January 20, 2013

The Sandy Hook massacre should "force us to confront yet again the ways in which ever more of our lives are lived on a screen, in the cloud, via our computers and phones and tablets...."

Says Michael S. Rosenwald, noting that:
Except for using the bathroom and eating his meals, getting a haircut was just about the only thing Lanza couldn’t do online.
Adam Lanza got haircuts, went to the bathroom, and ate food. Are we not forced to confront yet again our eating of food, getting of haircuts, and going to the bathroom?
[Lanza] seems to have found “an illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship”.... Lanza didn’t need to trek out into his town....

Shop owners in tightknit Newtown didn’t know him, I think, because he had no reason to know them. Amazon could deliver anything he wanted to his door by the next day.

The time we spend shopping is in decline.... The local stores we once loved visiting have been replaced by UPS drivers we rarely see....
Now, it's a problem that we don't spend enough time schlepping around at the mall? The cashiers at The Gap and Banana Republic were supposedly keeping us minimally socialized? Or is it that "tightknit Newtown" had shop owners who reinforced the social structure of the picture-book town — kinda like Mr. Gower, the drugstore man, in "It's a Wonderful Life"...

45 comments:

Mogget said...

To avoid the reality of evil, any fantasy will do.

Quayle said...

No stone unturned - all issues explored.

Except divorce and boys living in a fatherless home, which are ex-ante off the table.

kentuckyliz said...

No matter how much one lives online, that doesn't mitigate the fact that he was upset about his mom trying to get conservatorship and institutionalize him.

Shouting Thomas said...

I'm not going to be forced to confront a fucking thing.

Jay said...

How stupid.

Lanza had mental problems and was being treated and medicated for them.

This silly article seems to not really put those facts in context.

chickelit said...

Althouse should open a bricks and mortar portal selling her artsy craftsy stuff.

Meade should open a high profile dog sitting business/reality TV show called "Hey, That's My Dog!" in Madison

Shouting Thomas said...

This theme that social media makes you anti-social is bullshit.

FB is the way that I converse with my musician friends around the country and around the world.

It's how the Old Dawgz get our audience out to our gigs.

The web is the place where people share music.

Role playing video games are the future of entertainment and education.

Like everything in this life, the web, social media and video games are good and bad, depending on how they are used.

Quayle said...

I fantasize too:

The Sandy Hook massacre should "force us to confront yet again the ways in which ever more young men are growing up without a close and loving father in their homes and lives..." Says Michael S. Rosenwald, noting that:"

Patrick said...

. The local stores we once loved visiting have been replaced by UPS drivers we rarely see....

funny, that. I became friends with our UPS guy when he delivered a grill to my house. At the time, I needed to get rid of my deck in order to accomadate our addition. He needed a deck, so he and his wife dismantled it, and took it to their cabin in Western WI. Turns out his wife teaches at the school my son will attend nest year. We've had them over to see our addition, and we are always glad to see him.

Why is he less deserving of economic support than a shop owner? Plus, when I support him, I also support Althouse.

madAsHell said...

I'm having trouble remembering who is to be vilified, and who is un-touchable.

Is that Lady CaCa with the 5.56mm boobs??

betamax3000 said...

Robot does not require haircuts. Robot does not require food and bathroom loop.

edutcher said...

I recall from yesterday one of our trolls was calling attention to an accidental discharge at a gun show that wounded 3 people.

By that logic, we should outlaw automobiles.

Ann's point about the ruling class wanting to regiment us is sharp.

J.P. said...

I agree that Lanza was probably most influenced by a hatred/terror of being institutionalized and abandoned by his mother. I imagine that having his father around would have moderated that. Aside from his mother he seems to not have had any other meaningful relationships. If he'd had one sane, rational person to actually talk to about it, they could have either mediated the breakdown with his mother, warned her/the authorities about how badly it was going, or convinced him that institutionalization was not abandonment.

If he had genuine online friendships with reasonably well-adjusted people, that could have served as well, but my perception is that people do not go online to appear well-adjusted, but instead to express their strongest and least-filtered opinions. If these are the kinds of responses Lanza got, then the responses probably reflected and magnified his fears instead of moderating them.

Inga said...

