17 April 2007

Sucks to be they

Apparently Cho Seung-hui's parents are normal, law-abiding, hardworking South Korean immigrants who came to the U.S. legally. I can already imagine some of the tongue-clucking calumny they are, doubtlessly, going to encounter over the coming weeks. All manner of stereotyped balderdash, mewling about supposedly work-obsessed Asians pressuring their children, etc. Au contraire: this youth probably terrified his parents and, I wager, they didn't have the slightest idea what to do. And they were also, in all likelihood, too busy working their asses off in their dry-cleaning shop, up to their eyeballs in solvents, to pay enough attention to their child's deepening psychosis. Chalk up yet another one to the Protestant--Calvinist, actually, since most Christianized Koreans are Presbyterian--work ethic. They worked their fingers to the bone, and as a result they could provide Cho Seung-hui with plenty of ammo money. But before you start tarring and feathering the parents in the kangaroo court of public and bloggial opinion, pause for a moment and consider how they must feel. How would you like to spend the rest of your life knowing that 'twas you who spawned the freshest face on America's mass-murder scene? Even if Cho's parents did pressure him to succeed, I daresay that this kind of overachiever wasn't what they had in mind. I've indulged in my own fair share of blaming my parents for my problems, but this rampage is another matter altogether.

Down with April

"April is the cruelest month." --T.S. Eliot
"April [drives] people crazy by not quite being springtime." --Kurt Vonnegut

April is also the time of year when

--Adolf Hitler graced us with his arrival (20 April 1889)
--Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City--still, by a considerable degree, the worst flat-out mass murder committed by a single individual in U.S. history (167).
--Columbine massacre took place
--Virginia Tech massacre took place
--Erfurt massacre took place
--W.R. Myers massacre took place

And, of course, Federal income taxes are due.

Only 13 days to go. Good riddance, April.

Prescient Lyrics

Yesterday's events in Virginia bring to mind some lyrics from that minor classic, Revenge of the Nerds, which depicted the plight of asocial misfits on American campuses. This film, incidentally, hit the silver screen in 1984--the year of my high school graduation, George Orwell's monumental portent--and the birthyear of the ill-starred but extremely literate ("deceitful charlatans," indeed) Cho Seung-hui. Much more succinctly than the present media blather and mawkish sentimentality possibly could, the lyrics to the film's theme song sum up the matter quite a bit more succinctly:

If they call you a dork
A spaz or a geek
Stand up and be heard!
Don't be meek!
Beautiful People--
Haven't you heard?
The joke's on you--
It's Revenge of the Nerds!

Q.E.D. All you cool dudes and hot chicks out there, think twice next time before you blithely spurn some geek.