Sunday, July 22, 2012

Armchair Psychology

Nearly 48 hours have passed since since the events in Aurora, Colorado began to unfold. And, as promised, The Blog has some questions and theories.


The Blog is not a psychologist or psychiatrist. Because The Blog has worked in Hollywood for three decades, he has come into firsthand contact with enough narcissists, sociopaths and, even a few psychopaths, that he feels that he knows what he is talking about. But the fact is, everything that you read from here on, The Blog openly admits to pulling out of his ass.


One widely reported piece if information that has been reported seems to have come from a single source and picked up and reported as fact by many other outlets. The shooter "painted his hair red" and told police that he was The Joker.

Any comic book nerd worth his action figure collection knows that The Joker's hair is green.

That leads to one of two conclusions.

Either the source of this information is full of bat guano, or the shooter really doesn't know shit about Batman lore.

(As I mentioned last night, I will not contribute to the shooter's infamy by mentioning his name. I am sticking with that and will only call him "the shooter.")

So, whether he sees himself as The Joker or not, one thing seems clear...

At some point, the shooter went from "aspiring scientist" to aspiring super-villain.

We now know that the shooter spent many months planning and ordering ammo, armor and other supplies, many of them delivered by UPS to his university workplace, long before he dropped out of the PhD program.

Based on his apparent planning, the term "premeditated" seems inadequate.

I do not want to glamorize or glorify what this monster... sorry... shooter did.

But, lets get into the mind of evil genius and break the plot down, based on what we know, so far...

1.) Rig apartment with complex incendiary booby traps. Set radio alarm clocks to play loud techno music at a few minutes after midnight to generate noise complaints and draw police to the apartment.

(We now know that the booby traps were so complex that it took nearly 36 hours for the Aurora police bomb squad to figure out how to disarm and dispose of the bombs without destroying the building.)

2.) Park car filled with armor and weapons outside of theater emergency exit.

3.) Buy ticket to midnight screening of movie.

(Something that I have not seen talked about... The people in this theater have been watching the first two Batman movies since 6:00 PM. Thirty minutes into the premier of "The Dark Knight Rises," the audience is already fatigued and will be easily disoriented by sudden chaos.)

4.) Pretend to get a phone call and exit theater through emergency exit, propping the door open.

5.) Armor up and strap on. While, he assumes, police are distracted by an exploding apartment building.

6.) Throw smoke bombs and proceed to shoot the stadium seated audience members like ducks in a shooting gallery.

Bottom line....

This wasn't some idiot with C4 in his shoes, who couldn't operate a Zippo lighter, or a moron with explosives in his underwear. This was, (and I hate to give him this much credit, but) an evil genius who had every little thing planned out.

The obvious question is, "What would make a smart young man do something like this?"

The Media wants to find some correlation to the movies or the 1980s graphic novel "The Dark Knight Returns." Those avenues are too much of a stretch. But, Alan Moore's late '80s graphic novel, "The Killing Joke" offers a more likely insight.

In "The Killing Joke" The Joker attempts to convince Jim Gordon that all it takes is "one bad day" to break a person's sanity. Gordon responds by demonstrating that "one bad day" will only break one whose psyche is already pretty fragile.

The real mysteries, as far as The Blog is concerned, are as follows...

How does anyone go that far off the rails without any friends or loved ones noticing that there is trouble brewing? Loner or not, he had friends and family. Did no one see this coming? It seems like, maybe, his mom did know. When informed of the attack, the shooter's mom responded, "Yes, you have the right person."

But, the real mystery is this...

Rampages like this are usually suicide missions. They take as many as they can with them, then either turn their guns on themselves, or wait for "suicide by cop."

This guy was armored from head to toe. After the slaughter, he waited in his car, then allowed the police to take him in without a fight.

He had no intention of dying.

It seems that he intended to live to witness the destruction that he wrought.

That is the most baffling aspect of this story.


  1. Not sure about the psychology on this, but I think in some situations it would be very easy to hide your intentions from others. People generally don't like to see bad in others. The closer you are, the harder it is to see the truth. Your outlook is colored by how you want the people around you to be.

    On a less serious note, the shooter could be red/green color blind. He would never know the difference in hair color.

  2. I was wondering about that too - why he so willingly went with the police. The Mail (London)reported that the shooter was on an adult "friendship" site and his page's tagline said, "Will you visit me in jail?" Clearly, he had no intention of dying. Such a sociopathic narcissist that he wants to stick around for the fun afterward?

    On my less serious note, I'll admit I've not seen a new Batman movie since, well, probably 2 decades; however, the the Mail posted side-by-side photos of the shooter sporting his orange 'do next to a photo of Heath Ledger's Joker also with orange hair (albeit with green undertones). Perhaps the shooter locked onto this image because of some repressed obsession with Ronald McDonald....