The globalization of the macabre
Greetings from tomorrow. In light of the Fort Hood shootings, I thought I would share with you a sampling of national headlines from my morning copy of the Asahi Shimbun: "2 more boyfriends of Tottori fraud suspect turned up dead" "Gangster kills self after shooting three" "Death sentences upheld for cultists" "Head of young woman found" ...
Greetings from tomorrow.
Greetings from tomorrow.
In light of the Fort Hood shootings, I thought I would share with you a sampling of national headlines from my morning copy of the Asahi Shimbun:
- "2 more boyfriends of Tottori fraud suspect turned up dead"
- "Gangster kills self after shooting three"
- "Death sentences upheld for cultists"
- "Head of young woman found"
- "Arrow strikes student in forehead"
At least half the headlines were related to violent crime.
I don’t think a pattern can be drawn from one day’s worth of headlines. I suppose it’s possible that the English-language editors of Asahi are thinking, "Push the violence! It’s the only thing the dumb, stupid, not-so-bright Americans understand!"
Still, this sort of thing always reminds me to always cast a skeptical eye towards headlines devoted to acts of individual violence. The deaths are important; the motivations of the killers, less so. Unfortunately, the world does not suffer a shortage of variegated homocidal impulses.
UPDATE: Megan McArdle expresses the point I was trying to make in a more direct, non-jet-lagged manner:
There is absolutely no political lesson to be learned from this. Gun control would not have stopped a commissioned officer from obtaining guns. Barack Obama had no power to stop this. Infectious PTSD is a lousy theory. And nations certainly do not–and should not–shape their foreign policy around the possibility that a random psychopath will start shooting up a crowd. Evil people do evil things. That’s all.
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner
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