I find it haunting that between killing sprees, Cho Seung-Hui stopped to vlog. Using video, words and digital stills, the Virginia tech student assembled a rambling screed of murder and hate he needed the world to see. Apparently, a disturbed young man known for speaking little had a lot to say when he was all alone. 1800 words of venom, countless photos of him and his weapons, first person video clips of his monotone yet murderous rage. Cho Seung-Hui wasn’t just obsessed with smiting his self-perceived enemies. He wanted the globe to know why he did. So he snail-mailed his ‘reel’ to NBC, certain the news-gathering goliath would unleash it on an unsuspecting planet. Did that satiate his rage - the knowledge that his twisted message would be seen far and wide shortly after the bodies fell? That his YouTube-infamy was guaranteed, affording himself a place in history that an old school wacko like Mark David Chapman could never even conceive?
I’m reminded of those scenes in the movies where the villain addresses the hero from beyond the grave. A flickering screen of a overacting mug, smugly explaining every detail of his madness and laughing diabolically. But played out in reality, its fare from entertaining. Instead, the pictures and clips ricocheting across the web feature a lingering peek into a mass murderer’s mind. It makes the notion of cops traveling to a prison to grill a serial killer feel positively Baroque. Yesteryear’s Zodiac letters are today’s ‘multimedia manifesto’ a term that will grimly go down as a Word of the Year. Thus, Cho Seung-Hui not only ended 32 lives and then his own. He changed the lexicon of evil, upping the ante for mass killers to come, asssuring that no dastardly deed in the 21st century would be complete without a cyber-portfolio of madness. It was blund to happen In a new frontier teeming with personal journalists, activists bloggers and MySpace moguls, I’m afraid we now have a new kind of cyber-savvy, plugged-in super villain: Citizen Psycho.
Pity the victims won't be so well remembered.