History Proves My Insanity

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For the past three weeks, all sorts of worry has followed since I wrote my post about the misuse of history. My biggest worry is that I came across as being a racist, which I’m not. I think my big mistake was going into too much detail and letting the facts run away with me. Maybe my opinions were too intense for some, I don’t know. What I do know is that throughout history, history has been misused by persons in order to fulfill some sort of agenda. By the left as a stick to beat people with and by the right to foster hatred and sometimes false senses of national pride.

Robert E Lee, this statue should not be torn down

One controversial point I made in that post was that I thought that statues of Robert E Lee should not be torn down. I know that he fought for the Confederacy whose cause was the maintaining of slavery in the South. It could be argued that it was because of his brilliant generalship, that the US Civil War lasted four years. He embarrassed several Union generals in the early years of the war and even his defeat at Gettysburg led to Lincoln sacking the general who won the battle. It took General Grant who realized that while the Union may lose 25,000 men and the Confederacy only 20,000, the Union could afford to lose that number while the Confederacy couldn’t. Basically, Grant wore Lee down in a war of attrition. My point here is that Lee was a great general who just happened to fight on the side which was pro-slavery. He, like so many Americans, fought for the side his home state did. Tearing down his statues does not alter that fact nor should his statue be seen as some symbol to slavery because I never saw it that way.

Abraham Lincoln Battalion

A slightly more recent historical confusion came in the form of the Spanish Civil War. For those who don’t know, the Spanish Civil War was between forces loyal to the elected government, which was left of centre and included socialists and communists and the Nationalist forces led by General Franco. History has shown Franco to be a fascist dictator, supported by Italy led by Mussolini and Nazi Germany. When the war started, thousands of men and women from many other countries came to Spain to fight on the side of the Loyalists against Franco. Roughly three-thousand of these were from the United States who formed the Abraham Lincoln Battalion. The battalion fought bravely in many engagements and many were killed during the three years they fought in Spain. One historical point: The Abraham Lincoln Battalion was the first American military unit to have full racial integration.

A few years back, I commented elsewhere that I never agreed with former US President Ronald Reagan’s comment that the Abraham Lincoln Battalion fought on the wrong side. Many people agreed with my comment but one person asked me if I would have liked Spain to have become like the USSR if the Loyalists had won. I asked him to provide evidence to this and while his response was “You’re kidding right?,” he never provided such evidence.

To me, this is another misuse of history. I have read a historical ‘What if’ that said Spain would have become a Soviet satellite state because the Loyalists had backing from Stalin and during the civil war, Spanish Communists carried out Stalinist style purges on their own side. Maybe so, we can only speculate here but my question is: “What made those Americans and others from around the world go to Spain and fight on the side of the Loyalists if they were determined to set up a Soviet state?” One argument would be that they were fighting against fascism and that was a noble cause. With the rise of Hitler and Mussolini, there was a genuine fear in the 1930s of fascism spreading, even more so that Communism. Maybe they were simply fighting on the side that they thought was right and it is only armchair historians who have put in their own conclusions on the matter based on some historical knowledge. Thinking about it can drive me to insanity. Still, I don’t think that the Abraham Lincoln Battalion fought on the wrong side. Additionally, wrong or right, these Americans sacrificed a lot to go to another country and fight for a cause and isn’t that what America is supposed to be all about?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Las Vegas Shooting- Will Anything Change?

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Photo From the Las Vegas Shooting last week

Now more than a week after the tragic shooting which happened at a music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, I feel that I can finally write about it. Originally, I wasn’t going to post about it as so many people have already put in their two penneth worth of thoughts regarding the terrible tragedy. As usual, things like this send my Asperger’s mind into hyper-drive for a number of reasons. The main one is being accused of jumping on the bandwagon along with everyone else who has an opinion on it. I’m not jumping on anything, I’m just exercising my right to share my thoughts and opinions on what happened. There’s also the opportunity to use the tragedy in shamelessly promoting my book, “He Was Weird.” Yes, it’s a great opportunity but it’s too soon to do it now. Maybe when wounds have healed, I might make comparisons to this shooting and the one in my book but not now. Again, it’s just a maybe.

