We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. — George Orwell
I read Christopher Jordan Dorner’s entire, unedited manifesto (as it is called), which to my mind would be more accurately described as a vivid narrative–albeit one that’s deterring in its length–or else an ethical and legal brief; an apology; an outreach; and, for the reader who will put the media chatter on pause and think for himself, an invitation to consider (if not completely understand, ever), the impetuses driving a broken man’s embrace of violence and anarchy. Viewed thus–as both exposition and treatise, as opposed to mere expression of vengeance–Dorner’s writing belies a rage driven by the constant thwarting of the basic human inclination toward equilibrium and logic, toward having the world around us make sense. It is also a rage fueled by the relentless frustration of his desire to see justice served, which desire, after all, might understandably be that much more powerfully felt by someone who served in law enforcement, and, before that, in the defense of his country.
Dorner’s writings are therefore not so easily dismissed as the ramblings of a madman. And they paint–in harsh strokes, with raw pigment–a searing picture of the kind of rage that, let’s face it, surely lies frighteningly close to the collective surface of an unknown number of aggrieved and oppressed souls among us. It is even more terrifying to consider that said number surely climbs every year, as dignity, agency, autonomy, and even survival beyond the narrowest definition of the word elude the despondent many; as vaunted notions like freedom, hope, happiness, and political power are increasingly, exclusively, owned and controlled by the unaccountable few.
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