed that as the first reports came out yesterday, the pimped media was quick to mention “assault weapon”, even mentioned “.223 caliber”, and on and on, as if it was, indeed, a scripted narrative.

    Then the talk turned to pistols. Only.

    So, I am wondering, if there ever was a “.223 assault weapon” involved. Had there really been an AR, then it would have been the lead off in every news teaser in the country.

    Did anyone else notice this, or have an accurate listing of what guns were actually used?

  4. JoeBandMember™
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 9:56 am |

    What about the person they had in handcuffs?

    Who was that guy working for?

    And, so they found an AR in “a car” in the parking lot. Was that the car used by the shooter? The guy in handcuffs?

    As usual, there seems to be more to this story than is being “reported’.

  5. Thomas M.
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 11:03 am |


    Your essay provides the first rational thought and means of approach to solve the problem that I’ve read or heard.

    There are probably a variety of reasons that our society has suffered these terrible acts of insanity, but I believe that there increase in frequency can be traced to a single Supreme Court decision, O’Connor v. Donaldson (1975).

    In that case the court unanimously ruled that,
    A State cannot constitutionally confine a non-dangerous individual who is capable of surviving safely in freedom by themselves or with the help of willing and responsible family members or friends.

    Your observation that it is not just the targets of these unfortunately unbalanced people and their loved ones that must suffer, but the families of the poor souls themselves that must also suffer without recourse.

    This misplaced empathy on the part of our “leaders,” and the inability, or unwillingness to admit their mistakes, or even admit that this could be part of the problem only sentences us all to continue to endure these horrible occurrences.

    Time for change.

  6. Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause*
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 11:21 am |

    You guyz’ smarts, hearts and wisdom are a boon and a comfort to me.



    As ThomasM points out, it is a fine line. The definition of a “non-dangerous person” is difficult at best in these circumstances. For the most part, that decision sounds just fine. No reason to lock up the erm, …dialed back, the depressed and many other mentally challenged people. But….

    I guess what we must also prepare for is the wild card of Humanity. There are instances when it is impossible to know when/where/how someone will twist off and we must be prepared to 1] accept that that is the case and 2] figure out how to deal with it.

    A discussion that I fear is simply impossible with the “empathetic” screemers busy blaming the tool.

  7. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 11:26 am |

    Television and camera technology, surviving by netting the most viewers (…for advertizing sales…) purty much ended the long ago criteria for becoming a news reporter or journalist. TIME, not ACCURACY, drives TV News Reporting!!!!!!

    Additionally, journalistic credentials takes a back seat to TV Screen Appearance. Which causes TV networks to dub the “incredibley stoopid” as so-called *reporters*

    When, about 20 years ago, it occurred to me that TV news was likely filled w Nimoes that, if they even had a degree, it was prolly from “Helen Keller Technical
    Institute” !!!!!!!!!!!! SOOO, I unplugged my TV——Forever……

  8. S2
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 11:36 am |

    Col. J.,

    They haven’t changed a bit in that 20 years. A fellow named Art agrees with you, though.

    The ABC vulture has deleted her account since then.

  9. PunkyD
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 11:42 am |

    Thank you so much for this Claire. You expressed everything I’ve thinking since this tragedy began. I can’t bear to watch the news, it seriously makes me want to vomit to see these reporters hovering over the innocent like vultures.

  10. Yarbouti
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 11:52 am |

    You’ve introduced me to the unique experience of agreeing with you entirely, Claire. Public appropriation of personal grief is tacky and crude and yet entirely expected by the people nowadays.

    Can’t help but hear the post in the voice of Helen Mirren in The Queen, which pivots around that very point.

  11. DougM (Well, thaaat sucked!)
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm |

    The “more empathetic than thou” group irritate me almost as much as the “more enlightened than thou” group.
    (What? Nah, “holier than” is harmless. Well, it waas until the Islamists resurfaced.)

  12. altered states
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm |

    Well written and reasoned, Claire. Thank you.

  13. dick, not quite dead white guy
    Posted December 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm |

    Public appropriation of personal grief is tacky and crude
    Well said Sheik.

  14. Posted December 17, 2012 at 3:15 am |

    Claire: You have well and truly nailed it. The problem is not guns, the problem is with the unbalanced loons who get them.

    I seem to remember some time in the past decade or so, when our compassionate leaders decided that it was too cruel (or too expensive) to keep those who “hear voices” or live orthogonally to reality (Ted Kaczynski is among their number), and opened the asylum doors.

    None of the “talking heads” on TV want to be the only one who doesn’t let the world know in no uncertain terms how sad he feels about this horrific tragedy. It’ll be all over the news for the next week or so.

    But not to worry – Obama is going to Newtown to make everything better.

    Be vewwy vewwy afwaid when he says things like “we cannot allow this to happen again”. That is certainly true, but I worry about the ways they might come up with to reach that end.