What strikes me is every time something like this happens, most of the same old tired arguments and cliches come out. It did with Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech and even Columbine. We get people saying, “We need tougher gun laws.” “We can’t let this happen again, yada yada yada.” Then we get groups like the National Rifle Association screaming blue murder how any mass shooting isn’t a reason to take away their second amendment rights, the right to bear arms. These are the main battle lines between the two camps and everything else is merely an offshoot of them. Still, I think most people get fed up with hearing the same anecdotes.

As an American living in the UK, I have a third anxiety to contend with. When a mass shooting happens in America, the British stereotype of how all Americans are a bunch of gun nuts come out. Opinions of how backward the NRA is and how every American has an Uzi under their beds manifest themselves. At every shooting, the UK media goes on and on about the American gun culture. What many people in the UK fail to realize is that there are as many, if not more Americans who want to control guns, want to ban automatic weapons and toughen up the gun laws. The problem is that they aren’t nearly as organized as the NRA nor do they have as much money. At least not enough to have politicians in their pockets. I’m an American, I have never owned a gun. I was issued an M16 when I was in the marines but when not actually using the weapon, my rifle was locked in an armoury along with all the others. I am certainly NOT a gun nut. In fact, one mistake I made (and yes I’m making reference to my book) in “He Was Weird” was when news of the shooting spread overseas, I didn’t have the British media make as much out of it as they would have in actuality. Silly me.

So, what to do now? I made a suggestion a long time ago which makes even more sense now, in light of what happened in Las Vegas. While everyone is debating whether America needs new or tougher gun laws, let’s start enforcing the gun laws already on the statutes. I repeat my question from that ancient post: What’s the point of having a law if it’s not being enforced? You might as well not have it at all. If gun laws are properly enforced, we might see less gun crime and fewer mass shootings. If stricter enforcement doesn’t bring about change, then we can talk about tightening up or enacting new gun laws. While mass shootings and gun crime will never be fully eradicated, their occurrences would be fewer and that for me is a good start.

https://peacefulrampage.wordpress.com//?s=gun+laws&search=Go

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Need Inspiration to Write? Go to Minehead

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Last week I took one of the service users, (the new politically correct term for persons in care), on a client holiday to Minehead. Minehead is located in what is referred to in Britain as ‘The West Country’ being on the coast of the Bristol Channel in the county of Somerset. The company rented a huge country cottage that can sleep up to eleven but there was only the two of us, the client, whom I shall call Jerry and me.

While we did some fun activities during our three day stay, we went on the steam train and took a trip to the fishing village of Lynton, Jerry was quite content to spend the evenings on the couch watching cooking programmes or those about house buying, they are interests for him. Since such programmes aren’t really my thing, I had to find other things to focus my attention on while at the same time, stay with my client. Therefore, I took my writing with me.

The picturesque surroundings of where we stayed and the area around Minehead were very inspiring. I felt that I couldn’t help but to look at the spectacular views and not be inspired to write. Just looking out the windows from my bedroom or from the balcony of the cottage was inspiring enough. I can’t remember the last time I got so much writing done. I fully completed my latest short story and made some changes to the previous one. Originally they were going to be fused together but with all that inspiration, I wrote and wrote and what was going to be a very short story turned out to be something longer than what I had originally expected. That is the influence the countryside around Somerset had on me. It also helped that Jerry was content to just watch TV. I know that if it had been some of the other service users, I would have gotten little to nothing done despite the breathtaking views. For example, Melvin, who I featured in my ancient series of posts titled: “More Like Them Than I Think” would have been wanting to talk from the time he got up til the time he went to bed. When that finally did happen, I would have been so worn out, I wouldn’t have had the energy to write as I would have been mentally drained.

