The Kimveer Gill story is grim and not uncommon at all. It also doesn’t make the best breakfast reading on a thursday morning. The Dawson College shooting is old news now, septemer 13th is long gone. It is important though to dwell on Kimveer’s story for a wee bit longer.
Kimveer lived off the net, his blog here has pictures of him with arms. ‘The angel of Death’ as Kimveer liked calling himself, had found a safe place to talk, be anonymous and brag too at the same time. A sort of dark exhibitionism– a violent subculture growing unbidden and fast.
Way back in school, a teacher of mine had told us about subcultures. He said subcultures were a manifestation of human insecurity, a sort of herding– a coming together of a group that follows distinctively different patterns of social behavior and personal beliefs. True enough. Subcultures of course are not necessarily counter-productive or dark. Cult music through the ages is a form of subculture for example, as is Demoscene and Otaku for that matter.
Sometimes though it is necessary to define what kind of subculture you wish to be a part of, are you a rebel for a cause or a rebel because being a rebel makes you fit in with a particular subculture you or I consider cool. In Kimveer’s case, subcultures are confusing. While every age in history arguably has had niche subcultures– 2000 wards the Internet seems to have replaced the need for subculture as something that fulfilled the need for company. It is peculiar in that it provides viewership without compromising on anonymity. And unlike other subcultures– in its darkest and murkiest corners it is without rules. There is no one to watch out for you.
Interestingly the potential willingness to resort to violence in a variety of situations emphasizes this sort of chaos. But then, as Wolfgang said there is hope as long as the degree and extent to which an individual resorts to violence in response to provocation is dependent upon the degree to which he has adopted the cultural values associated with violence. The real challenge then is how does one embark upon a culture of peace? How does one pass on the idea that arms are not necessarily symbols of power, manhood or strength?