Death is in the news, of course

Two big stories: one that causes much consternation and the other that gets mainly ignore. Ten deaths in Buffalo merit a visit from the President. 43,000 highway fatalities last year are par for the course. Why?

Well, if you’re a budding autocrat worried about how to maintain control of a large population, getting the vast majority used to securing themselves in their homes and then securing themselves in personal cages to transit from home to work and entertainment along defined and restricted routes seems like a rational solution. Moreoever, once people have become habituated to being secured (in air conditioned comfort), perambulating in the wide world can be downright intimidating. The people of the USA still seem willing to take cars killing forty three thousand last year in stride–because they were all “accidents.” The US legal system has gotten people to accept the idea that only intentional premature death counts and needs to be worried about. That, rather ironically, represents a triumph of the will. The mayhem perpetrated by the clueless habit-prone gets ignored.

From the official perspective of keeping the lid on, it’s all good. If a few home grown terrorists are creating debilitating fear, who’s to complain? That we do not see yhe tactic for what it is is because binary thinking blinds us to the role of instigators in human affairs.

There have always been serial killers (mostly of women). Now they seem to have evolved to mass killing and the mass killers have evolved to expect maximum attention. And that requires the invention of an intention. The one that gets the most attention is an animus prompted by the appearance of brown people, in or out of peculiar garb.

The origin of the animus and prompt to seek maximum attention is unknown. And unlikely to be discovered as official reaponse is focused on the victims.

Does unrequited attention seeking always escalate to aggression? Don’t know.