A very dangerous idea virus seems to be spreading in today’s new age of widespread media and information dissemination. From the Columbine killings to Virginia Tech, school kids seem to be losing their minds as the lost few don armour and weapons and go on killing sprees for whatever reason they deem fit.
A news story which broke a few days ago covered a kid from a Krugersdorp high school who donned a mask similar to Joey Jordison, the drummer from Slipknot, pitched up at school with a set of samurai swords and went on a killing spree. Jacques Pretorius, his first victim, had his throat slit with one these swords and was found lying in a pool of blood before the school day began. The perpetrator, who was un-named in the article, then went on to stab another scholar in the head and two school gardeners, one in the back and the other in the face. They are in serious conditions in the hospital.
The weird aspect of this story, like so many others like it, is that the killer was found sitting chatting to other people as the police arrived to arrest him. Police even reported that he was very calm when they came to arrest him and didn’t resist arrest. He even approached the principal and asked “Wat nou, meneer? [What now, sir?]” just before the school’s morning assembly began.
The student claimed that he was urged by Satan to kill the children, and his dress-up as the drummer from Slipknot is no doubt related to his acts.
His friends said he was a quiet boy who kept to himself. “They said they all thought he was a nerd,” said Raubenheimer.
Another witness was told that the boy spent a lot of time on the internet. His friends apparently said “his eyes looked mad” just before the attack.
Pierre Eksteen, who is in charge of a school support network for children, told reporters outside the deserted school grounds that Satanic music was probably the cause of the attack.
“He came here camouflaged as the guy from Slipknot. We know the wrong kind of music and drugs have bad effects. Young people need to be informed of the effects of bad Satanic music,” said Eksteen.
– Mail & Guardian
His schoolmates have claimed that he was “quite a nerd” and was quiet and kept to himself. A serious discussion has since erupted in the media asking questions around what exactly satanism is and how the effects of music such as that of Slipknot can urge children to commit such horrible acts of violence. This is also not the first time that the lyrics and music of Slipknot has been claimed to incite violence and murder.
My question is… how far will all this go? Should there be no responsibility placed on the parents of such children? Moral values and a lifestyle of media-glorified instant-gratification which favours some kids and isolates others will force kids in different directions. If parents don’t give their kids sufficient attention and direction and instil in them some form of moral values, make no mistake, these kids will get their values from somewhere else. And if the only form of moral influence available to them is a band like Slipknot, God help us all.
Slipknot has refused to comment after a South African boy killed a fellow student, and was reportedly dressed like the band.