So, being the generous soul that I am, I am going to share my holiday snaps with you because most of you can’t get to Minehead. Maybe the pictures will give you the inspiration it gave me, although many of you have your own places that inspire and I would like to hear about those.

The view from my bedroom window

Our cottage

The balcony view

Minehead harbour

 

The view of the countryside from the steam train.

The village of Wachet. I always wanted to go here because the name reminded me of Elmer Fudd.

Wachet’s Harbour

The coast around Lynton

A shop in Minehead. I took this photo because I knew my wife would find it funny, which she did.

I hope these views will inspire you like they did me.

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1506935981&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things That Prove My Insanity- The Misuse of History

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18th Century battle formation

I have always loved history. In “He Was Weird,” Mark also loves history although when he imparts certain historical knowledge, he gets bullied for “showing off.” A second ago, I was going to write that my last statement was a digression from the intent of the post but it is linked. Throughout the ages, history has been misused. Often times it’s misused by the right to foster hate or promote patriotism and misused by the left as a stick to beat people with. Either way, history gets misused.

The right’s misuse of history is very straight forward. They want to use it to celebrate historical events that make their country look great. At the same time, they want events that don’t make their country look so good de-emphasized or not taught at all. Look at the holocaust deniers, which is why the best thing Dwight Eisenhower did in World War 2 was to order photos taken of the concentration camps. Because like he said, “In fifty years time, some bastard will say that this never happened.” He was right.

Back in the 1980s and I’m sure it still goes on, the American right wanted the Vietnam War de-emphasized where pupils were taught, that America didn’t really lose or that the protesters lost the war for America and we would have won if it wasn’t for that. Gee, when I was in the marines, some of my fellow marines said the army lost Vietnam for us. The right’s obsession with covering up Vietnam even got the point where Jello Biafra has a three minute tirade called, “Vietnam Never Happened.” It’s quite funny. Has it worked? Well, it did back in the 80s. I remember a teenager stating that America won Vietnam. Also, the greatest but little known success of the Reagan presidency was the vilification of the 1960s.

Other nations are the same. In my adopted home, the UK, British children are not taught about the American War of Independence and if mentioned, those on the right are quick to point out that Britain won most of the battles, they did. Then again, they aren’t taught about the French and Indian War which Britain did win. The only mention I’ve ever heard or seen was a history documentary about the decisive victory at the Battle of Quebec. I know that the right wing in other countries are the same way with the teaching of history.

Now to the left, which my Asperger’s mind has real  problems with. The left go totally the opposite way with the teaching of history, to the point where they want to portray their country as evil. The British Empire is a prime example of this. See, in principle, I agree that the Britain and some of the other European nations proclaiming parts of Africa and Asia as part of their empires was wrong. I know that a lot of atrocities were committed in the name of the Empire and I think that was terrible too. However, my question is, how long should the people today pay for the sins of their forefathers? The left uses this history as justification for letting all the world come settle in their country. While they may have a point, it’s not practical. The empires were more than 100 years ago and those nations now have independence. Yet the left wants to use events of over a century ago as a stick to beat the people of today with and this leads to my point. History is a learning tool used to point out where people went wrong or got it right and used to guide the future generations so they won’t make the same mistakes as their fathers did. I’m talking right and left here.

Before anyone on the left who is reading this starts calling me racist, I’m not. However, history is used by both left and right as a tool for racism. American history is full of examples, especially in regards to African Americans. Slavery was wrong, totally wrong. The right use it to point out to African Americans that they should be lucky they weren’t living back then if they think that they have it so bad now. What a load of hogwash! Furthermore, white people living in the North, have no right to use it as an excuse to lord it over the South and especially towards African Americans whom Northern whites on the right believe should feel grateful to them for freeing them from the bonds of slavery. I wonder is this the reason why I have met a good number of African Americans from the South who have “Southern pride.” And to Northern right wingers, it’s not Stockholm Syndrome. On the other hand, slavery should not be used as an excuse by African Americans to hate whites. This is also punishing the children for the sins of their fathers and why should I be hated for something that ended a century before I was born? And thanks to my step mother’s efforts in tracing my geneology, I can say with a good deal of certainty that none of my ancestors were involved in slavery while it was going on. Slavery in America is a perfect example of how the right uses history as a tool to oppress and how the left uses it as a stick to beat people with. In either case, the end result is hate.

