Saturday, October 7, 2017

"His boring existence and his pointlessness"

Ever since the murders in Las Vegas I have been waiting for an explanation. Why did that guy do that? What was the motive? I want it to make some kind of sense. Stephen McAlpine, referring to a David Aaronovitch column in The Times, thinks "The Pointlessness of Vegas is Its Point":
.... Paddock’s actions are the perfect Nietzschean response are they not? Long before 58 people died in a hail of automatic gunfire, the idea of God was dead to Paddock. And with the idea of God long dead, Paddock has gotten away with it. ....

But as Aaronovitch observes the need to find a motive, a reason for it beyond the sheer pointlessness of it all, is a necessity in our times, but ultimately a refusal to face the appalling alternative, that there was no point. As he says:
There could yet be a true Paddock out there, full of motive, but the motiveless one feels right to me. And the picture it creates shows, in many ways, something worse even than political violence or grudge killing.
Here we are living in a world which scorns the religious dogma and calls out for us to be brave and go into the world alone and out of the world again alone, yet when someone does exactly that, and takes their actions to the logical conclusion of that position, everyone scurries to their comfort blanket of motives. ....

Aaronovitch continues:
The Paddock described so far emerges not from cause but from causelessness, not from a sense of location but of anomie or absence of normal social standards. He existed, and would continue to exist, in a vast, exurban, empty landscape, with no one much to love, if he ever loved. Day after day after day with only himself to please. Stephen Paddock with his boring existence and his pointlessness is what is really terrifying.
Rather than scratch around for conspiracy theories, wasting time coming up with motives, do yourself a favour and pick up Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. That cuts to the chase. That exposes the mind of a man who has no reason to kill anyone other than the idea that he can and it won’t matter. ....

We can’t face the awful fact that Paddock got away with it. Plenty of money, no real problems, no real concerns, nothing in his past to haunt him, nothing in his future to worry him except for the oblivion of death. And if that didn’t worry him, and without a God to judge your actions why would it, then Paddock got away with it. ....
Except...