Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Gray Line

I have something to say about free speech and Cho Seung-Hui.

It is being said that the students and professors in the English Department were disturbed by his writing. His plays were disturbing. But so was he. That’s how it is being interpreted in the news. Go listen.
And I don’t think it is being said, at least not enough, that his writings, in connection to his behavior are what made them seek help for him. In that same news video they mention that the university could not do anything because student’s are free to write what they will. It’s a slight pause and twist that the news is doing. Clearly if everyone who wrote horror films were suspected of possibly committing those same acts then we would not have any horror writers. So why aren’t they being committed to a mental ward? Because they are open and talk about their work. By all accounts Cho Seung-Hui would not communicate about why he wrote what he did, and that is what caused the concern.

Convicting a person by their possible intentions is a very gray world. For example, in Minority Report, the movie presented a possible future where crimes were predicted by psychics and the possible criminals were arrested before committing the crime, but the plot thickened when it was discovered that one of the psychics would predict simultaneous reports that these possible criminals would not commit the crime. How can we judge? Can you imagine if there were laws out there that said people could be arrested on suspicion alone?

Perhaps if it was discovered by school officials earlier that Cho Seung-Hui had guns in his dorm room, then more action could have been taken. The gray world, between fact, suspicion, and all of the little trails that make your stomach turn over.

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