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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Wau... Pt2

Link 1
Link 2

Summary: A student was "removed" (that's what they said, but you can read it as suspended) from school for carrying a notebook titled "Death Note" and contained the names of seven of his/her fellow students.

Here's my impression of Death Note. As an anime and story, it's good, but the directors don't know when to stop, so overall as an anime it's above average. I however, hate Death Note as a whole. It plays along in the playground of doom along with those other over-hyped shows that are ruined by American fans like Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece (though I just hate that show regardless). It reminds me of that time in my generation when everyone wanted to do martial arts. So they went to the AMERICAN karate teacher and learned how to kill a tiger with your own hands (hypothetically, metaphorically speaking?) More specifically Tiger Schulmann's. But then when people wanted to learn "real" martial arts, instead of going to a Japanese Karate dojo, the "smart" people all migrated to another martial art (Jujitsu) in hopes of being "different." It's like that paradox: I conform with non-conformists. So what does this have to do with Death Note? Everything.

Death Note is the jujitsu of anime, with Naruto, Bleach and One Piece being Tiger Schulmann's karate. So what happens to my thoughts on Death Note? It gets crumpled up, thrown away and burned into ashes somewhere in a garbage fire. A fan base is important for everything, and to me, when the fan base is muddled with a majority of pathetic attempts at wannabe otaku who use "desu" (I would type the Japanese except the IME is installed on a different OS) more than Suiseiseki from Rozen Maiden, well, it kinda just turns me off the anime regardless of how good it may be. (I was about to say "good or bad" but I won't watch "bad" things. If I honestly don't like anything, I won't watch it... like Gilgamesh for instance. I stopped at the 8th...)

Now about the article...
Here's the thing though. This isn't the first time it happened. If I remember correctly, the "first" case happened around October or something (second link. I couldn't find the original article) where some Virgina teen was caught carrying a "Death Note" with the names of people who they wanted dead. This is sort of related but not really to the Naruto thing. How obsessed, and naive do you have to be to believe in such a thing happening? It's a problem in which the student can't honestly tell the difference between reality and fiction and then becomes very influenced by fiction, which then drives them to do things like write names down in a "Death Note" and attempt to commit the deed themselves knowing with the minimal realization of reality that it won't happen.

Unfortunately, this isn't an isolated case. These are fads. If i remember correctly, many multiple incidents occurred similarly with "The Matrix" and obviously, GTA. GTA is a bit less related as it's not the story that the audience is into. I remember reading a news article about some 18 year old and his two friends who were arrested because they believed they all were "The One" (No joke. Apparently there can be more than one of "The One) and had a healthy stash of firearms in their houses. Furthermore they had names of people they didn't like and made a hitlist. It had no relation to any story, they just molded The Matrix to fit themselves. As much as I want to, I'm not gonna bash on parents. These kids (I refer to them as kids as their maturity doesn't correlate with their age) are so caught up in fictional worlds that they are blinded by everything around them. Don't give me some existentialist BS about how they believe they can cross boundaries and that we as a society cannot accept them, I've done enough of that reading and discussing Dostoevsky.

What I wish though, is for school administrations to start reading the newspaper more thoroughly.
"“Regardless of the origin of the book, we take the situation very seriously,” Rogers said in the letter. “The safety of our school family is always our top priority.
“We treat situations like this the same as if a student called in a bomb threat or brought a weapon to school,” he said. “While there may not be any serious intent to do anyone harm, we cannot and will not take that chance with our students. We will take all steps necessary to ensure our students’ well-being.”
Rogers advised parents to talk with their children about what he or she watches on television and the Internet."

This is from the article on the South Carolina student removed from school. I wish there would be fewer of these general, vague blanket statements. While I commend Rogers for advising parents (though I wish reprimanding was in order) I wish he'd take it one step further. Advise them to talk to their kids and learn about their school life and pay attention.

If this is the letter he sent and the the parents of the students whose names were in the "Death Note" were notified, I get the feeling it will be one of those messages on your voice mail that you listen to while cooking or something. It have vague statements followed by the minimal details of the situation and the actions taken. No "we would like to talk to you and your child about this." or asking the child why he/she wrote the others names in a Death Note. Like I said, (or may not have) everything has a reason, and really, no matter what the reason is, I think we all should take some time and pay attention to it. The most common scenario is that the adults take this defensive stance and bring up their superiority complex to ignore the reasons as they are insignificant and "childish." The problem is, if a teen has a "childish" reason for violence, isn't that problem?

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