4/21/13

The devil made "we" do it



Jason Lim is a columnist for the Korea Times who writes thoughtful commentaries. After going through the trauma of trying to understand Eun-jung Chung’s rambling commentary yesterday, Lim's was a delight.
My only complaints about his column in yesterday's Korea Times on terrorism. 

1)     According to my Microsoft Word counter, he used the word “we” 53 times. I’m not saying that using “we” is wrong. Slow down and use your brain. His constant use of the word was to explain how people think...I feel like I have been drafted as an advocate of his argument.

2)     This paragraph stands out among the others: 
“Then we create a narrative that explains why this person (or group of persons) did what he or she did. And when we collectively believe in this narrative that we created, it becomes the truth of what happened. And that truth, often not supported by facts, will drive our decisions and actions.”

3)     I don't agree with his analysis so I can't join him for the ride. I may be the only person on the planet who doesn't care why the terrorists did what they did. It is a legitimate issue for law enforcement because they want to figure out who else may be involved. But for all of the Perry Masons and Judge Judys watching at home, I'm not sure why it is relevant.

Criminals seem to have different explanations, with my favorite still being Flip Wilson’s “The Devil Made Me Do It.” If law enforcement has enough evidence to prove the accused did the crime, that’s enough for me. Lock ‘em away or execute them—they can figure out their own root causes while they are behind bars. They can explain the “why” to their mothers or sweethearts.

4) I'm going against the tide, I know. The idea that psychopathic and crazy people do psychopathic and crazy things for a reason other than that they are psychopathic and crazy requires a rational explanation. I will guess those are the people Lim is speaking on behalf of.

In president Obama's first statement about the bombing. he said: "We'll find out who did this, we'll find out why they did this." Okay, so the "we" here is law enforcement, and they have a specific mission. For journalists: "Why did they do it? Stay tuned to find out, that and more."

Haven't these particular psychopaths already had enough face time? I have heard enough on the radio about the losers that I can explain why I am not interested in those losers.

I'm just an unsophisticated, lock-em-up and melt-the-key kinda guy. The Boston Bombers had their days in the media. Time for the rule of law and law enforcement to do their thing, hopefully with a speedy and proper execution to follow.

CJL

Disclaimers: 

1)  First prize for the person who correctly counts the number of times I used “we” to talk about what people believe.
2) I certainly understand law enforcement wanting to understand the criminal mind, as part of the investigation. But "why" is fodder for the chattering class of society.