By Alexander Reid Ross (May 21, 2018)
It’s just a nightmare. I’m from Houston. It’s a place near and dear to my heart. When this sort of thing becomes normal, we all become targets.
That this latest shooting was carried out by a gun obsessed white male is as unsurprising as his apparent fusion of authoritarian left-right politics. A hammer and sickle pin means rebellion, while an iron cross means authority.
It was already clear what kind of deranged products can come out of subcultural politics last year when Jeremy Christian murdered two people on the MAX in Portland. Christian had been a metal head with leftist, Cascadia leanings—I knew people in that scene who were friends with him before he swerved to the far right.
Today, we are seeing more than ever the joining together of far right and left both in conferences and the “alternative media” space. They claim to be anti-war but they are hawks who viciously attack their critics using legal threats and harassment tactics taken straight from the Gamergate playbook.
This shooting is about guns and what they mean to our culture, but more than that, it’s about the mainstream patriarchy underlying that culture and how various subcultures reproduce it with even more intensity…
The ability to clip on a hammer and sickle and an iron cross on the way to murdering high school students indicates the fullest absurdity of authoritarianism in general. This is America today: the snuffing out of sensibility, the urge for power, and the self-destructive drive toward catastrophe.
My heart goes out to the survivors and victims today. I sincerely hope that we will find a way to overcome the cynicism and cowardice that is destroying us. I wish we could reach out to people and reconnect with humanity, sensitivity, and love.