Three Cheers for the Hokies, Part II

(Continued from previous blog)
So why do you care about VT? Because it’s in our “backyard”? Because it’s a place you’ve heard of? Because you can (almost) accurately find Virginia on a map, but Kandahar sounds like something you eat instead of someplace people blow each other up, so it’s better to focus on what makes you look better? I mean, why??? Virginia Tech sucked, sure, but that’s it. It means as much to me as the tsunami victims from a few years ago, to the sweat-shop kids that make the shoes I so comfortably wear and toss out. Don’t give me shit like you give a damn because it’s on our American soil. A life is a life. Lives are lives. Be consistent. If you’re going to get all emotional and supportive and Pro-Hokie, then be that same way everyday for all the stories you don’t care enough to open up and read. Otherwise, stick with the way you treat the other 99 news events and read the VT story and move on. Don’t piggy-back off someone else’s concern just so you don’t look like an insensitive person. Be yourself. If you don’t give a shit, honestly, then act like it. Don’t be fake.
The only thing I can think of in defense for the VT Bandwagon is the media emphasis. I fully understand that if you hear something day-in and day-out, over and over throughout the course of a week, you may focus and feel more connected to it than you actually are (I’m saying YOU, not me). But you know what that is? That’s just people taking a serious, horrible situation, and saying “I’m on TV now, how can I get even bigger?” That’s it. The school officials fucked up by not making a greater effort to prevent the second set of deaths with proper warnings, so they got to come back to the press later on and show off their “compassion” by giving all the dead kids post-humous degrees. Are you fucking kidding me? First of all, WHAT THE FUCK FOR??? So mom and dad can hang the Interior Design diploma in the late-Susie’s room and feel proud? Really, what the hell is that going to do? I’ll tell you, in complete honesty, what it does: it makes the school look better, makes the officials seem more in-touch with the daily student’s life. It’s a piece of paper for god’s sake. You know what a degree is for? It’s to scribble down on ANOTHER piece of paper during an interview, and say “Watch me wave my dick around, I made it through college.” The actual, tangible piece of paper means shit. You just have to be intelligent to remember your college’s name and what you went to class some days for, and write it down. There you go, you got the job! So what do a bunch of people pushing up the daisies need that recognition for? Some of these kids were freshman. I’ll be damned if I didn’t take the 5-year plan in college so I could get my Master’s Degree in Binge-Drinking and Video-Game-Expertise, when all I had to do was piss off some oblivious student with a personal grudge against society. Hell, coulda saved my parents a few thousand dollars of debt. But come on, post-humous degrees? Letting some students not finish the semester and counting their courses as completed? Listen, the real world is tough. Everyday life is tough. Tough like playing dodgeball with a handgun? No, it’s not, and hopefully no one I know has to ever be in any situation like that. But whether you got a stain on your favorite shirt, or got shot at by Mr. Miyagi, life is about overcoming situations. Dealing with the most difficult possibilities there are, and becoming a better person for it. But tragedies occur everyday. We, as a society, focus on them. A coworker and I were talking today and he said “People don’t watch the news for stories about puppy dogs; they watch it to see how many people died and where bad things happened.” And if you disagree with that, then you’re dillusional. Ask any of those Virginia Tech students if they heard any of the headlines I wrote above? Ask them if they wore the bracelets or had deep conversations about children in Africa who died DAILY. You know what? They didn’t. They didn’t give a shit. Why? Because it didn’t involve THEM.
Look, it sucks about what happened. I feel for the parents and families for those who were hurt or killed, I feel for the shooter’s family who had their whole past dug up and made public (which, I won’t go into, but that was the final piece that pushed my anger enough to consider writing about the whole incident). I won’t fault you, as ‘to each their own,’ for showing your concern or appreciation for VT. But the media overdid it. The school overdid it. You people overdid it. Him carrying those guns into school buildings and doing what he did, that was awful, almost unrealistic. But 74 people being shot in their sleep for oil, that tugs at my heart even more.