I hate shopping a the mall. I hate shopping at the grocery store.

There never was a happier person than I, the day Peapod came to town. Amazon is my mall. Zappos is king! Starbucks still gets my business, they are connected.

Real friends and family are still real and are a wonderful diversion from being online, besides wanting to be with them because ya love 'em.

Bob Boyd said...

"I blame society."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKIaS0lh-uo

Inga said...

Except for my imaginary children ;)

Bob Boyd said...

If Ann would scrap this blog and just invite us all over to her house every day it might not prevent a tragedy or stop the decline of western civilization, but it certainly couldn't hurt.

Food for thought.

EDH said...

Wasn't Mr. Gower, the drugstore man, in "It's a Wonderful Life", the mass murderer who needed to be stopped?

Maguro said...

These motherfuckers will have to pry my Amazon Prime from my cold, dead hands. Figuratively, of course.

ironrailsironweights said...

While obviously an occasional trip to Banana Republic wouldn't have turned Adam Lanza into a social butterfly, just getting out of the house from time to time might have helped a little. Just seeing people other than his mother in real life might have rendered him a shade more understanding.

Peter

Chip S. said...

So there were no hermits before the internet?

The Farmer said...

I'm so tired of silly old fuckers flipping out because they're scared of the Internet.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Shop owners in tightknit Newtown didn’t know him, I think, because he had no reason to know them. Amazon could deliver anything he wanted to his door by the next day.

Damn!! If only he had been buying his stuff through the Althouse Amazon Portal. Just think of the .98 and .50 hauls that Ann and Meade missed out on. Wow. If he had bought his ammo online, Meadhouse would have make a killing (wrong wording???) and been able to buy more than one slice of pizza to share. Maybe they would even have been able to leave a decent tip for the waitress in exchange for plugging up a table for hours.

Actually..... There is a problem with social, human to human interaction in some of the young people who spend too much time on-line. Having spent some time myself online in MMORPGs and connecting electronically with some of these guys and a few gals, it is disconcerting to see how seriously they take the 'games' and how little life experience they have. They tend to lose perspective between what is real and what is virtual.

Parents need to be more vigilant and disciplinarian in limiting the amount of time and quality of time spent on line. This requires actual "parenting" and not trying to be BFFs with your kids.

jr565 said...


Shop owners in tightknit Newtown didn’t know him, I think, because he had no reason to know them. Amazon could deliver anything he wanted to his door by the next day.

That could describe just about anyone living in NYC? It's not tight knit at all. I barely know any of my neighbors except to say hey as I pass them in the hall.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Except for my imaginary children ;)

You can buy them imaginary gifts through your Amazon wish list :-)

And agreed. Zappos RULES!!

Kirk said...

If I want to talk about social structure I guess I'll tweet Manti Te'o.

jr565 said...

All you have to do is look at any newscast about black friday to see the benefit of online shopping.

But I do think that the article isn't totally wrong about the interent. it's supposed to give you access to more people yet, it often has the effect of alienating you from real interaction.
Take facebook. How many people have friends on facebook that they no longer interact with in the flesh because they said hi on faceook, or put up a picture and your friend "liked" it
It gives the illusion of a relationship but is actually pretty superficial. And many people put their efforts into facebook rather than real.
Same thing with that footballer who was supposedly hoodwinked by a hoax from his fake gf he never met.

So many people think that the interaction they have on the internet are real. Cyber sex is not real sex. If you are not even sure what the sex is of the person on the other side of the conversation it's not real, or if it's real its based on an artifial reality. Meaning its superficial.

Then agian, you could say the same about pen pals or correspondence between acquaintences during the days of stamped letters. Compare some of those letters to stuff you'll see on a chat.
We can't even write out actual words half the time. ROFL.

jr565 said...

Online relationships are like playing Zork. or talking to Eliza the computer psychiatrist who just strings together random phrases to make it seem like you're having a conversation.

jr565 said...

But on the plus side Facebook does allow you to maintain correpsondence with people you wouldn't see on a day to day basis or who live in other states or countries.
So it's not all bad.

Synova said...

People I met in Florida blamed air conditioning. When it was hot and horrible everyone spent evenings on the front porch seeing each other. Post-AC towns and neighborhoods are deserted because everyone is shut up inside.

