Posted by : April 18, 2007
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I find it interesting that in the search for explanations into the Virginia Tech tragedy that everyone is focusing on the violent fiction of the shooter. It is only natural to want answers, but it often disgusts me that in the search for meaning, people focus in on these things.
I remember when Columbine happened, there was an uproar over the fact that the teen shooters had played the computer game DOOM. Yeah? So did millions of other teens who… *gasp* actually stayed sane and somehow managed to NOT shoot up their school!
Millions of people write or have written violent stories, just as millions play violent video games. It doesn’t even come close to explaining why a young man decided to kill a bunch of his fellow students.
Now any student who creatively expresses themselves by writing violent stories is going to be suspect as someone who might go on a rampage. I guarantee that violent fiction itself is going to become a central topic in the coming months.
I suppose it’s only natural for a society in shock and frustration over senseless deaths be motivated to go on a witch hunt. I know lots of people are hurting, and in addition, searching for answers. But let’s keep the search rational. There’s no need to knee-jerk into the realm of alarmism and censorship. But unfortunately everytime something like this happens, that’s exactly what we as a society do.
Cho Seung-Hui obviously had serious mental and emotional problems. Why can’t we leave it at that? What does his writing, or any writing, have to do with what his decision to mass murder? He made a condemnable choice of premeditated murder, and that’s all we really need to know. Why?
Because he was an unstable person. It’s not a great answer, but it’s probably the only rational one we’re going to get.
Posted by : February 21, 2007
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If things shift, change, distort or otherwise look a little different that’s because I’m doing a little cleaning around here. My sidebar was loading way too slow so I had to get rid of a ton of junk, including my vanity. Also added a WordPress Popularity Contest plugin, which collects stats on each post and ranks them by percentage of most popular.
I aplogize in advance if any dust bunnies fly in your face. I’m kickin’ up a storm over here.
Got any spring projects in mind?
Posted by : January 9, 2007
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Kristin over at “Write now is good” tagged me with the “5 little known facts” meme. Normally I don’t get into these little blogosphere games, but for fear of being a scrooge and a little thing called my ego, I’ll give it a try!
- My last name is von Rothkirch, which is German. People assume I’m German. I’m 50% Swedish and 25% Norwegian. My grandfather made up my last name in the 1940s. I suppose if he’d stuck with his real last name, my last name would be Tkach. Don’t ask me to pronounce that! Some have told me that’s Czech. So I might be a fraction Czech, spiced with copious amounts of Viking blood.
- In the fourth grade I scored eighth grade reading level and second grade math. I always aced reading, and later foreign languages. Nobody seemed to care about this. I was always a bad kid for failing math. At least it means I won’t end up in a Special Education writing class… I hope.
- I play guitar. I was in a rock band as a teenager. No we weren’t famous, but we wanted to be. The band went through several incarnations. It started as a bad grunge metal band then evolved into new wave and electronica then into hardcore indie. Here is a song we played live around 1997 in the basement of Extreme Noise record shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You guess which phase we were in, and when you figure it out tell me because I have no clue.
- I went to an Audio Recording Specialist program at a technical college. I wanted to be a music producer, along with 20 other kids in the class. Butch Vig was my hero. I wonder how many ended up as famous music producers? I learned a lot about sound, the human ear, and recording. It pushed me towards sound design for games, so I guess I owe my current job to that.
- I started in the game industry as a level designer. Now I’m a sound designer. I tell people I enjoy writing. This confuses people. That’s okay, a lot of things about me confuse people — like why I enjoy doing so many varied things, none of which I excel at. Jack of all trades, master of none. I prefer Dirty Dilettante. It sounds more dashing. When your hobby becomes your job then it’s time for you to find a new hobby. Trust me on that.
Now you know more than you could ever possibly want to know about me. Thanks Kristin!