"Only the good has depth and can be radical." -- Hanna Arendt
The online magazine Slate reflects on the motives of the Aurora, Colo., shooter: grandiosity, narcissism, persecution, resentment.
The author, Stephen Metcalf, says we are addicted to evil, finding it entertaining.
He looks at the Australian response to civil massacre. He reviews the Malay old tradition of running amok, honoring an impulse to drive out evil, which died out there as Western values took hold. But he says it seemed to travel to Western countries like a virus.
Metcalf urges us to join with Hanna Arendt in calling these indiscriminate homicidal assaults not evil but banal.