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Asking for a lynch
by Thanos Kalamidas
2006-09-16 09:42:49
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For the last few weeks I’ve been watching really carefully the news and the online reactions, blogs and forums, regarding the kidnapping of the Austrian teenager, Natascha Kampusch, now 18.

After reading her interview for Austrian television, I have to admit that I didn’t read anything new apart from what I was expecting, since physiologists and psychiatrists had already analysed in detail her reactions. Actually, they had protected her own parents from the shock since the girl was suffering from the results of Stockholm syndrome. You didn’t need to be physiologist to understand that; the information is just everywhere.

The 44-year-old communications technician, Wolfgang Priklopil, killed himself when he realized that his victim had finally escaped, saving himself from the mob that was screaming, ‘Kill him! Kill him!’ and that’s where I stop. There is no doubt that the man was guilty, I haven’t read anywhere anything stating the opposite. There is no doubt that the man paid the worst way with his own life and that shows that he was aware of his crime and the sequences of his actions. Even his Stockholm syndrome victim admits that he was guilty and her action to organise an escape shows that she knew the whole thing was wrong, no matter how strong the effect of the syndrome was on her.

A long time ago, which is why I don’t remember the title, I saw a film where a man is sentenced to death by hanging. The event is going to take place at noon in the central square of the town and the crowd has started to take their places from seven in the morning, so they can have the best view. Gradually fights break out in the crowd over who has the best view and who should have the front seat. Suddenly the judge who sentenced the man to death comes out of his house and stands in front of the gibbet watching the fights become more violent, he says in a very angry voice: Has anyone of you realised that we are going to kill another man? Has anyone of you realised that in the name of justice we become the same with this man? How are you going to sleep tonight remembering his face?

The film was dramatic Hollywood, the judge’s voice was thunderously loud, but the crowd had become a mob and pushed the judge aside, run into the prison and ‘conferred justice’ by lynching the criminal. Is that what has become of us? Have we become a mob that is against lynching a man somewhere in Africa because it is so far away, but ready to stone somebody because the place committed the crime is familiar or next-door?

The story of the girl naturally saddens me, but I trust the system in Europe. I know that the state of Austria will take care of her and look after her future. I know that her family will do everything possible to give her back the lost years, I know that society will be there at every single step she’s doing and the very same society will suffer from guilt for long time since the girl was there, next door imprisoned.

The kidnaper is dead, he took his own life. I don’t judge his actions, whether he faced the fear of the punishment or from guilt, he’s dead and it is over. What saddens me more is the reaction of the mob. They feel angry because they didn’t have the chance to lynch! They become hysterical because they didn’t have the chance to lynch; they are a cacophony to what we call 21st century’s western civilization!


  
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Eva2006-09-14 17:42:05
Yes this is a sad phenomena, I have had the same thoughts. People want to see blood. What does that make them? It makes one despair of modern society. Barbarianism is alive and kicking.
By the way I read somewhere that Hollywood is now fighting over rights to the movie..


Thanos2006-09-14 19:25:41
The girl will definitely make a...use of her story and nothing wrong with it especially in the world we live and money have their own identity. But I was socked from some things I’ve read especially in blogs written from young people who in other subject shown to be aware of environmental problems and democracy.


Eva2006-09-14 20:03:23
I think behaviour like this (gagging for blood, violence, revenge etc.) goes beyond any kind of intelligent reasoning, it goes deeper. Is it rooted in human nature..? I don't know.
One image that has stayed with me for years - and that is completely unrelated to this, but I draw comparisons in the way people behave - is on the day the twin towers were hit in NY, television footage showed news clips from some Arabic channel (I can't remember which country), where children of perhaps 8-10 years of age were cheering on the streets. I thought this was so awful and disturbing. Obviously the kids had no idea really why they were cheering, they were only being told by their parents that something great had happened.
I thought of this as the same kind of "mob behaviour" of gagging for blood and cheering over it - without further thought or reflection over what was REALLY happening.
I have a feeling this happens everywhere in the world today; social awareness or literacy or intelligence completely put aside.
Sorry if I'm babbling.....


Thanos2006-09-14 21:11:44
Please don’t say that you are babbling, exactly the same images from exactly the same kids celebrating I had myself and I even had similar pictures from Europe as well and I just …couldn’t believe it. In the case of the Twin Towers I think people confused George W. Bush with America and they keep doing it in every single chance.

I start to believe that life has become so bad for most of the people so in the end they become a mod in such a blind way, they are just trying to express their disappointment and frustration for not having any hope in anything. And I found the chance with the case of the Austrian girl to express my worry because I was feeling too embarrassed to say the same for the 9/11 even though I often think about it.

Not that it didn’t use to happen before, but nowadays is coming from people you were not expecting them to react like that. It is just like I said in my comment, you read the same person opposing the death sentence and the very same person is looking for blood when it comes to the Austrian.


Sand2006-09-20 07:32:32
As an American I have some difficulty in your mention that people make the mistake of confusing America with GW Bush. I despise the man and his administration but he was re-elected well after he could be gauged for his policies and his associates. Just who is this America who should not be held responsible?


Sand2006-09-20 07:38:26
I am disturbed by the statement that people confuse America with GW Bush. He was re-elected well after his policies and his associates became clear. I am an American but I am confused. Just who is this America who should not be held responsible?


Sand2006-09-20 07:56:48
Sorry about the repeat. The time lag in the appearance of my first comment led me to believe it had not been accepted.


Thanos2006-09-20 08:12:48
Sand, I'm sorry if I have been misunderstood, I'm tryiing often to point exactly what you say. Unfortunately when you read European media you will find that they often mix Bush with America and exactly that makes me often angry in the sense that not even the majority supports the man.


Sand2006-09-20 10:28:43
This is starting to slightly wander off topic but the fundamental question may be a query as to exactly what a nation may be. It is very probable that many Germans were appalled by the Nazi policies in Germany at that time but one does not characterize the country by that minority even if it was substantial. Somehow under the national identity everyone must assume some responsibility for the national behavior. The insane Bush policies on stem cells, evolution, the destruction of the environment, the favoritism for the wealthy powers and so forth must, at end, fall to America as a totality until there is a strong public reaction that is effective.


Ergotelina2006-09-20 17:29:57
Hi!from Greece
Personally I don't mix Bush with the Whole United States.

Here is a relevant Ovi-mafgazine article
by an American author.....
"It's tough being an American these days"............

http://www.ovimagazine.com/art/760?PHPSESSID=d4172cb23eae7c71566f66f64fb6ad8f



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