By Arvind Srinivasan
Gears of War is the greatest game ever invented. No joke. Graphically destroying an enemy in full armor with advanced weapons, stealthily moving undercover, could only have been the brainchild of a true genius. Indeed, the advent of violence in movies, video games, the internet, and the general media has been a blessing to my generation and the bane of parents. In fact, the prevailing theory is that it fosters a mindset of violence in my generation. Furthered by irresponsible car accidents, school shootings, and DUIs that are blown up by the media, the popular belief seems to state that the availability and appeal of violence actually increases the likelihood that an impressionable teenager will commit a violent act. Let's clear something up. Violence is bad, in real life. When someone is violent towards another, regardless of what caused them to do it, it is stupid. Furthermore, stupidity carries on regardless of demographics, wealth, or social class. Somehow, though, there is an additional media emphasis that is placed on certain demographics to be free of such societal blemishes. Take the example of my school. Due to its reputation as an upstanding private school with a long history of excellence, it was a cataclysmic event when two juniors made and threw chlorine bombs over a fence and into a party. Intentions are unknown. Things like these happen everyday – for proof – you can turn to your local newspaper section. The distinction is, however, that the culprits went to my school. But is that really a distinction at all? Public schools in hard neighborhoods are chronic locations of crime, for example in Oakland or the Bronx, yet there are many even in those circumstances who never find any trouble in school. On the polar opposite, my school has an expectation of a high standard, yet it is completely possible for the two juniors to have removed themselves from this norm. The possibilities are infinite. We could speculate on their degree of premeditation, their possibility of a revenge attack, a desire for it being a prank, the accessibility of making a chlorine bomb through the Internet and such, or their adolescent volatility. Yet, does this really solve the problem, or just provide excuses for their behavior? In the end, to be honest, they were stupid. They will more likely than not end up in juvenile hall, throwing away a private school education and most likely a successful future. I do not suggest that we should let the issue go untouched, though. It is clear what promotes this stupidity, that which is universal throughout humanity – upbringing and attitudes towards life, not their choice of school. If the two students were hard working honors students, chances are they would not be caught in a high school party equipped with chlorine bombs. This situation becomes possible if the juniors were blasé about school, had a bad home life, tended towards bad company and situations, or were subject to peer pressure. Instead of looking for opportunities to ostracize HALO, I urge, look to correct these intrinsic problems, because as each day passes, more and more teenagers are throwing their lives into the trash. Arvind Srinivasan is Scottish. No more, no less. And yet, haggis is revolting.