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 "The Soundtrack of School Shootings": An analysis of Pekka-Eric Auvinens Videos

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PostSubject: "The Soundtrack of School Shootings": An analysis of Pekka-Eric Auvinens Videos   Wed Oct 23, 2013 8:41 am

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Join date : 2013-09-28
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PostSubject: Re: "The Soundtrack of School Shootings": An analysis of Pekka-Eric Auvinens Videos   Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:00 pm

Thanks for linking to this article! It’s very interesting.

For the sake of others considering reading it, here’s an account of what it says: it’s analyzing the ‘’cultural script’’ to school shootings, more particularly that of the Jokela school in Finland by Pekka-Eric Auvinen.

It is argued that the cultural script or the cultural background with music, videos, web sites, etc. is one of five necessary conditions for school shootings to happen (the others are the school shooter perception of himself as marginal, mental health problems, a failure of surveillance systems and availability of guns as described by researcher Katherine Newman).

Through a theoretical framework based on cultural pedagogy, it postulates that culture constitutes a political and pedagogical force. This implies that the cultural script available to school shooters guide young people to form their identities, their relationships with others and, ultimately, on how to perform the shooting and advertise it to posterity.

The author says that as one of the first big and highly mediated school shooting, Columbine has been integrated into the cultural script, basically offering a background and guidelines on how to do a shooting to the copycats.

''Identity is constructed through performance’’, and identity through performance is all about producing images of oneself, such as what Eric and Dylan did when they wrote their diaries and made the Basement Tapes. The same can be said of other school shooters after Columbine.
The author undoes the usual stereotype from media that there is a relationship between the goth subculture and school shootings.

There is, though, a relationship with the type of music that school shooters listen to (metal, EBM, rock-heavy, electronic), although one has been known to use classical music. (As an aside, are we going to placate Wagner and Beethoven for their role in school massacres the way we do KFMDM?) School shooters feed on each other’s tastes and reproduce political ideologies, ideas about the world and why they are planning a shooting.

The author then goes on in more detail about Eric-Pekka Auvinen, the Jokela murderer, and how he idolized Eric Harris. Eric-Pekka made over 140 videos of himself, wrote a manifesto and other writings, making his ‘’media package’’ the most exhaustive of all school shooters. His writings and videos speak of a constructed male identity that is both violent, sexually overbearing and communicates feelings of superiority to others, much like Eric Harris’ journal and tapes. Like him, he was rather on the periphery of social circles and was socially anxious much like Dylan Klebold. This double identity, one social and the other fictive, is a regular part of school shooter’s behaviour.

The author ends by saying that Western society craves spectacle, with sensational and even gruesome details which helps contribute to creation of the cultural script necessary to school shooters to perform their own massacre.

(As an aside: this article gives more attention to the cultural aspect of school shooting than other stuff I’ve read, in a serious manner. However, from the author’s viewpoint, it’s still the most elusive and difficult to describe of all five necessary conditions to school shootings).

"Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do? My pain is constant and sharp and I do not hope for a better world for anyone. In fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape."
- American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis (1991)
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