More often than not, my reaction after reading the editorial pieces on Accordion City local alt-weekly rag NOW Magazine is to respond with one of my favourite retorts: “Wow. I’ve seen better paper after wiping my ass.”
I have to react that way again after Doug sent me the link to NOW’s editorial piece on Kimveer Gill, the gunman in the recent school shooting at Montreal’s Dawson College. In the faux-intellectual it’s-someone-else’s-fault posturing that passes for cognition at NOW, news hack Carolyn Bennett perpetuates stereotypes about Montreal and Toronto, waxes nostaglic about vandalism and worst of all, pins the blame not on poor lil’ Kimveer Gill, but TEH INTARWEB:
Too bad this seething, hateful young man couldn’t experience the academic society he despised. Too bad he targeted an institution that might have brought him inspiration. Too bad he preferred the false intimacy of the Internet.
Too bad one of the other Vampire Freaks on the Web didn’t stir from his or her tortured swamp of self, have the objectivity to read Gill’s blog and reply with an “Are you okay? Wanna go for tea and talk about it?”
No one really posts blogs to share. People post blogs because they hope for an audience. Kimveer Gill posed for the camera. Posed. Too bad he didn’t have a good friend instead of an online “community.” Too bad he didn’t have a teacher to steer him in a constructive direction.
My experience has shown that you can build healthy, supportive communities and friendships online, and that you can build screwed-in-the-head, dysfunctional rabbles in face-to-face meetings (the NOW editorial board comes to mind), which is the way it’s been done for the millennia preceding the ‘net. Blaming the internet for the homicidal spree of a young maladroit is a facile writer’s crutch; it’s sloppy thinking.
As Doug said to me via IM: “Man, why didn’t anyone tell me that NOW pays good money for disjointed ramblings on topics I know nothing about?”