Another Sad News Day

Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Today I interviewed a grown man who was close to sobbing because of what he witnessed yesterday.  He was the cab driver that drove a man to Park West hospital in Knoxville.  The man jumped out of the cab and opened fire on three women he didn't know.  One of them died and he also shot himself in the head.

Why would someone do that?  His friends and family say he was mentally unstable but a very nice man while he was taking his medication.  According to police, he had an appendectomy in 2001 and believed the doctor implanted a chip in his body so the federal government could track him.  The doctor wasn't at the hospital yesterday so he shot people randomly.  The whole "implanted chip" thing sounds absurd, right?  I thought so too until I logged onto the "Rants and Raves" section of Craigslist in Knoxville to see some people actually believe that is happening.

It is surprising how many people are suffering from paranoia when it comes to the US government.  Rather than celebrate our freedoms as citizens of a rich, blessed Western country, some people choose to believe our rights are being taken away by "Big Government" and that yes, Average Joe citizens are being tracked through microchips by the CIA.

There's always a group of folks that don't like change.  They will not accept new ideas and will fight against innovation with a cold, damning snarl.  Along with it often comes a call to irrational action and beliefs.  Since when did things get so silly...and so DANGEROUS?

Ignorance breeds paranoia and random, irrational violence can sprout from seeds of fear.  We have to be careful about the messages we accept.  Is it truly possible that the federal government would bribe a doctor to implant a microchip in a corner market employee in Tennessee and track him for life?  I guess it depends on who you listen to.

Who are we listening to?  We can't take our sources for granted.  Are they educated?  Are they paid millions to entertain?  Are they balanced?  I'm asking myself the same questions when it comes to the messages I let in.  I've even started turning away from the television during commercials so I'm not enticed by fast food ads.  The food they show isn't real.  It is treated with chemicals to look juicy and fresh during a 5 hour photo shoot.  That's the point... we believe it is real and we buy it.

Let's try to move beyond surface marketing together.  Let's get our hands dirty.  It isn't always easy to use reasoning but in the end, it might save a life or prevent unspeakable sorrow.

5 comments

pRicky said...

You know the thing is that Maslow's hierarchy works perfectly. When people have basics sorted they are concerned by other issues which becomes an issue of anguish...
Its sad but its the truth about human nature...

Anonymous said...

What a sad story. The most disturbing thing is how many relatively sane people either believe or at least take ideas like this seriously. I believe that this man may have been schizophrenic and/or otherwise delusional, so it is possible that he might have done this without prompting from others. Still, having internet sites promoting crap like this is for the mentally unstable like the back room of a pharmacy for a prescription drug addict.

Ted Stryk said...

The above post is mine. Don't know why it came up as "anonymous."

Anonymous said...

Sorry but Schizophrenia has been around a lot longer than our current President and unless you have research proving otherwise, one would logically assume it plays no favorites politically. The Unabomber did have a copy of Al Gore’s book, however. And it was highlighted!

Denae said...

Excellent comments, all. Thanks for weighing in.