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Nice Guys Don't Kill Women, Except When They Do [Dec. 17th, 2011|11:37 am]
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I think it's telling how one responds when someone one cares about does something terrible. It's difficult to reconcile shocking behavior with one's loyalties, but there is a difference between struggling and denial. I think this story quotes people who end up in the latter category:
...while more details emerge about the frightening events leading up to the murderous roadside rampage carried out south of Calgary, friends of the killer, identified as Derek Jensen, are reeling from the shock.

...“This is not the Derek we knew,” said Travis Fay of Lethbridge, who was close friends with Jensen for about seven years..."This is hard for us because Derek will be missed, but we feel so much grief for all those families, too,” said Fay, 20.

“So, tonight we are trying to enjoy and remember Derek for the guy he was and not how he went, because we don’t know that guy.”
Grief and confusion is understandable, but the degree of refusal to acknowledge "that guy" becomes a bit much:
“We feel so bad for all of them and their families but this is so shocking because there is no violence in his history and no signs this was coming,” said Darren Fry, also of Lethbridge...“He was the complete package,” said Fry. “He was very smart, with lots of potential, down to earth. He had school smarts, street smarts, was great with his hands, athletic, good looking. He was the rock in his family, had brothers and sisters he loved and his parents are wonderful people. And on top of that, he was the nicest guy...There has to be more to the story,” said Fry. “He was too smart and driven for this to have happened for no reason.”

Fay agreed.

“It had to be a mix of booze and rage or something else that happened to him. But we may never know...There was no hint anything was wrong.”
"Something else"? What is "something" they are refraining from blaming? Could that thing be female?

Such an ardent description of this virtuous package of a nice guy makes one suspect they did know "that guy" and are retreating into mystification.
But there is some indication Jensen was harassing his ex-girlfriend throughout the night.

Stepple’s friends told CTV News the young woman had broken up with Jensen months ago. Wednesday night, Jensen ran into his former girlfriend at Craswell’s birthday celebration and “lost it, lost his mind and pushed her out of a chair and he was like yelling,” friend Cait McFarland said.

“Then we left, he was phoning her, phoning her, phoning her and said to her, ‘This night’s not going to end well for you, I hope you know that.’ ”

Another friend told CTV that Jensen was a controlling boyfriend.
Even the early reports I heard which had few details mentioned it was likely an abusive ex. It was far from unknowable.

Fry and Fay appear to buy into the nice guy narrative - a smart, driven guy cannot also be capable of controlling rage and violence. Such behavior must result from an external force - i.e. a woman - because a nice guy isn't so inclined internally.

They are aware enough to restrain themselves in the media, but it leaks into every detached phrase and one wonders what they refused to acknowledge before.

Also, another case of guns making everything better.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: radiumhead
2011-12-17 06:04 pm (UTC)

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Yeah, its interesting to me where people draw these lines.

Honestly, my mom or my sister could chop someones head off for no reason, id be fine with it.
[User Picture]From: st_rev
2011-12-17 06:52 pm (UTC)

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Then again, sometimes it's the onset of schizophrenia (Jared Lochner) or a brain tumor (Charles Whitman).
[User Picture]From: wherearethebees
2011-12-17 10:31 pm (UTC)

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Yeah, that's usually my first thought.
[User Picture]From: fengi
2011-12-18 02:49 am (UTC)

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Yeah, but people weren't saying, "Yeah, that Jared, he was such a perfect and stable person I can see no way he would do that."

I get saying, "wow, he gave no sign he was that enraged by the breakup, I wish he had said something" but "yeah it's sad people died, but this amazing package of a guy is gone and he was too awesome to do this" is a bit odd, y'know?
[User Picture]From: st_rev
2011-12-18 03:12 am (UTC)

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"Loughner attended Mountain View High School, and dropped out in 2006.[6] Around this time, those who knew him noted a change in his personality. Kelsey Hawkes, who dated Loughner for several months in high school, would later say she could not believe it was him after hearing of his arrest. "I've always known him as the sweet, caring Jared", said Hawkes, 21, then a student at the University of Arizona.[9]"

I should say that my kneejerk reaction is to think that Jensen is just a sociopath, mostly based on him being a good-looking Mormon, and my original comment arises from a habit of automatically contradicting/problematizing my own reactions.
[User Picture]From: fengi
2011-12-18 03:59 am (UTC)

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Oh I understand, but for me the Mormon thing indicates "guys who think they own their women".

Not to say people don't snap, but misogyny means a guy doesn't have to have a tumor to find it easy to go berserk over a woman.
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[User Picture]From: fengi
2011-12-18 02:44 am (UTC)

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Yeah and the more details come out - he had three guns in the car, how long he followed them - this was a calculated if opportunistic act. Had those dudes been, "he gave no sign he was that angry over the breakup" it would be one thing, but to say, "It's really sad three people are dead, but he was such a great guy" is remarkably self-centered and, to me, implies, "she drove him to this".
[User Picture]From: themiddlestates
2011-12-18 02:03 am (UTC)

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The guy who did this:

http://tinyurl.com/8yfkwo4

worked at my office in the mail room. He was super-friendly to everyone - had a good sense of humor, handsome, worked hard, was going to school.

No one who worked with him saw that coming, but I didn't know him outside of work at all. I can say that I had known him at work for about 4 years, though.

I think it's scary in the sense that we can't fathom what people are capable of.
[User Picture]From: fengi
2011-12-18 02:37 am (UTC)

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Good point. This is a normal reaction, i.e. thinking about how you didn't know him and how we can't fathom what we don't know when people act out this way.

For guys to insist there no way such a nice guy could do something like this without some outside reason or cause to blame...at the very least shows a youthful tendency to want a bright line between good and evil.