An open letter to the troubling state of humanity as exposed on a HuffPost comment board:

I usually avoid this bullshit, but this one has me fucking riled.

I stumbled upon a perfectly reasonable and intelligent article at Huffington Post, basically begging people to leave off their judgemental ramblings and conjecture about the parenting skills of the victims of the so-called “Batman Massacre” in Aurora, Colorado last Friday. The article was rational, well-intentioned and well-written. I had no problem at all with Lisa Belkin’s article ( )

I DO, however, take issue with the few hundred commenters that followed the piece. On the Huffington Post. A respected and intelligent news outlet. The shameful ocean of ignorance I found there would have been totally expected on Fox News or any number of other sites, but the HuffPost? Not that I’m blaming them for the “opinions” of their commenters, but this shit is getting out of hand. These unchecked opiners, who spew their filth and ignorance and disaffected ignorance need to be called out for what they are…
First, let me say that I have nothing but the utmost respect, sympathy and painful empathy for the horrors that were so needlessly visited on, not just the injured or killed, but every single person who was present at that life-demolishing event, and all of the people who have been touched by death and tragedy in its wake.That said, I have to say something regarding the public reaction here on the ever-more soul-crushing second life of the internet. I, for one, am appaled by the apparently INFINITE surplus of sanctimonious assholes trolling the web to put out on display how they are SO MUCH better than these poor bastards who have been SCARRED FOR LIFE. Have YOU ever been shot in a public place where there should be NO cause to think some maniac will come in, guns blazing, and destroy dozens, if not hundreds of innocent lives? NO? Then shut your goddamn mouth. This has happened VERY RECENTLY at crowded mid-day shopping malls, street corner neighborhood celebrations – anywhere people congregate. Are you suggesting that the mall at noon is no place for an infant? Are the bad parents out walking their strollers in the street at 7pm? NO. This is not about an infant, or some stressed-out parents looking for a break. It’s not about people who take 12 year-olds to a PG-13 movie, regardless of the showtime. This is about one very sick individual. ONE. Who obviously has serious delusions and problems and tortured thoughts that we can’t possibly understand. ONE MAN. Not the people who were shot, not the people who died going to a fucking movie. One sick man who did a very horrifying and irreversible thing.Also, all of this talk of the “egregiously violent” and unsuitable film… check the rating, people. YOUR regulatory system has suggested that this film is fine for all ages, as long as a PARENT OR GUARDIAN accompanies those under 13. It is not restricted, NC17 or X rated.I have a message for 98% of the HuffPost commenters on this article:I hope you all burn in your happily personal judgemental hells, while these VICTIMS are reunited in the utopia you so desperately try to convince yourselves you deserve, all the while shaming and belittling your fellow man. This is directed at all of you – atheist, jangoist, every stripe of christian, every black-hearted one of you scumbags who has the GALL to suggest that anyone in that movie theatre should not have been there. If they had tickets, they had every right to sit in those seats and expect to be entertained, not gunned down by a raging psychopath.

Oh, but I know. Oh, yes. I heard you. I get it. You are SOOOO much better than everyone else. You’d never take your 6 year-old to a Batman movie? You would never be so irresponsible as to rail against the ancient ideal of up at sunrise, bed after news? Really? Oh, you would NEVER let your 18 year-old venture out after dark? You would never, EVER, stoop so low as to be excited about something so blase as a film? YOU would never be swayed so much by marketing and capitalist PR men and commercialism? Is that a Tag Heuer watch? It is beautiful. How much did you pay for… Oh, right. How was Puerto Vallarta this year? Those new Nikes are sick! Oh, what’s that? You would never deign to sit your golden ass down in a theatre seat and PAY to watch something as ridiculous as a comic-book movie? You. Are. So. Wow. Tell me more about how incredibly perfect you are. Tell me how there’s no toilet paper in your world, how pure liquid candy – sterile, tangy and delicious – flows from your divine a-hole when you do your 1200 crunches every morning. Tell us all how absolutely infallible you are, and how every minute of your life has followed exactly to your unquestionable plan. Tell us how your children were born as fully-functioning members of society, how your wife has the ass of a Greek Goddess. Tell us how your car gets 3 miles to the gallon, but it’s OK because you take your bottles back religiously.You know what? GOOD FOR YOU. Praise your balls. Thank sweet perfect irreplacable YOU that you were here to set us straight. Now, spew some more bullshit while we watch them take that kid out on a bloody stretcher. ‘Cuz I bet she hasn’t heard your wonderful stories yet…

GOOD FOR YOU. And FUCK YOU.You people disgust me. Show some tact. Show some respect. Above all, show some fucking humanity – you lousy, self-involved, pretentious and thoroughly useless bags of excrement.

And before you reload your little marble bag of stoney stoning stones, allow me to explain myself once more:

1) I don’t care if any of you fuckwits, or anyone else, ever reads this. I am ranting to vent my organs of the foul, putrescent and necrotizing filth that has assailed me while trying to navigate through this world the best that I know how.