Robert E Lee, this statue should not be torn down

I’d like to raise a point about the American Civil War here. This is directed to the Southerners I’ve met in my lifetime who haven’t dealt with the fact that the South lost. First, if the South had won, the United States would be two separate nations and not as strong as it is now. A Southern victory would have made the Monroe Doctrine unenforceable and the nations of Europe would have expanded their empires to South America. That is why during the war, France went in and took over Mexico. Furthermore, Germany might have won World War 1 and God knows what would have happened with World War 2. So, maybe it was good for the US and the world that the Union won the Civil War. I am not trying to lord the North’s victory over the South, in fact, I am dead against the tearing down of Robert E Lee’s statues. He was a great general and should be honoured as such. After all, Rommel fought on the side that promoted genocide but I’ve heard no claims against him. I’m just using history in hindsight to show the good things that came out of that war.

I guess what I am doing is trying to make sense of the use of history in my own mind. The teaching of it has often times been misused to further some political agenda, both by the left and right. It should be taught that while most historical events have been for the best, there are some which haven’t. The only tool history should be used for is a learning one so we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past and build on the successes of that past in the hope of building a better future.

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1505813006&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

Attention UK! It Could Now Happen in Your Country

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Here I was ready to write my next post in the series of “Things That Prove My Insanity” when my Google Alerts pointed me to a story which definitely aroused my interest. The article, which I am now going to share, was about a fifteen year old boy who was sentenced to six years in jail for plotting to carry out a school shooting. If it wasn’t for the title, most of you would probably be thinking, “Where in America did this occur?” The answer was that it didn’t, it occurred in the UK, a country where guns are much more difficult to get and where many people living there like to point an accusing finger at the United States for all the school shootings that happen there.

Boy, 15, sentenced to six years in prison for planning mass school shooting in Nuneaton http://bit.ly/2gSs2Qg   

Photo published for Boy, 15, sentenced to six years in prison for planning mass school shooting in Nuneaton

Boy, 15, sentenced to six years in prison for planning mass school shooting in Nuneaton

The youth was ‘seconds away’ from carrying out the attack at Higham Lane school, a court heard.

ibtimes.co.uk

 

The teenager was reportedly just second away from opening fire on his fellow students when he made a call to the police. An emergency call handler then “averted disaster” by convincing the teen to disassemble his weapon, while officers headed to the scene. The school was placed on lockdown at approximately 9:15 a.m., while the police took the teenagerinto custody.

The International Business Times quotes Judge Andrew Lockhart QC of the Warwick Crown Court as saying the teenager had been a moment away from committing a heinous crime.

The judge spoke to the teenager, saying he had his face covered, a knife and shotgun in hand and was preparing to shoot at anyone in the school. Lockhart said that anyone who would have been his target would have been a “wholly innocent victim.”

Impossible to predict how many would have been shot

The judge went on to tell the teenager that if he had opened fire, he had no doubt death and serious injury would have occurred, while saying it was impossible for him to predict how many victims would have been affected. Lockhart said only a “moment in time” had separated both students and school staff from being a victim of a “terrible event” and a crime that would have been added to the history of wicked crimes committed in the U.K.

Nuneaton schoolboy who backed out of mass shooting detained: The boy, who was armed with a shotgun, had been… http://dlvr.it/PljWcs 

Lockhart went on to praise the emergency call handler who talked the teenager down from his plans, saying his actions had been “exemplary.” The judge added that the call handler acted in such a way that a potential disaster was averted.

