Lone Wolf

So what makes them do it? What makes an ordinary, quiet, seemingly normal teenager fire an automatic at his school friends and teachers? What makes a man drive his car into innocent pedestrians on a sidewalk? What justification is there for these lone wolf attacks?

Wolves are pack animals, just as humans are by nature socialised beings. Lone wolves on the other hand, prefer their own company. They live and hunt on their own. They are outcasts by temperament, by circumstance and sometimes of their own volition.

Nearly always after another chilling attack, emerge the clues that led to it. A social misfit, a dysfunctional background, a lack of love, a propensity for violence, vulnerability to ideological brainwashing. Taken alone, each of these qualities may perhaps lead a person to a solitary existence, a criminal career or even a mental institution. Together, however, they become so much more dangerous.

Can we, as responsible citizens; parents, neighbours, co workers, pick up on any of these clues, and report them to the relevant authorities? Do we, as a society, have a duty towards these social outcasts? Is it possible in any way to intervene and diffuse a potentially fatal situation from developing?

These are amongst the many questions that lie at the heart of the modern dilemma of home grown attackers. Are killers born or made? Are terrorists just victims of circumstance and conditioning?

Reflection and responsibility. Two things that might lead us to answers. Uncomfortable truths of the part we play in marginalising these peripheral pariahs, whose only moments of recognition and glory lie in death, terror and destruction.

Then, and only then, will we vanquish this multi headed Hydra.

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Frape and the debate thereof

This blog post arose from a funny experience I had last week.  Having been justifiably busy with the run up to Christmas, I was jotting a few random thoughts on my laptop, in the hope of fleshing it out into a blog post later. The thoughts were a jumble on fidelity, constancy, marriage, partners etc. This had been triggered by an interesting discussion I had had the previous day with some old school friends about soul mates.

Needless to say, the ideas were still amorphous, and the post in its absolute infancy. At this point, I did, what no thinking individual should do, with a teenager around.

I left my laptop unattended.

A few hours later, I found the following addendum:

Usually, you may find that that only happens in stories or ‘happily ever afters’ however that is not always true. I have pledged my life to another, a great being who understands me: he just gets me, if you know what I mean. He is my soul-mate, my other half, the one. I have pledged my life to him trusting him with everything, even me and my soulllllll. Thank you, thank you for being such a passionate and loving man. 

I have dedicated this wonderful love paragraph to MIKE ! Thanks babe for being there to feed me all the time (would be nice if u cut down a bit tho ;)). I love you no-matter what and you will always remain my hubby, you are one of the coolest soul-mates a woman could ever ask for. Thank you xxxxxxxxxx

 tehehehehehehehhe mummy like my creative writing?????

I had the biggest belly laugh upon reading this! Immediately I thought about the times I had seen my friends being “fraped” on Facebook. Their statuses being hijacked by mischief mongering sisters, husbands,children or friends.

I wondered if there was a blogging equivalent of the term, and went in search of it.

Wow! Did I open a can of worms?! While never entirely comfortable with the word Frape, I had just assumed it was another one of the teenage slang terminology that circulated for a while, became a part of the lexicon, promptly lost it’s edginess and was dropped just as quick by the aforementioned teens.

However, I had much to learn.

Frape is, of course, a combination of the words Facebook and rape. A violation of privacy, and of status.

Rape however, is no joking matter. By including it quite as widely in our daily usage, are we trivialising what is essentially a beastly attack upon another human being? Feminists seem to think so. And to be fair, I am not too far from agreeing with them.

Words like “Ho”, “Bitch”, “Nigger” lose their shock value over time. They become mainstream. And therein lies the danger.

Reams have been written about gangsta rap and it’s objectification of women and perpetration of violence against them.  Can Frape, a word that carries connotations of violation and abuse be the first step towards legitimising another cowardly misogynistic attitude?

One could argue it both ways, and people have.

However, as a woman, and as a mother to two young, impressionable girls, I choose hereon to NOT use this term. Vilifying it gives it the importance it does not deserve. Ignore it, relegate it to a store of bad taste verbs, and hope that the teens out there are way too smart to let it dictate their code of conduct.

In the meantime, however, sign off and shut that laptop!

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