This happened long before the ubiquitous internet.

Synova said...

For what it's worth, I call all of you my "pretend internet friends" or else my "virtual acquaintances."

n.n said...

I thought Lanza was a genetically-induced sociopath (or at least an extreme introvert), later a drug-induced/controlled psychopath, and eventually committed matricide and mass murder.

As for friendship, that would imply competing interests. Not everyone enjoys competition or conformity with others. Some people go to extremes and pursue monopolies or monopolistic practices.

I wonder if the school children were simply competing interests, which he could no longer tolerate. Perhaps he suffered from a debilitating form of narcissism or dependence, and expressed his contempt for suffering marginalization through the murder of others.

mc said...

I have had an awkward front row seat. I am not aware of the "video store", I know the comic book shop, he is embellishing.

"I was one of many reporters who descended on Newtown, Conn., after the tragedy. For several days, journalists tripped over one another at local video game stores, computer repair shops, a comic book store — just about any place where Lanza might have, perhaps should have, been known,"

They did indeed trip over themselves.

His thesis is that people would not give him the cud to chew. Then he draws conclusions.

I watched as a film crew asked about gun control, and when the man answered "...While I am pro gun..." the interviewer gave the cut throat sign and thanked him for helping.

I have several anecdotes regarding the media. They do not comport themselves well.

They need adjustments, and I will only help with a pen.

My problem is that you cannot fix people, slightly related to what they are "reporting."

It's discouraging.

gadfly said...

Shopkeepers in Newtown didn't know Adam Lanza - or any other young adults in Newtown or anywhere else. This is not 1955 in Smalltown USA when high school kids gathered at the drugstore soda fountain or harrassed the local drive-in burger joint with loud pipes and by busting speakers at the parking spaces.

Now teenagers have their time organized for them, to include being transported to and from team practices and games, and getting too much spending money and too many gadgets from Mom and Dad which have resulted in the "ME" generations that have transpired of late.

Adam Lanza was not treated any different than many young adults today - he simply couldn't cope with the oversupply of SSRI drugs.

Erika said...

The depressed* are often advised to get out of the house. Open the curtains, put on your shoes, take a walk around the block, say hello to a real living breathing person if you can summon the wherewithal. It's not about being afraid of the Internet; it's common sense when a person's world is spiralling smaller and tighter for whatever reason.

Erika said...

*yes, I realize that Lanza's problem was not depression

Bob R said...

I know a one of my UPS drivers quite well. Big sports fan. I know him as well as all but a few retailers, I've dealt with.

Bob said...

Get out. Go to your local range and join your neighbors. The wait for me today was an hour and a half. Especially notable was the number of new shooters. Easy to spot as they go thru a mandatory class prior to range access. Limits on how much ammo you can buy. Three deep at gunship. No AR15s, two YEAR backlog! It was worse when I left.

The NRA guy was mobbed. Shooting felt right today

Bob said...

The other way to get out is take a class. Our range doubled the concealed carry classes. Would offer more if they could find instructors. Of course this is in deep red country. No Va

mc said...

The responders are responders.

Know this now.

Hurt Breath and sadness dissipating.

regardless of spelling---

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

When will the last of these "The Internet Is Destroying Us!" people finally die off? Not soon enough to prevent them from doing some real damage, I suspect.

edutcher said...

Erika said...

The depressed* are often advised to get out of the house. Open the curtains, put on your shoes, take a walk around the block, say hello to a real living breathing person if you can summon the wherewithal. It's not about being afraid of the Internet; it's common sense when a person's world is spiralling smaller and tighter for whatever reason.

One reason why there are so many suicides in April in NE OH. People have been stuck indoors for 4 or 5 months and SAD is getting to them.

n.n said...

edutcher:

Perhaps it's due to a Vitamin D deficiency (i.e. malnutrition). The demands of the human body cannot be easily met in the florescence of the office, darkness of the basement, or high latitude regions.

Revenant said...

Well, I hadn't really thought about it.

But now that I have, I realize that by doing almost everything online, I further reduce the already extremely low odds of being randomly shot.

So, score one more for the Internet!