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  Paranoia and the Epidemic of Apathy
by Kim Inganamort
20 October 2002

Today's college generation has been taught to be so open-minded they really aren't very concerned about terrorism.

from repunk.com

Recent events have caused me to once again be troubled over the apathy shown
by the college aged generation which is obvious when they title our worries
as paranoia. I have often referred to this new generation as the epidemic of
apathy. You know whom I am referring to. They are either finishing college,
still in college, or a recent graduate. I always thought those kids were
just like that because of all the pot they smoked or because of the slacker
mentality, but I think it is probably a combination of things mostly caused
by media and school. To be perfectly honest I think the epidemic was
slightly set off course by 9/11, but it remains intact. It is this group
that thinks everything is corrupt and not worth the effort. It is this group
that plays hard-worker by day and pothead by night. It is this group that
doesn’t watch the news on TV or read the newspaper. Professors and teachers
have jaded them, brainwashed them to think a certain way or not think at
all. I am a bit timid of the state of the country when this group of kids
comes into power.

They don’t care. Most of them have been taught to have a 7/11 mind. Open
mind to the point of being dangerous. Mentors and teachers and parents have
been so afraid of having the children not be open minded and accepting that
they ingrain a sense that nothing is wrong or bad but just different. Now, I
appreciate the logic that we should try to rule out hate, but some things
are bad and wrong. It is to the point that we are teaching these children
that murderers are not bad, simply different and different is not bad.
Murderers just have a different way of living their lives and we have to
respect that. It is this generation that though we were all shocked by 9/11
they sympathize with the Taliban terrorists. As my little sister told me,
who graduates this year, this is the only type of warfare they can wage with
so little money and power. They are only trying to get their message out. My
little sister is what happens when we teach that no one is bad and that
everyone is welcome to his or her own morals. Well, when one’s morals
infringe on our country’s law they have become wrong/bad/evil. So we have
this group of Americans who think nothing and no one is wrong or bad or
evil, they are just different, and are welcome to their own beliefs,
regardless if their beliefs include murder or rape or terrorism.

This is the same group of people who are apathetic to the world around them.
They do not vote because government is corrupt. Since they grew up under
Clinton I can understand this viewpoint, but can they not see that this
administration is different? Well, if they aren’t watching the news and
reading the paper then they wouldn’t know. All government is not corrupt; in
fact our government is far more pure than the majority of countries in the
world. In fact, I love watching our government in action simply for its lack
of corruption. Our elections are not a joke, as they are in many countries,
where if you do not vote for the dictator, i.e. Saddam, you are risking your
life and well-being. We have a system of checks and balances that discovers
corruption and balances out the powers. Every citizen of the America has the
right to make his or her voice heard by the voting system. Every decision
made is agreed upon by many people from varying cultures and backgrounds and
morals. How could one declare corruption to the point of separating oneself
from such a beautiful machine?

So this group experienced 9/11 with us and grieved for it and moved on back
to their previous state soon after. I think some of them may have forgotten.
They certainly don’t have the defense most of us do when we fear terrorism.
I remember there was a period right after the paralysis of the country that
everyone started making fun of the people whose first reaction to any evil
in the world was terrorism. There was even a time when a talk radio show I
listed to started all negative news commentary off with “and here is another
incident entirely not related to terrorism”. I didn’t really appreciate
feeling as if I was paranoid or silly for having an initial reaction of
thinking it might be terrorists when certain bad things happened.

I think we were all so shocked at not assuming that from the get go that we
wanted to be ready next time. I think if anything it is silly to assume that
terrorists will never hurt us again and that they do not use uncommon
methods of warfare. People thought it was silly to think any local crime or
whathaveyou was terrorism, because gosh, the terrorists don’t even know
where Podunk, Idaho is. We aren’t important enough. However, on 9/11 though
the action took place in New York, it really took place in all our
hometowns, and that day everyone was looking up in the sky. Because it
directly effected all of us so intensely we felt that locally the event
happened, which is why mentally it made sense that the fungi on our fruit
bowl was anthrax placed by Taliban terrorists. Or maybe I am totally off

Last week I was discussing these sniper incidents with some friends and of
course I didn’t think before I spoke and I told them the reasons it didn’t
add up in my head. I explained to them, though I knew it was merely a small
possibility, that I thought it could be a terrorist action. Yes, by
definition it is terrorism because it is instilling fear in people to keep
them from their normal lives, but I was thinking it might not just be
domestic terrorism. The first thing that really twisted me was the fact that
there were possibly multiple participants. Most witnesses claimed there were
a shooter and a driver. This did not sit well in my mind. I don’t think
serial killer bring drivers, or have partners for the most part. Of course
this may be generalizing, but the state of mind a serial killer must be in
does not appear to play well with others nor does it organize. The well
planned and organized multiple participant snipers screamed terrorism to me.
The note left on the tarot card was my second point. Dear Policemen, I am
God. The simple wording that seems childlike reminded me a bit too much of
those anthrax letters. The statement also appeared to be trying to convince
the policemen a bit too much that it was a random serial killer. Everyone
knows most serial killers are on a power trip and they feed on it, so if you
were committing an act that you would want to blame on the serial killer
phenomenon claiming godliness would do the trick. Also the proximity to the
capital and the time relation to the Indonesia attacks bring questions to my

Regardless, most think these thoughts and questions are mere paranoia. Even
after hearing the sniper described as Middle Eastern this morning I was
still described as paranoid for having these thoughts. I suppose my thoughts
are only that, and just barely theories, but as an American I have the right
to think them and not have to keep them to myself. I do not think it will be
long before we find out if my thoughts are valid, but either way I
appreciate that I can have them, regardless of the criticism. So next time
you are about to call someone paranoid for thinking an evil is terrorism,
remember how many times you looked up into the sky for falling planes on
9/11/01. Knowledge can beat down the epidemic of apathy, and allow them to
see the so-called paranoia may be called for.

Email Kim Inganamort