|Thursday, 16 December 2010 19:03|
Clay Duke and the School Board Shoot Out:
We all know the story by now. A man who had lost his job confronted school board members over his wife losing her job as a teacher, the latter factor spelling financial ruin for the family. Sure, he had a past (most everyone does) but he also had a future - until this last straw. In his fifties and once having believed in the now dramatically shattered American dream, an epidemic nightmare he shared with the millions of American (and Canadian) adults who never foresaw themselves devolving to the "losing class", becoming inelegant, or "be-tricked" victims in and of a global oligarchy, he snapped. It was clear he wanted to die. He was out of options.
The Fed decided to print and infuse $600 billion (more) into the U.S. economy yesterday - the day after Clay Duke conveniently missed shooting his school board audience, but took his own life as planned. However, as Clay and four others who (we have heard) threw in the towel in the last few months knew, neither the last nor the present nor future "infusions" will touch their lives. In fact, a large proportion of the millions who watched Duke denounce his own life and shoot, did so with a combination of ghoulish fascination and identification. As a mental health professional and psychographic researcher, I can safely say that too many people feel unsafe, lost, or finished, definitely not part of the consumer class, let alone among the rapidly vanishing (not "diminishing") middle class. Among a thousand points of darkness, made darker, heavier by the confirmation that his country would risk national bankruptcy before it would tax billionaires, and with a reasoned sense of myriad additional and increasingly glaring supports and advantages for the super-rich at great cost to and contempt for the massive and increasing "underclass", Clay essentially took his life in such a way so as to ensure that we knew why.
While Clay Duke's suicide and his terrorizing of slightly over a half dozen job-ensconced and well-pensioned school board employees was and is tragic, if we merely and speciously "situate" the incident and Clay in the muck of his own life, we are being dangerously dumb. It does not require training in the area of the human psyche to recognize that Mr. Duke acted out a version of a million fantasies, displayed the endpoint of the slow fracturing of millions of hearts, and the resignation of insulted souls. Sure, he had a past. But it was the fact and the finality of the absence of a future that made him (and others) a dangerous exemplar of the times.