So. Virginia Tech.
I don't know anyone who attends the school and I've followed the coverage just enough to know the basic facts and to have read Cho's two plays and I just want to comment on two things: one about something I haven't heard and one about something I have.
1 Unlike Sikhs getting shot post9/11, I haven't heard nor do I anticipate--nor can I hardly imagine--a backlash against Koreans because of this barbarism. But, for the first time I can remember, the attacker in one of these events has not been a white kid. I'd never thought about that fact until I learned this one was different, but know I wonder if America's sizable Korean community might be painted with a Cho-colored brush.
This possibility would, of course, bother me with any minority community, but especially when it comes to Koreans. There have been times in my life--stretches lasting full weeks--wherein I totally forgot I was not Korean. My language skill may be shabby these days, but I still think of myself as adopted by the Peninsula.
Don't hate Koreans. We're people just like you.
(Not that readers of Thmusings would be so ignorant.....)
2 The thing that bothers me with reason is how so many in the media are suggesting that Cho should have been locked up long ago because he wrote violent tales.
Here I am.
Lock me up too.
I've read those plays, as I mentioned, and (including the fact that he's a crappy writer) there wasn't much to distinguish them from the sorts of things my high school students (male) would turn in for creative writing assignments.
And although I get the impression that the two plays posted were much milder than others he wrote for class, they were also milder than some things I've written.
It's important to keep in mind that it wasn't just the stuff Cho wrote, it was his demeanor--his aura--that made people leery of him.
And it wasn't just in his creative writing classes that he was looked at warily.
Now it seems like the backlash against the simpleminded scary-writing-must-mean-psycho conclusion has already begun--and thank goodness--but the fact that the media leapt on this so quickly suggests to me that (at least when we don't have any better facts to report) people are willing to treat the writing of fiction as a disease.
Question: How far from this mindset to bookbanning, government-sponsored censorship, Fahrenheit 451?
I'm not paranoid.
I'm just asking.