Defense said incident caused by ‘loss of good sense’

In the teenager’s defense, Delroy Henry said that the boy’s plans to launch a #Shooting Spree resulted from a “loss of good sense,” adding that a prison term would not benefit his mental health. He added that the teenager had ultimately cooperated with police and taken the decision not to proceed.

Fellow students at Higham Lane School claimed at the time that the teenager had been the subject of bullying and believed this may be why he made the decision to bring a shotgun into the school. The teen is receiving mental health treatment to aid in his rehabilitation.

The 15-year-old will serve at least half of his six-year sentence in jail, followed by release on license for the remainder of his sentence. According to the Offenders’ Families Helpline, this means the teen must adhere to certain rules and will not be allowed to travel outside of the U.K.”

For the record, I am in no way baiting British people because a near school shooting happened in their country. In fact, this can provide an opportunity for Britain not to repeat the same old mistakes that never get sorted in American school shootings. We know the boy who planned the massacre was bullied, this should definitely need to be addressed. Plus, he had mental health issues, this must not be ignored either. These are both reasons that cause young people to ‘snap’ and carry out or plan to carry out large scale atrocities. In this case, we need to be thankful that the boy contacted the authorities and asked for help. While, I don’t question the punishment handed out by the judge, (in America it would have been more severe), what this boy needs is help while he is serving his sentence. Plus, bullying needs to be looked at even more because British schools can no longer assume that a victim will not have access to guns.

Shameless link to “He Was Weird”: In the story, a boy from Worcester, Great Britain posts on Mark’s Facebook page that he wishes he could get a hold of guns in the UK so he could teach his bullies a lesson. We now see that this has become a frightful reality.

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1505154992&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

Things That Prove My Insanity- Creation v Evolution

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Edge of Space

Let’s begin with one that has been swirling around in my mind for many years, my thoughts on the origin of our world. True, I was brought up in a Christian household and attended Sunday School nearly every Sunday as a child and went to church on most Sundays as well. Therefore, I have been taught all about how God created the Earth, sun and moon and everything else. However, I did receive a good education and attended college and therefore have heard non religious theories about how our world was formed and evolved. Having absorbed all of this information and processed it around my strange but wonderful mind, I am now ready to put forward my own theory. We’ll call it Mike’s Theory.

First of all, evolutionists and some creationists as well have the wrong view of how God might have created the world. They think of God as some sort of cowboy builder going around the space with a big cigar in his mouth, okay I’m kidding about the cigar, and saying, “Ooh, I think we’ll put a planet here and maybe if we hook it up with that star over there, we can get light for it” I could go on but I won’t. Here’s the thing people on both sides of the argument forget. If God created everything, he also created the laws of science and would have used those laws in forming our world. Therefore, he would have sent heavenly bodies flying across the solar system and crashing into each other. The moon could very well have been formed by a smaller body crashing into our Earth and then breaking off with the bit which would become our moon stuck in Earth’s gravitational pull. In any case, would have been much easier for God to use these scientific laws as opposed to creating a world out of nothing. After all the resources required would have already been there for him.

God the cowboy builder and I suppose that’s his companion Jesus behind him.

Of all the religious theories about creation I have heard, my best conclusions came during my decade in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also called the Mormons. They don’t believe that the world was created out of nothing either. In fact, their belief says that matter was already floating around in space where God would have wanted to make a world so he just went there and organised the matter into something. Again, he would have used the laws of science to help him in organizing his world.

Now comes the length of time it took for our world to form. I don’t think the world was made in six 24 hour long days. While, I’m not trying to convert anyone to Mormonism here, I do think their interpretation of day works for me. There are several definitions of the word day. First, there’s the 24 hour period we all know. Then the Bible says a day is like 1000 years but the meaning of day I use here is the unspecified amount of time. Right now, we are living in the day of technology. Can anyone say when that day began or when it will end? I can’t. So, each of those six ‘days’ where God created the world were unspecified times. Any of those days could have lasted millions of years for all we know. It would have taken time for the Earth to heat and cool and then for oceans to form and then plants, animals and finally humans. The length of time of each of those days is not known to us.

