Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Liege shooting

Yet another apparently insane mass murder.  Just after midday on 13 December 2011, and quite suddenly in the bustling Christmas market in Liege in Belgium, there was a series of explosions.  A rogue killer by the name of Nordine Amrani had simply decided to throw multiple grenades into a crowded shopping  area and to start shooting indiscriminately.  Over one hundred people were seriously injured and at least six killed.


Many people will have many opinions and most people will find this a frightening and very upsetting event.  Most people will look to the individual and on discovering that he was a convicted criminal and a hoarder of small arms will put it down to a crazy and rather nasty individual.  On discovering that he had earlier lured a cleaning woman into his house and killed her they may conclude that this man was possibly insane, definitely horrible and it is a jolly good thing that he's dead.  They will also feel that there needs to be more security and more police and that the laws and punishments should be increased in scope and severity.

But it is also a fact that this human being was a product of a culture.

There is no doubt that people affected by his aberrant behaviour are seriously injured emotionally and some physically.  There has been a lot of damage caused to a lot of humans.  But why does one human end up doing something like this?

It seems to be an inevitable consequence of our rather selfish, consumer based, capitalistic, blame orientated, competitive and punitive culture.  We can be a rather unpleasant bunch of humans sometimes.  Individuals who are disadvantaged and consequently suffer humiliation, abuse and prejudice find they have nowhere to turn.  People claim that lots of people suffer hardship and even abuse but this is no excuse.  They also comment that most people who suffer injustice do not resort to this kind of behaviour.  This line of thinking seems only to be attempting to 'justify' the judgemental attitude towards an individual.  But the judgemental attitude doesn't help in understanding or preventing this sort of thing.

Appalling though this shooting is there needs to be more effort in our culture to accommodate all people.  As the austerity measures escalate in this collapsing culture and impending financial crisis the people at the bottom of the pile are suffering more and more.  If there are already some who see no other way forward than to kill indiscriminately I am afraid we will see more and more of this in the next few years.

The tricky thing is that it is not simply down to the law makers or the people in authority who try to do their best to prevent this kind of mayhem.  Much as I dislike police in principle there were some incredibly brave and selfless police officers who were willing to run straight into danger in Liege to attempt to stop the killing.  A very significant part of changing our culture is the attitudes of all of us.  When children fall out and argue or fight in school they should not be treated as if "wrong" or "bad" they should be accommodated.  Intervene to stop the damage but find out why the children felt aggrieved.  Give all parties full respect.  It seems that very often a "shooter" has suffered from ostracism and exclusion.  It seems a common factor in many apparently insane and indiscriminate killings that the perpetrator feels they are 'outside' of the culture.  Their very act of attacking 'people' in the culture seems to indicate that it was not their choice and that it was forced upon them and they resent it.

By all means dislike or even hate the guy.  But don't forget we are still manufacturing them in our schools.

And by the way - austerity measures should start at the TOP not at the bottom.  It simply makes sense.


  1. There's an insanity in mankind, we're just one of natures mistakes.

  2. I've decided that all the killing is okay, it helps keeps our numbers down, as long as it isn't me being killed.

  3. Huh! I wonder if we are a mistake or was it just always meant to be this way. And as for the idea that the killing is okay so long as it's not you - there is a certain poetry about that.

  4. No, it wasn't meant to be this way, it wasn't meant to be anyway, this is just how things have evolved.

    But the camping and boating and booze is okay.

  5. And pussy is good, when you are getting some, that seems elusive with the fucked up chicks on this rock these days.