During the Middle Ages and right through to the early modern era, crazy people believed that they were witches or the devil (or, at least, doing the bidding of witches and the devil). During the post-WWII space era, crazy people substituted creatures from out of space for the devil. Again, their lunacy distilled core symbols of the era.
Keep that in mind as you think about these three news stories, all from the past few days: In Canada, an apparently normal man went berzerk, stabbed his fellow bus passenger to death, and beheaded him. In Greece, a chef went berzerk, killed his dog, and then decapitated his girlfriend. And in Brazil, a man went berzerk and sliced his girlfriend to bits, including the by now obligatory beheading.
Do you think that, just as the looney toonz of past eras reflected their cultures’ obessessive concerns with God, the devil, and Martians, our modern nutcases are beginning to reflect Al Qaeda? Even as it’s disintegrating, has Al Qaeda managed to establish itself as the default setting for societal angst and, therefore, the template on which the insane act out their delusions?Email This Post To A Friend
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