Now onto humans. Even the Bible says that animals were around before humans. Again, animals could have been around for millions of years and many species, including the dinosaurs, would have come and gone. Eventually ape type creatures would have also appeared and they being the closest relatives to man, would have been the springboard to which man was created. There could have been Neanderthals and Crow Magnon people before modern humans were on the Earth and even co existed with them. We don’t know and while religious literature gives us no indication of this, it is wrong to discount that they were never there.

So I guess I am a creationist however, I believe that biblical and other religious accounts of how our world came to be aren’t complete. Maybe the ancient writers thought we wouldn’t understand all the science or more probably, didn’t understand it themselves. Whether or not you believe in God creating the world or evolution, you have to admit, whoever did it did an amazing job. It’s just a damn shame that humans seem intent on messing it up.

If you think I’m weird for my theories, then you should read He Was Weird, here’s the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1504541929&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

 

Things That Prove My Insanity- Introduction

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The only truly logical person I know.

During the half century plus six years, I have been alive, many thoughts have come and gone in my mind. This is a trait with many people with Asperger’s Syndrome and DAMP, two things I believe I have but have never been formally diagnosed with. You can believe that many a topic from sports to politics to religion have danced around my brain daring me to make some sort of sense of it all in my mind. I have come to my own conclusions on many of these topics while others are still providing lots of questions inside my brain. Therefore, what I am going to do now is to share my thoughts on many things here on Peaceful Rampage.

I’ve never been very vocal about my thoughts, mainly because out of fear that they won’t match others. See, one issue I have spent a lifetime grappling with is my belief that if someone has a different view than me, then mine must be wrong. I wrote a post about this many moons ago called, “I’m Always Wrong,” if you would like to read this. These days, I have come to the understanding that my beliefs might not agree with others and in many cases I am probably in the minority. After all, I was only one of 2% of Americans who voted for Jill Stein for president last year. So, I know that what I am going to post over the next few posts may not agree with the norm, I am going to do so anyway because the objective here is to point out things that prove my insanity. Some of my beliefs and theories may seem outlandish to some.

Green Party Candidate Jill Stein

I hope that you will come along for the ride. You may find what you read amusing and even enlightening but you will also get an insight into the workings of my weird and wonderful brain. Anyone who doesn’t agree with any of the points I make, they are free to tell me they disagree here. I am open minded although unlike me of the past, I won’t automatically change my thoughts to your way of thinking. The only thing I ask of everyone is that if any debate should develop, people express their opinions in a civilized manner and not resort to hurling insults at one another.

One last point, my other fear is that I am straying away from the original objective of this blog, to sell my book “He Was Weird.” It is my bizarre hope that once people are introduced to my insane mind, they will see what motivated me to write the book and hopefully but it.

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1504034377&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

What Mark Would Have Thought of Sam

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In the very early days of Peaceful Rampage, I wrote three posts about what Mark, the protagonist in my book “He Was Weird” would have thought about the shooters in the books, “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” “Nineteen Minutes” and “Endgame.” When writing “He Was Weird,” I read all three of those books out of fear of being accused of plagiarism. However, in two of the three, Kevin being the odd one out, I developed an empathy for the main characters in those books. After all, they, like Mark, were bullied to the point of snapping and shooting up their school. As a result, I looked at all three shooters from Mark’s perspective. How he would have sympathized with them, been impressed by them and where he would have been critical of them. I’m not one to toot my own horn but Jodi Picoult and Nancy Garden, the authors of “Nineteen Minutes” and “Endgame” both read Mark’s analysis of their shooters and seemed rather impressed. Jodi said my comments were very thorough and very fair.

