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Presented in 2008 at http://www.iatq.ca/
A critical look at the cases of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, two boys responsible for the Columbine High School massacre, and Seung-Hui Cho, responsible for the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech. After careful examination of the published literature on various topics including junior delinquency, school massacres, and the psychoanalytic perspective, it is clear that these violent incidences are logical consequences of an escapist approach to reality, undeniably prevalent in the current youth population at large.
Fantasies ("any product of the imagination"), conjured up by books, movies, games, television, internet, and drugs provide an escape away from the unsatisfactory reality, and serve as "one weapon in the war against" it. Although fantasizing can be therapeutic and creative in moderation, when one is hopelessly ill-equipped to deal with the obstacles of real life, one becomes more and more dependent on fantasies as the solution to all problems. In the case of Harris, Klebold and Cho, this dependence escalated to violent antagonization of reality. However, the maker of these young mass murderers is not violence in movies and video games, but the society that breeds a generation of escapists who need such fantasies to survive. The readymade fantasies on television – violent, sexual, and otherwise – that many criticize as the source of evil in these young people are mere symptoms of a greater phenomenon, produced to meet the overwhelming and preexisting demand for an escape.
The project is still in progress.