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Wed, Dec. 24th, 2008 12:00 am
A brief history of moral panics

43CommentReply

imomus
imomus
imomus
Wed, Dec. 24th, 2008 10:38 am (UTC)
Re: Other possible factors that I would love to hear discussed

I left out The Crow and The Matrix and so on because I haven't seen them, and would have tended to dismiss the arguments stressing the influence of films, computer games and music on the Columbine killers as reactionary.

In Japan, when a knife-wielding maniac went postal in Akihabara, otaku culture was blamed, despite the fact that Akihabara -- the man's target -- was itself the symbolic centre of otaku culture.

In a certain sense we can see moral panics as symbolic enactments of the very acts of violence they seem to condemn. It's easy to imagine high school shooters thinking to themselves "This culture is vile and corrupt" as they shoot their schoolmates down -- and then the commentators come along, look at the shooting, and also say "This culture is vile and corrupt".

"We agree, that's why we did it," say the now-dead shooters.


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