There was a fourth book in the collection I didn’t write about but I read and developed the same empathy for the shooter in the story. That was “Rupture” by Simon Lelic. While I have mentioned this book in other topics related with those three other books, I never examined his protagonist, Sam Sajikowski, in regards to what Mark would have thought of him. I think the reasons why were one- Sam was a teacher who was bullied by both pupils and fellow teachers and I thought he wouldn’t relate. I have since dismissed that thought. Second, the story was set in Great Britain while mine and the others were all set in the US. I realize now that’s an absurd reason. So, with nothing more holding me back, here’s what Mark would have thought of Sam.

The idea of teachers being bullied by pupils would have been a foreign concept for Mark. When I went through school teachers still commanded an aura of respect and with Mark’s mindset, they still would have. Besides, in the town I modeled the story on, any abuse or aggression towards a teacher would have been met with suspension of the pupil. Therefore, learning that Sam was getting picked on by pupils would have sent his Aspergers mind into full spin. However, he would not have been surprised at teachers bullying him. After all, the teachers at his school exacerbated a lot of the bullying against him and it once Mark’s mind came to terms with the pupil bullying, he might have drawn a link between that and the bullying Sam got from other teachers. Sam would have eventually had Mark’s sympathy.

Like he was with all three shooters in the other books, Mark would have been critical of Sam’s execution of the big day. At thirteen, Mark wouldn’t have understood that in Britain, guns are much harder to get than America and therefore, would have scoffed at the old fashioned revolver Sam used in his shooting. Six bullets is not enough fire power to achieve the aim Sam was looking for in Mark’s view. Mark would have thought Sam should have used a better weapon. On the other hand, Mark would have been very impressed with Sam’s marksmanship. Sam killed three pupils and a teacher with just five bullets and even with Mark’s higher body count due to superior firepower, that score would have been amazing. Then again, Mark would have pointed out that only one of the dead was any of his intended victims so again, the need for better weaponry was that much more important.

Unlike the other three books, Mark and Sam have one thing in common. At the end of their shooting sprees, both were able to go out on their own terms, thus frustrating any opportunity from victims or others to vent their anger at the shooters. Mark would have liked the fact that Sam saved the last bullet for himself.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503428964&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Didn’t Make Mark a Goth

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It was never my intention to make Mark, the main character in my book, “He Was Weird,” a goth. My main reason for this was to go against stereotypes about school shooters being goths. That they were all ‘weird’ for the way they dressed and for listening to music like Marilyn Manson. I wanted to stamp my thoughts that anyone who has been bullied or teased mercilessly like Mark was in the story, can snap. It didn’t matter how they dressed or what music they listened to.

Marilyn Manson- He didn’t inspire Mark in He Was Weird

In fact, I went in the other extreme in regards to “He Was Weird.” I made him a Born Again Christian who only wanted to please the Lord. The only music he listened to was Christian Rock. None of these fit the stereotype of what a goth is. That’s why that instead of ‘Satanic’ lyrics making Mark snap and shoot up his school, it was religion. Mark took his inspiration to carry out his shooting from the Bible itself, Deuteronomy: Chapter 20- verses 16 and 17. You see, anything can inspire a person who is beaten down and abused to get their revenge. It can be films, music, video games, books or anything other form of media that one can imagine. After all, most Western Christians believe that Muslims can commit terrorist acts by being inspired by the Koran, so why can’t someone shoot up the school be inspired by the Bible?

Jello Biafra

Jello Biafra’s speech on school shootings gave me further inspiration to make Mark a Born Again Christian instead of a goth. One commentator’s statement about Goth gangs had him practically rolling on the floor laughing. Obviously, he agrees that the goth culture wasn’t to blame for school shootings. Furthermore, he highlighted how after Columbine, the religious community in America all began pontificating how the lack of religion caused the Columbine shooting. That such a tragic thing wouldn’t have happened if the ten commandments were hung up in every school classroom. Well, Mark knew the commandments and read the Bible religiously, (pun intended) and still he went off and shot up his school.

Columbine Shooting- Would the ten commandments have stopped this?

