Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Open letter to Cho Seung Hui

Attention, Cho Seung Hui :

I think making fun of someone when you yourself feel insecure is repugnant. To KILL dozens of innocent people because of your own shit? That’s a whole different story.

You shamed yourself but I don’t really care about that.

I care that you shamed Blacksburg and that you shamed Virginia Tech. You shamed Virginia. You shamed South Korea and you shamed your home country, the US. Growing up watching Pearl Jam’s Jeremy video and news coverage of the shootings in Columbine just like all of your classmates, did you look at it all differently? Did you look with envy, with satisfaction, with resolve?

I understand why you did it: you’re crazy. That very rare kind of very dangerous crazy.

But here’s what I don’t understand:

How could you have lived so miserably for so long? I just don’t get it.

Maybe you didn’t have that thing that so many of us have—that thing that makes us work to extract unhappiness from our lives, or that other thing that makes us look to others for comfort and love and support. The world knows you didn’t have the latter for sure.

You were a loner.

Your roommate couldn’t pronounce your name. He and your suite mates thought the reason you didn’t talk much was because you couldn’t really speak English. They didn’t know that you moved here when you were eight years old, that you not only spoke English, but that your major was English.

Maybe you lacked lots of the things that most of us have and take for granted. Maybe you knew that and that’s why you were so pissed off: you just couldn’t get it right. No matter what you did you got it all wrong. Probably from very, very young. Not your fault, kid, you weren’t born with all the ingredients. But, guess what? Drug companies make ingredients—and have since you were very, very young.

There is, of course, the tragic possibility that no one tried to help you growing up—though I heard your parents were “super nice.” Even if you did have to grow up feeling isolated and lonely and angry and just plain different, your professors tried to help you once you got to Tech (as, I would bet many teachers did along the way). They begged you to go to counseling. Once, you were sent to a mental hospital: why why WHY did you not put down the pride (not missing that ingredient, to be sure) and just tell them what was going on? You don’t even have to be in touch with your feelings to say that you have no social support; no friends, no girlfriends, not even acquaintances. No buddies. Of all the times to have opened your mouth, that would have been the time. You really fucked that one up, pal.

Here’s what else you fucked up:


We all know what you fucked up. But how long did you know you were going to do it? You were there for 3 ½ years; surrounded by happy, laughing, social people whose behavior must have, however unwittingly, so mocked your inability to similarly engage that all you had were fantasies and passive-aggressively violent plays for your classmates to have to read and shudder as they mumbled “it’s good” or “nice work” or other unspecific un-trespassing remarks to avoid freaking out the freaky guy who never talks.

Your beef wasn’t really with rich people. It was with people rich with all the ingredients that people are supposed to have. You got genetically short-changed big time but by killing innocent strangers did you really get even?

I can’t help it. I feel bad for you. You must have been in a lot of pain. A lifetime of pain. I wish I could feel less bad for you. I wish I could hate you and dismiss you as some soulless devil figure in one of the stories you wrote or may have written. I read your two plays that were posted online. Aside from melodrama and poorly-described scenes (where the hell was Mr Brownstone? Just standing there?), it was obvious that you were rabidly angry. Filled with unreasonable, unbridled anger. Yeah, sure, the world fucked you alright so you fucked it right back, is that it?

I’m more than an a little angry myself: at you. You killed innocent people, you fucked up my town, my college, their good names and the good feelings people had tied to them. The Hokies’ll win it back, I know (see Columbine wasn’t on the map before those kids came along, Virginia Tech was, nice try). I’m still pretty confused by all of this and, mostly, by my feelings about you and your telltale featureless face that could only belong to a mass murderer (could the media PLEASE stop showing it?). I wish it never happened (insultingly obvious comment, I know) and I wish I never knew of you.

I wish that, wherever you are, you have no idea about all of the attention you’re getting right now. You don’t deserve it. The ones who were killed do but, again, for insultingly obvious reasons, I wish I’d never heard of them, either.

Couldn’t you have killed just yourself? That way, we would have felt 100% unmitigated bad for you. Better, we never would have heard of you. And everyone else would be alive, in class, and answering their cell phones.

Sorry for your pain (truly), but fuck you for bringing so much of it for everyone else.



Blogger joestrummerlives said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:59 PM  
Blogger joestrummerlives said...

Well put Star. You summed up many of the feelings me and countless other people are having. I, however, cannot muster an ounce of sympathy for this asshole. Maybe I am just too bitter, I don’t know. But the moment he pulled the trigger, my compassion well went dry.

The fact that you are capable of feeling bad for him is one of the many reasons why so many of us adore you. That and your liberal use of the word fuck. We dig that as well.

Sending you some East Coast love from the Commonwealth…

1:02 PM  
Blogger starpower said...

A very sincere thanks, Joe. Much love.

2:30 PM  

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