It is probably only day eight, but it feels like day eighty, since Stephen Craig Paddock shot up a country music concert in Las Vegas, killing and injuring some egregious number of people. And still, we have no motive.
Despite the killer leaving some form of note, possessing a wide social media presence, and having walked this Earth for sixty-four years, we apparently still have no idea why he did what he did.
The Occam’s Razor answer is that his father was a violent paranoid psychopath, and that mental illness is mostly heritable like any other trait, so latent traits manifested — probably accelerated by news of a long-term illness, or other personal life trauma — and the son went on the type of violent paranoid psychopathic shooting spree that he probably feared doing for his whole life.
In the meantime, the Las Vegas shooting was a massive assertion of white supremacy. If you want a spree killing done right, send in a white guy. No wonder minorities (“POCs”), feminists, transgender activists and every other type of special snowflake (all snowflakes are equal, which means every snowflake is a star, or maybe that none are) is squealing and mewling about this event.
The conspiracy theories came out too. A good conspiracy theory explains what the official narrative will not; a bad conspiracy theory contorts interpretation of the facts in order to explain away troubling ideas, sort of like an official narrative does. The troubling point here is that there may be no “big” reason for this event; it is just another sign of the decline, more of entropy winning on display.
While that does not seem as interesting as the conspiracy theories, it is the broader conspiracy; it shows us both the crisis of our time and the implicit task of humanity in one moment. Our civilization is in decline and that will defeat everything that we do. Our goal is to gain personal clarity about reality, and to adapt to it through civilization, as a species. In both we are failing.
And so the rationalization continues. No healthy society has events like the Las Vegas shooting happen, and it has zero to do with gun control. Any powerful society has powerful objects and knowledge, and whether he needs to run people over with a truck, make an ANFO bomb, run people over with a harvester or laboratory engineer anthrax pathogens, the determined killer will do it.
We keep slapping band-aids on the problem. Anti-drug laws, workplace regulations, locks on cockpit doors, chemical signatures in gunpowder. But we will be defeated by the fact that when you have a country of people who have nothing in common and no purpose, the only remaining task is to destroy each other in outrage at how meaningless, tedious and humiliating modern life has become.
Take a walk down a modern Western street. The obese blue-haired feminists have nothing in common with the Muslim Arabs they walk alongside, but in the grand tradition of human stupidity, they try to find “common ground” and alight on a few lowest common denominator ideas, like that everyone wants a paycheck and not to be punished for their own mistakes, and so they agree to be Leftists together. This is not progress, but decline.
An average middle class white family finds themselves surrounded by Chinese, Mexicans, Italians, Russians, Jews, Falun Gong, Juggalos, Black Panthers, Flat Earthers, Pentacostals and Scientologists. They have nothing in common with these groups, but are sure to tell people how they knew their own marriage was right because “we have so much in common.” They do not mean that they both possess a copy of Unknown Pleasures (1979), or that they like watching tennis, but that they come from the same origins, have the same abilities and inclinations hard-wired into them, see the world through the same frame as a result, and have the same rough goals and purpose, which is to be what they are — Western Europeans — while improving themselves a bit, and fighting off this insane modern world.
Insane modern world? But look at all of our technology, medicine and knowledge! Yes, that is what we are expected to say. But in reality, few of us take advantage of the medicine, because if you are healthy, you really need very little except to fight off epidemics, and that has been done successfully since the dawn of time through quarantine.
The technology makes life more efficient, perhaps, but we are still doing the same stuff, and working longer hours than before, and it seems that nine times out of ten when that latest project is done, it turns out to have been a waste of time, or most of what was done for it to have been a waste of time, where common sense could have saved everyone a lot of time.
But people need to work to eat, and so we are addicted to work, just like we sit on freeways for an hour every morning because commuting is what everyone else does, and watch blockhead sports played by people we do not know while swilling watery and overly sweet beer, trying to convince ourselves that this is what we want out of life.
And then, we hit age sixty-four and shoot up a country concert, or something. It seems that quite a few men in Stephen Craig Paddock’s cohort kill themselves, and they tend to do with guns:
While suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States, with 11 suicide deaths per 100,000 Americans, white men over the age of 65 commit suicide at almost triple that overall rate.
…In 2001, 73 percent of all suicide deaths and 80 percent of all firearm suicide deaths were white males.
Why after age sixty-five? I will tell you why: you realize that your life was stolen by your career. You went to work because everyone told you that you had to, and you needed money; you found out that most of what you did was stupid, or designed to advance the careers of other idiots, or to take care of people who had money and power but no sense, but it paid the bills, so you did it. In fact, you got good at it, so you did a lot of it. Then you retired, or got old enough that people figure you ought to, and two things happened. First, you looked back over your life and wondered where it went, since you last recall being thirty-one and excited about your first real promotion, and second, you realize that your only relevance to people has been through work for all these years, and so now, you are irrelevant, your life timeline is nearly over, and you got none of what you wanted. You got played, and now you are furious at the world but even more, at yourself for having gone along with this insane scam. Might as well just blow out your own brain, since it did not do what it was supposed to, and take out some of the other monkeys whose needs you have been wasting your life with for decades.
Look at them down there, the oblivious fatheads. Bloated on corn beer and television, full of self-importance because someone gave them the title of assistant moron in charge of moron corralling, excited about their stupid slut girlfriends — the good women married young, and the rest lie about the panoply of penises that pass through their reproductive parts in a desperate search for meaning, relevance, love, or something else they will never find — and full of hope that this event will give their lives some importance, or at least connection. They are chasing lies, the same lies that you chased, and you are filled with rage and a desire to interrupt them.
A 7.62mm round through the skull might do just that. It just might.
To a cynical realist, all of human history consists of a few people who found a link to a sense of inner meaning in life, something which is intensely tied to perception of the external as sacred, supremely logical and beautiful. Then there were the rest: milling about, distracting, promoting entropy, raging through their own drama, screaming and shaking fists at the empty sky, and so on. Basically, there is a tiny group that does everything good and the rest just gunk up the works.
That group of the rest spend most of their time trying to figure out why things are not the way they are. Of course, that makes no sense, and once they embark down that path of insanity, they find all sorts of curious things. The person with the least reason to be proud has the greatest pride, not in accomplishments outside of himself, but in how cool or sociable he is. It resembles schizophrenia, the paranoid ideation that re-orders the world as being directed at the self, like narcissism inverted. From that solipsistic self-importance, this person goes on to discover all other sorts of nonsensical theories, including that people are equal, because they are all him, and that those who do not agree must die, because they affront him by contradicting his personal narrative. The inner monkey comes out and snarls.
When you let the inner monkey take over your society, everything you do from that point on is doomed to failure. They will reject anything they do not understand, and since their understanding is limited to the self, this means they reject anything of meaning and try to destroy it.
No matter what motivated this latest shooting in a series of public massacres and terrorist events, the takeaway point is this: your civilization is failing, no one has anything in common, daily life destroys the soul, and people become enraged and self-destructive as a result. The reasons for drug abuse, vandalism, everyday sadism and mass killings are the same; people are miserable, and they are taking it out on the others who, by participating in this insane farce, compel them to suffer under it, prompting retaliation.