Friday, July 24, 2015

SWOONING OVER THE UNSPEAKABLE

I was appalled yesterday when I read a Slate article about the "Holmies" -- young women who've been blogging about their hero-worship of James Holmes, the movie theater shooter (or I should say the Colorado movie theater shooter, because, as I'm sure you know, we have a new theater shooter in Louisiana). The Holmies are disturbing:
He was the most loathed man in America, but on Tumblr, a small group of women felt something more like attraction. “I need to feel his lips pressed against mine,” one woman wrote. “His eyes are penetrating the fuck out of my soul,” wrote another. And “I know people are going to think I’m fucked up, but I bet he looked really hot in that ballistic gear.”

They called themselves “Holmies,” and as they awaited the next glimpse of Holmes in court, they constructed a digital daydream of who he might be. They soaked up his tiniest biographical details (his car smelled like strawberry air freshener!), swooned over a surfaced photo of Holmes squinting and shirtless by the pool, Photoshopped his face onto pornographic GIFs, and used a photo-morphing app to conjure baby pics of the future children they would have with him. They weaved friendship bracelets out of orange string and dressed up in plaid homages to Holmes’ arrest outfit
They're reminiscent of the "Free Jahar" crowd -- the fans who swooned over Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and insisted he was innocent of the Boston Marathon bombing.

What gets into these young women? Is it decadent twenty-first-century culture? Is it the Internet? Is it youth? Is it rampaging adolescent female hormones?

I think all that -- and then I read about a grown man who drove five hours to replace a tiny divot in a Memphis park next to the grave of Nathan Bedford Forrest, Confederate general and first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan:
Some people are calling a religious group vandals and claim they broke the law when they dug up a patch of grass next to a Confederate general’s grave in a Memphis park Wednesday.

Thursday, a man drove hundreds of miles to plant new grass.

“When I saw this last night, my wife couldn’t understand why I was shaking so badly,” Scott Hudson of Lincoln County, Tennessee, said....

“I’m going to repair the blatant disregard for this cemetery,” Hudson said.

He was so outraged that he cut a piece of his own lawn, drove five hours and laid the patch down.

“It just upset me to my core, because my great-grandfather R.C. Hudson fought in the Confederate Army,” he said.
Yes -- this guy drove five hours to repair what a local reporter called "a small divot in the grass," dug by a group of elderly black Christians:



And he was choked up:



Do you see much difference between this guy and the young women who built fan pages to Holmes and Tsarnaev? I don't. They all get weak in the knees thinking about an evil monster. They put an absurd amount of effort into that worship.

This isn't a problem of youth or estrogen or the Net. Some people are just messed up.

8 comments:

Paul Canning said...

This is hardly new. If you think that's bad you should see John Waters (the film director)'s house!

Professor Chaos said...

I remember young women swooning over the night stalker and the Menendez brothers too. Notorious killers always attract a certain segment of the population. I can't imagine why but I assume it has ever been thus.

tony in san diego said...

In a nation of 350 million people, you can find half a dozen freaks of any kind. The internet magnifies their significance by a factor of a million.

John Taylor said...

I remember how many women treated Richard Ramirez like a teen idol. Made me sick to watch this smirking SOB and his adoring fans.

petrilli said...

Whatever this confederate Bubba guy's problem is, I have a hard time putting him the same category as a Manson groupie. But I don't with this bitch.

aimai said...

Ayn Rand herself was a groupie for one of the most horrific murderers of her day, a man named Hickman.http://www.rawstory.com/2015/01/how-ayn-rand-became-a-big-admirer-of-serial-killer-william-hickman/ Hickman's murder and dismemberment of a young girl was so horrible I won't even quote from the article directly but Ayn Rand adored him for his contempt for his victim and for society.

Men and women adore notoriety, will write to criminals and murderers, and will fantastize about them. Its incredibly common and has nothing to do with gender, really.

aimai said...

Oops, I missed that petrilli linked to the article before I did. My apologies!

Ken_L said...

The difference is that the young women will grow out of their crushes and live to be ashamed of them, while the other guy has a lifelong affliction.