Late in the story, I do offer a religious viewpoint on what might have caused Mark to shoot up his school. His pastor explained that God had plans for Mark but Satan knew this too. Therefore, to thwart God’s plan, Satan sent misery upon Mark with all the abuse and bullying. Furthermore, Satan used scripture, the verses in Deuteronomy, to confound Mark and get him to commit his atrocity. Funny thing is that none of those who have read “He Was Weird” has commented on that part. I wouldn’t mind hearing people’s thoughts on that.

The most basic reason why I didn’t make Mark a goth was that when I went through the similar hell in real life as he does in the book, goths didn’t exist. While, I set “He Was Weird” in modern times, the hell I experienced occurred in the early 1970s so I had no idea at that time what they were. Now I could have made him a goth to bring the story more into modern times, the reasons I already stated above was why I didn’t.

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502824722&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goths in School Shootings?

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Columbine Shooting- He looks more like a commando than a Goth to me

Following on from previous post, “Bullied For Being Different,” I would like to write about how the Goth culture, along with Marilyn Manson, gets blamed for school shootings in America. When the Columbine tragedy occurred in the US, many people, especially on the right, blamed Goths. One politician even warned about “the onset of Goth gangs’ and how they were even more dangerous than traditional gangs like the Cripps and the Bloods. But are they?

As you can see from the photo, the two Columbine Shooters don’t exactly look like Goths. In the investigation after, it was found that Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were not of the trench coat wearing brigade or Goths. In fact, they weren’t Marilyn Manson fans either. However, the unfortunate case is that it is easy to blame the Goth culture out of intolerance than to find out the real causes as to why they did it.

Marilyn Manson-

One backlash from the Columbine shooting was that it was used as an excuse to wage war on ‘weirdoes’ and other non-conformists. Schools all over America began profiling their pupils with the intention of kicking out those who they believed to be potential trouble makers. Naturally, Goths were prime targets in this witch hunt. As a result, anyone wearing a trench coat or listening to Marilyn Manson was considered a potential trouble maker and dealt with by being sent for counselling on the one extreme to getting kicked out of school on the other. The question is, are schools acting in the proper manner, being paranoid or just wanting to justify their intolerance to those who don’t conform to standard dress?

In the books about school shootings which I often feature on here, Jodi Picoult’s “Nineteen Minutes,” Lionel Shriver’s “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” the late Nancy Garden’s “Endgame” and my own book, “He Was Weird,” none of the school shooters are Goths. The closest is possibly Peter, the shooter in “Nineteen Minutes,” who listens to music similar to Marilyn Manson. Of course, when the media gets wind of that, it is used against him. Grey, the shooter in “Endgame,” plays the drums and because he has an interest in music, was obviously driven by music to commit his shooting. Note my hint of sarcasm here. Even Kevin in the book that bears his name was not a Goth and his musical interests are not known. Only the reader gets the impression gets the impression that something isn’t quite right about Kevin because to his school peers, he blends in perfectly. As for my own novel, Mark is definitely not a Goth and it is clear from the investigation that music had nothing to do with his killing spree.

With the exception of “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” we know that the shooters in the other books are all victims of bullying. However, in each story, the bullying aspect is downplayed, even denied in the case of “Endgame” by those in supposed authority. It is far easier to blame other things like music and Goth culture for school shootings than to find out what really caused some troubled kid to snap and commit carnage on his school.

The last thing I have been contemplating is the fact that a lot of what happens in America gets reported on British media. Columbine made big news in the UK and was why when news of Mark’s shooting in “He Was Weird” goes out, I write about it being in a British TV newscast. American intolerance of certain cultures is also well known in Britain and that leads me to wonder that if that somehow influenced the intolerance of those who killed Sophie Lancaster for being a Goth. Before anyone jumps on me for making outlandish associations, when I worked as a supply teacher in a high school, I was asked by many pupils who upon discovering I was American, if I was in a gang or had seen a drive by shooting. Right or wrong, the media can have a big influence.

Sophie Lancaster

To buy He Was Weird, go to: https://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501920803&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird