Idle Hands

I came across a story in the news last week about how Mark Bird, a professor at the College of Southern Nevada, shot himself in the arm with a .22 caliber pistol in a campus restroom. This was to protest Drumpf, of course. I honestly feel bad for the poor guy. Nobody is in a good spot in life when they deliberately shoot themselves. He was most likely suffering from loneliness and seeking attention. It’s a bad idea to judge the situation in a political sense. He’s also 69 years old. Lots of dudes that age are crazy, so don’t rule out the possibility for yourself.

I’m far younger than a Baby Boomer, but I can remember when crazy, particularly in the South, wasn’t too big of a deal. It used to be a part of a person’s name and these individuals were relatively harmless. That’s Crazy Larry. He mumbles semi-coherently. It’s what he does. Just part of the landscape.

There was this crazy old dude who lived down the street when I was a kid. I never saw him wear any outfit other than a Michael Myers jumpsuit. He’d spend his days drinking liquor while tinkering on an car in his driveway. He never got it to go more than halfway down the block. Whenever I passed by, I’d wave and say “Hey crazy mister Joe!” He’d just mutter and wave back. They eventually had to demolish the house after he keeled over and died in it. Hoarding ain’t good for structural integrity. I sure miss Mayberry.

What alarms me are young men who’ve lost touch with reality because they can be super dangerous. Here’s a couple that really stand out in my memory. Unlike the pure lunacy (and SSRIs) that propels someone like the Batman movie-massacre guy, there are clear motives behind these two that can be parceled out from the madness.

First up is 22 year-old Elliot Rodger. He was an “incel” from California. I wasn’t even aware the term existed before he embarked on his shooting spree back in 2014. So, the kid was upset about not attracting females like Justin Beiber does or something. That shouldn’t be a big deal.

Hit the gym, toss out the video game console, and work on accomplishing something women find interesting. They can smell desperation like a shark smells blood in the water, so rinse yourself of that scent. If you’re unwilling to take such measures, then enjoy your X-Box because that’s all you’re going to enjoy. Everybody used to understand this kind of thing. It’s hardly a matter to kill over.

The other guy is 24 year-old David Katz–nom de guerre: “Bread”. This young version of Rahm Emmanuel achieved fleeting infamy last month after executing two fellow video gamers before offing himself at the Madden NFL 19 Tournament in Jacksonville, Florida. Yep, lost a stupid game. Time to fold up shop.

What’s not taken into account in media coverage is that these guys were obviously not doing enough with their time, and probably never had. That, in itself, is a very dangerous situation. Within a couple months of finishing high school, I had someone shouting in my face while I did push-ups and ran around in formation trying not to puke. Morning started with a trumpet and it was full speed ahead. Time for introspection or discontent? Not much. It takes time to go nuts.

Idle hands do the devil’s work. This is a timeless maxim that applies to young men, not so much the rest of society. You’re supposed to be busy then cut loose in your limited free time. Try not to get in trouble. Also, avoid dip. That’s a very bad habit to acquire.