Infamy Trumps Obscurity

Politics, President D. Trump

“Infamy is better than total obscurity” is a direct quote from Elliot Rodger’s 137-page self-wrote auto-biography. Rodger, who is the “UC Santa Barbara mass shooter,” has shed significant light on the fact that one common denominator between many mass killers is the desire to be known. David Von Drehle, of the Washingon Post, delves into this precarious subject with this article. Drehle points out that most killer’s intentions and motives are unknown. Every day, people who hear, read, or watch the news are fascinated by finding out who the killer is and what their motive is for doing what they did. Sometimes it is obvious. Sometimes it is not so obvious. Whether or not it is clear what their motives were, everyone will recognize the name and face of that individual when it is all said and done.

As much as people might try, it is impossible to get inside the mind of a cold-hearted killer. Unfortunately, TV shows, books, social media, and TV news outlets accentuate this problem by exploring how and why killers do what they do. There is nothing wrong with trying to understand how another individual might think. But by portraying that process through television or books allows for killers to gain everlasting notoriety. “Bad publicity is better than no publicity,” is a common saying in the business world, but relates directly to this particular subject. Many of these people who choose to kill live obscure lives and do not come into contact with many people during their waking hours. At some point, people just want to be known, no matter the cost.

This is a day and age where everyone needs to know everything at every moment. Google is not at fault for this, but they have certainly played a major role in this new mindset of people. Knowledge comes easily in this world and everyone wants to know what is going on. This should not be the case when talking about killers. Everyday citizens do not need to see the face or names of killers. More knowledge of everyday events and people can lead those who live lonely lives to desire fame. That fame can easily be found through doing something very wrong in the eyes of the law. News should report news, but not boost the fame of the worst criminals.

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