The American suburbs: Incubators of mass murder?



Why Does Half the World Imitate 'Peaceful' Newtown and Aurora? (Folha, Brazil)


"What goes on in the American suburbs and the types of neurosis they create, with all of their invisible, solitary and often suffering individuals, is something everyone seems to find interesting - yet half the world attempts to create imitations of these 'havens' with their identical houses, baptizing them with bucolic names. The marketing says these are great places 'to raise children' away from it all. Do we really believe that?"


By Raul Juste Lores



Translated By Gemma Bouchereau


December 20, 2012


Brazil - Folha - Original Article (Portuguese)

Aurora killer James Holmes: What do America's bucolic suburbs have to do with generating such individuals?


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Robots to search shooter's apartment; President Obama to visit Aurora, July 20, 00:02:45RealVideo

The list of who or what to blame for the Sandy Hook school tragedy is a controversial one. Republicans blame violent movies and video games; Democrats blame gun culture and the National Rifle Association; and people on both sides speak of failings when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders in the country.


But everyone, from CNN to the Japanese press, has pointed to the “unity" of the Newtown community and its image as the "perfect village," where almost everyone is rich, White, and has a comparable home.


"This is the most peaceful and secure place in the world," was something I heard on most days I was there. What’s more, whenever I travel the U.S. countryside, someone always asks me, "Is it dangerous to live in New York?" Even in the U.S., big cities have a bad reputation.

Posted by Worldmeets.US


But anyone who analyses these Newtown-style murders, i.e. since Columbine in 1999, will notice that almost all these attacks take place in small towns, suburbs or university campuses in the middle of nowhere. For example, the Aurora theater and Newtown attacks, which happened this year, were carried out by killers who lived in these supposed havens of tranquility and oasis of perfect families.


And who within these suburbs doesn’t fit the mould of the perfect suburban family? Is it those who are aesthetically, intellectually, sexually or religiously different, and who are because of that - marginalized? In big cities like New York, there may even be a "lunatic" on every corner, but almost everyone eventually finds their place in society. And being different is no reason to mock or ostracize. It's just part of the landscape.



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Neither Newtown nor Aurora (which was the site of the July shooting that took place inside a theater) have town squares. In fact, they practically have no sidewalks. So to go to the supermarket these days, you need to be in a car. Spontaneous meeting places are scarce, or linked directly to the customer. You turn up, you buy, and you leave.


What goes on in the American suburbs and the types of neurosis they create, with all of their invisible, solitary and often suffering individuals, is something everyone seems to find interesting - yet half the world attempts to create imitations of these “havens” with their identical houses, baptizing them with bucolic names. The marketing says these are great places "to raise children" away from it all. Do we really believe that?

Journalist Raul Juste Lores is chief correspondent in New York, former correspondent in Beijing and Buenos Aires, former editor of the ' market', and an Eisenhower Fellowships scholar. He writes Wednesdays on the site. Follow: @rauljustelores


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Liberation, France: To 'Prove' Himself, Obama Must Go Beyond Assault Weapons
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[Posted by Worldmeets.US Dec. 28, 3:29pm]





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