Tuesday, April 24, 2007

American Idol for the Psychotic

Listening to a news story on the radio about recent terrorism in Iraq on the drive this morning.

Terrorism is basically a 19th century fashion that seems to have been changed somehow in recent years. Guerrilla warfare dates back to the French invasion of Spain during the Napoleonic wars. Terrorism generally had to wait until later in the 19th century. It was quite popular in Tsarist Russia, for example. Suicide bombings seem to have begun with the Algerian Revolution, although one could make the case that kamikaze pilots were practicing a form of suicide bombing.

What seems to be new is suicide bombers sending out press releases and videos. It's sort of like American Idol for the psychotic- anyone can go to being a semi-celebrity from utter obscurity. Anonymity seems like a modern form of a universe without immanence. I'm quite serious when I ask if suicide bombers really need to kill others to be successful. It's noteworthy too that the Virginia Tech rampage actually had an intermission in which the killer sent a video to the media.

Is the modern equivalent of a meaningless death one that isn't recorded by the media?

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