Thursday, April 19, 2007


I'd like to introduce an exciting new component to this space. Twice weekly, I will be posting links to other blog posts in the spirit of generating conversation, and also in the hopes of adding depth and variety to our ongoing dialog about Buddhism, culture, and politics. I hope it proves useful! Today, I'll be focusing my links on the shootings at Virginia Tech.

Bob Cesca
(The Huffington Post)
In this piece, Bob Cesca pins much of the blame for the Virginia Tech massacre on the failings of our American culture:
The focus has to be aimed point-blank at the cold, brutal reality that there exists a serious inability to cope with American pop, economic and social pressures; a criminal lack of understanding of mental and physical health issues; and the problem solving examples instilled upon us by our elected leaders in a time when visual and printed access to information is at an all time high.
Pax et lux
Liberata riffs on Bob Cesca's post, stating:
...we certainly need to nurture more acceptance of ourselves and compassion for others... and, as someone once said, we need to learn to LOVE people and USE things (the former lavishly, the latter, sparingly), not the other way around;...resorting to violence is modeled at the highest levels of our American society, while cooperation and working out differences nonviolently are skills considered good only for weaklings...[H]ealth care --including mental health care-- should be universally available and FREE.
Silliman's Blog
Ron Silliman makes an astute connection between culture and individual psychology:
There is hardly anyone lonelier than a college student away from home the first time who doesn’t know how to fit in. Toss in paranoia & unfolding schizophrenia and you have a stew brewing that can turn into trouble.
(Thanks to Integral Options Cafe for bringing this post to my attention. Oh, and through that same source, here's Nikki Giovanni)

Watch out for future Conversations on a variety of topics.

1 comment:

Mark said...

As a current college student, I can attest to the fact that all of those explanations have some grains of truth in them. The workloads expected of students at our age can be tremendous all on their own, mixed with the social pressures of greek life, or just friends in general, and the constant bombardment of information. I have to worry about the fourteen pages due Friday, the fraternity meetings I need to be present at, the readings due for tomorrow, and practice my instruments to maintain my scholarships. On top of that, I worry about global issues like global warming, population overgrowth, the war in Iraq, and I'd like to be able to have a little me-time in the midst of that. If you're not careful, it's easy to go crazy. I've seen lots of kids here in the dorm I live in lose grip in a couple of semesters and end up dropping out because they can't handle it. Maybe it isn't one cause, but just trying to cope with life can be tough. I don't know a lot about the perpetraitor of the crimes at VA Tech, but I do know that college life isn't easy for anyone, let alone someone with a history of mental imbalance. The world is a busy, noisy place.