Inordinate Ordnance: Batman Massacre Used for Personal Politics, Sadly.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Written by Chris Carr

Inordinate Ordnance is the weekly column of The Cannon Editor-in-Chief, Chris Carr. It ranges in content from political strife to social commentary, from popular culture to cult classical. But it is always aimed at the general stupidity of the world we live in.


If anything good can come from the massacre in Aurora, Colorado, it’s that in these situations, certain people come out of the woodwork. Certain types of people—belonging to different groups—are given a pulpit in which to declare there own agendas, using a psychopath’s rampage as a  kind of social catalyst.  

This is a good thing for two reasons: firstly, there is a resurgence in public policy that created a situation or made it easier for James Holmes to kill 12 people. Things like gun control and psychiatric facilities become subjects staining everyone’s lips. These are things that should always be discussed openly and progressed upon. The only unfortunate thing is, is that it takes such events to bring light to them once again.

Another good thing that comes from the shootings is that it brings light the people that civilized society is better off ignoring. I’m talking about those who let the individual dictate policy. For example, Paris shut down the premiere of the film after word of the Aurora shootings. Or possibly those calling for ending midnight screenings of all films. And of course, the group of militant knuckle-draggers who blame the film for last weekend’s grizzly events.

Also, the Westboro Baptist Church will be protesting the funerals of the victims. But somehow, that doesn’t seem as threating as crazy zealots with signs, don’t actually affect policy. They’ve been relegated to a crazy uncle who eats glue at reunions—tolerable, harmless and almost quant in their pants-on-head insanity.

Go to any news site and you will see the man, orange-tinted and weird-eyed, plastered all over the internet. You see professionals discussing his motives. Maps of the killing spree. Police and bomb squads deconstructing his booby-trapped apartment. These are also the people who thrive on such a controversy. It steps away from the news of “Man kills 12 in movie theatre massacre” to a full-blown, three-ring circus of talking suits and whizzing text graphics. Any news outlet that spends anymore than a day on this, really isn’t worth watching.

This is what upsets me. People become wildly interested in the agent, even more than the act, and something about that seems wrong. I heard on the bus the other day someone say, “Good thing he didn’t kill himself afterwards. Most of’em do. This way we’ll get some answers.” And I found myself nodding in agreement. Because I—like a lot of others— am chomping at the bit to know this man’s motives behind the killings.

But alas, it’s a fool’s errand to chase. His motives would be entirely too voyeuristic to be comfortable with knowing and might be relegated to a beer-fueled discussion in the realm of Jonestown and Blood Diamonds. It just won’t matter in six months why  this happened. It’s more important to discussed what happened because that can change policy for the better.

Well, maybe. It could change policy for the better. Tighter gun control, would be nice. However, for the people on earth who understand anything past their own personal, family politics, there is a storm coming. Those of us who understand it is not the film, the videogame or the music video that affect our personalities to the point of massacre, have been fighting a not-so-silent war against a hyper-conservative front of censorship and anti-catharsis. Every time a new Grand Theft Auto game comes out, the ugly head of the enemy rises and spouts anti-fun chants, in the name of “family”, whatever that means.  

This is why I think there is a slight (extremely, and amazingly slight) silver lining that comes with these events. It shows us the face of the enemy. It gives thinking people a target, not for repercussion, but for understanding. It’s important that those who dictate policy see these people, understand their complaints, and educate them on the actual affects of film and video games.

They must. If not, than away goes fiction of any kind. Any sort of escapism will only be found in “decided upon” literature and Charlton Heston movies.

Why does it feel like the intelligent people in the world are in such a stringent minority sometimes? It can’t be. They are out there somewhere, fighting off the storm in quiet, modest numbers. I just feel that sometimes we live in the perpetual year of 1983, the year before it all goes up in flames. 


Chris Carr is Editor-in-Chief of The Cannon. Inordinate Ordnance publishes every Thursday in The Cannon and in The Ontarion Student Newspaper at the University of Guelph.

The opinions posted on thecannon.ca reflect those of their author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Central Student Association and the Guelph Campus Co-op. We encourage all students to submit opinion pieces, including ones that run contrary to the opinion piece in question.

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