Killing at Virginia Tech University and Taxi Driver
I have not posted for more than 10 days. This is because I have been heavily involved in new classes and administrative works in our college since the beginning of this month.
But I would like to say a word about the mass killing at Virginia Tech University. New York Times published an essay which insists that the killer, Cho Seung-Hui, might have been influenced by the Korean violence movie, "Oldboy." ("Virginia Tech killer's hammer photograph resembles the violent South Korean movie 'Oldboy'", New York Times, International Herald Tribune, April 19,2007)
I have never seen that Korean movie, but what came to my mind when I first saw the photos of the killer was the American movie, Taxi Driver, and its hero, Travis Bickle. It is hard to explain, but I cannot help thinking that Cho Seung-Hui and Travis Bickle share the same illness, the illness which many Americans might have at the deep layer of their consciousness, that is to say, a craving for bloodshed, violence, and mass killing. Everytime I saw American movies I wondered why American movies were filled with so many violent killing scenes with very realistic sounds. For instance, even the Hollywood enternainment film, Patriot Games, is filled with homicide scenes throughout the film, to say nothing of such indie films as Pulp Fiction and others.
What I want to emphasize here is that it is American movies' bloodthirstiness, not Korean ones deeply influenced by Hollywood, that should be pointed out and criticized. And we have to think deeply about why there are so many homicide scenes in Hollywood movies. I can smell their craving for bloodshed, and I doubt this subconscious might support their mighty American army. Remember Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. Cho Seung-Hui was born in Korea, but he spent his adolescence in the US, in this sense, he is a son of America, and his illness must have some connection with the pathology of American society.
Photo: Zushi Coast
-- M.Morioka www.lifestudies.org