2) I’m being judgemental? Really? REAAAAALLLLY? Glass houses motherfucker. You moved in first, and your arguments hold no philosophical, intellectual or moral water beyond that which you pissed into that shot-glass you call your soul.

3) People were murdered. Horribly. While trying to see a damned movie. If you seriously have nothing better to do than clog up the webiverse with your hate and derision and ignorance… I pity you. I truly do. Most places on this lovely orb of ours had a lovely day today, and we don’t have an infinite supply of THOSE. Take your head out of your ass and take your kids to the park, or go and be of service to the world that tolerates your specious, foul and parasitic ass.

4)Hey, assholes? Have a nice day. You don’t deserve it, by any means, but I hope you have one, nonetheless.

5) I am not a religious man, per se, but every ounce of my humanity reaches out to the people who have survived this tale. Bless you. In all ways. I pray that this world show you no other hardship. You have seen and heard and suffered enough. All that any single person on this earth should say to you right now is “I AM SO SORRY. YOU DID NOT DESERVE THIS. YOU HAVE MY HEART.”

Here endeth the rant.

12 thoughts on “An open letter to the troubling state of humanity as exposed on a HuffPost comment board:”

  1. One, I need to get away from the internet. It is indeed an “ever-more-soul-crushing second life.”

    Two, this rant was a magical lemon sorbet flavoured soul palate cleanser. I am glad I didn’t read the comments in question, but glad there are people like you out there, Axel.

  2. One draw back of the internet is everyone gets to sit there, faceless on a screen, and spew shit they wouldn’t dare say to someone else’s face. Axel, good show man, good show…

  3. Axel, you seem to gave a lot of your own issues that have nothing to do with subjecting infants and young children to high-volume ultra-violent imagery that they’re too young to process.

  4. First and foremost, that is in no way the issue at hand, and the fact that people keep trying to sway the conversation to questioning the parenting of some of these people is abhorrent.

    To address your concerns with MY beliefs regarding childcare and cinema:

    My son is 6 years old. I took him to a press screening of The Avengers, which was also rated PG-13. By your reasoning, I am a bad parent for subjecting him to high-volume, ultra-violent imagery that he is too young to process? Should he still be in pull-ups watching Dora? My 6 year-old reads at a 12 year-old level, writes books as a hobby and is yay-close to becoming a Lego Master Builder, which is pretty damn close to most accredited University’s engineering degrees.

    When I was 5, I went to the theater to see a little film called Superman, which is roundly considered a classic of the genre. It was loud and huge and exciting and taught me, in part, to believe in heroism, to help my fellow man, to stand up for those who needed help, and to always oppose evil. I try to instill the same values in my sons, despite the continuous onslaught of loud, ugly, overloading crap on TV, radio, internet, etc etc etc.

    My kids are not old enough to watch The Dark Knight, and I probably would not take them to Dark Knight Rises. Not because I feel it would be too loud or too violent, but because I don’t believe they are mature enough to understand the deeper meaning of the film, nor are they ready to face the realistic ugliness of the psychological undertones of those specific films.

    That does NOT mean that I feel that I have the right to decide that for anyone else or their children.
    A lot of people seem to have warped the internet into some kind of free-judgement machine, where they feel they have the inalienable right to anonymously hector and harass anyone who veers in the slightest from their own (usually misguided) opinions.

    In my humble Canuck opinion, this is a cowardly, unjust and thoroughly thoughtless way to pass through life. And I believe I DO have the right to call out fucking bullies. Batman, Superman and the whole of the Justice League would have it no other way.

  5. Thanks for your (more than) thoughtful response, Axel.

    I don’t have children, so I have no business telling anyone else how to act.

    I used the phrase, ‘high-volume ultra-violent imagery that they’re too young to process’, and, in your response, you used the phrase, ‘…the deeper meaning of the film, nor are they ready to face the realistic ugliness of the psychological undertones…’.

    Those seem to be different labels for the same idea.

    I’m almost 60 years old and, obviously, we didn’t have late movies at the megaplex back then.
    No rating system either, of course.

    I think the first loud, bloody, adult-ish movie I watched was ‘Bullitt’, in 1968. I was 14 years old.

    Anyway…argument over.

    I’m scrolling up to read your letter again.

    – Metro

  6. Thanks for coming back, and thanks for reading. As I mentioned in the original post, I usually don’t get into politics and opinion around here. I’m mostly a fiction writer (mostly). I totally agree that we seem to be arguing over semantics. Again, the suitability of the film for younger viewers was not the point of my initial rant, but it is a valid point, nonetheless. I will say, something that occurred to me last night, part of the problem (with the age issue) is certainly due to the different standards applied by the ratings board, whether influenced by the studios themselves, or the culture at large. 20 years ago, TDKR would surely have been at least “Mature” and 30-40 years ago would have been subject to a “Hard-R”.

    For the record, I’m almost 40, and I also saw “Bullit” around the age of 14, and it changed my life 😉


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