The thing about Death Note is that it could have been good, if they had actually Americanized it instead of white washing it. I’ll explain the difference.
Death Note is amazing, not just because of it’s interesting premise, art, and storytelling, but also because it asks audiences to ponder over various moral conundrums. Sure the larger questions of whether we can sacrifice the few for the greater good, and whether people/States have the right to take away the lives of other are fairly universal, but other shows, books, and mangas have asked the same questions. What makes Death Note so good is that it is deeply grounded in a specific place and political context. It is a commentary on early 2000s Japan. It is specific, yet understandable across many contexts. It asks old questions in new ways, and therefore gives us the opportunity for new answers.
Imagine if Death Note had actually been Americanized. Imagine a young Native American girl found the Death Note. She’s 15 and pregnant, because Native American women are one of the most vulnerable groups to sexual assault in the United States. She knows who her rapist is. His name. His face. Because it is so rarely a stranger. She also knows the names and the faces of the congress member and representatives who are trying to push an anti-abortion bill that would even rule out an exception for rape. She knows the names and faces of every cop that laughed her out of the police station, and the doctors that asked her what she was wearing before refusing to do a rape kit. Imagine if this girl found the Death Note.
Imagine if Death Note had actually been Americanized. Imagine a young Black boy found the Death Note. He’s been stopped and frisked for the second time that day, and his best friend was shot 16 times two years before because apparently, a wallet looks just like a gun. He knows the shooter’s name and face, the cop didn’t even get fired and that’s why he was able to frisk our protagonist today. He knows the names and faces of teachers who would rather send their students to juvie rather than detention, or even talk to them. He knows the names and faces of the preachers talk about uplifting the spirit while only caring about uplifting their bank accounts. Imagine if this boy found the Death Note.
Imagine if Death Note had actually been Americanized. Imagine a young Filipina girl found the Death Note. She’s the only one in her family with papers. ICE raids are becoming more common, but the masks and the shields keep them nearly anonymous. Faceless men take her mother, then her brother, and finally her father. She doesn’t know their names and faces, but she’s had glimpses of ICE vehicle numbers and a knack for hacking. She knows the president, though, stoking anti-immigrant sentiments. Imagine if this girl found the Death Note.
Imagine if Death Note had actually been Americanized. Imagine a young white boy found the Death Note. And his name is Dylan Roof, Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Elliot Rodger, Jared Loughner, or Charles Manson. A Shinigami meets 4chan, MRAs, and the “alt-right”; death god meets god-complex meets white male supremacy. We don’t need to imagine what happens if these boys find the Death Note. We already know, but it would still make damn good television.
If instead, all we get is Light Turner, depoliticised and decontextualized, just another white face on another Japanese story, what is the point?
A brief note written in the journal of mass shooter Jared Lee Loughner. On January 8, 2011Loughner shot 19 peoplegathered at a Safeway in Tucson, Arizona. 6 were killed, and AZ Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was critically wounded after being shot in the head at point-blank range. Loughner was arrested and sentenced to 7 consecutive life terms + 140 years in prison with no parole.
A picture that Jared Lee Loughner took of his Glock. He posted this picture to his Myspace soon before shooting several people at a supermarket. I haven’t seen much on Jared so I decided to share this.
These are photos of right-wing haters in recent years – the first three terrorists actually killed people; the last guy only threatened to kill when he attended an Obama health care reform meeting in New Hampshire.
What’s appalling about what people like this do doesn’t end with the massacres they commit. What’s appalling continues with how the media treat them. The basic story line is: they are mentally disturbed individuals. Evidence is trotted out to prove the point. (In America, there’s the additional rush to prove the killer didn’t buy his gun legally, as if that actually matters or makes a difference.) In the greater scheme of things, terrorists like this all get to be seen as tragic but random perpetrators with no connection to each other.
Yes, the terrorists who shoot children and Congresswomen and blow up buildings and assassinate doctors providing legal abortions etc. etc. etc. generally have some form of mental illness, but they share something else as well – a right-wing ideology of hate. They hate government, liberals, immigrants, Muslims… and they kill what they hate.
When Muslim terrorists kill, they are said to be part of an organized world-wide enemy, or maybe members of independent cells who share a world-wide Islamic ideology. Little if any discussion of whether they might be disturbed individuals as well. But these white, right-wing Christian (or Western) terrorists like the ones shown above are just disturbed individuals, with little or no discussion of the right-wing extremism they all share in one form or another.
Eric Harris age 18 (first on Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan Klebold aged 17 (Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado), killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounded 23 others, before killing themselves. Klebold’s medical records have never been made available to the public.
Jeff Weise, age 16, had been prescribed 60 mg/day of Prozac (three times the average starting dose for adults!) when he shot his grandfather, his grandfather’s girlfriend and many fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota. He then shot himself. 10 dead, 12 wounded.
Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, Wahluke (Washington state) High School, was on Paxil (which caused him to have hallucinations) when he took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates hostage. He has no memory of the event.
Chris Fetters, age 13, killed his favorite aunt while taking Prozac.
Christopher Pittman, age 12, murdered both his grandparents while taking Zoloft.
Mathew Miller, age 13, hung himself in his bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days.
Kip Kinkel, age 15, (on Prozac and Ritalin) shot his parents while they slept then went to school and opened fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after beginning Prozac treatment.
Luke Woodham, age 16 (Prozac) killed his mother and then killed two students, wounding six others.
A boy in Pocatello, ID (Zoloft) in 1998 had a Zoloft-induced seizure that caused an armed stand off at his school.
Michael Carneal (Ritalin), age 14, opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded..
A young man in Huntsville, Alabama (Ritalin) went psychotic chopping up his parents with an ax and also killing one sibling and almost murdering another.
Andrew Golden, age 11, (Ritalin) and Mitchell Johnson, aged 14, (Ritalin) shot 15 people, killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others.
TJ Solomon, age 15, (Ritalin) high school student in Conyers, Georgia opened fire on and wounded six of his class mates.
Rod Mathews, age 14, (Ritalin) beat a classmate to death with a bat.
James Wilson, age 19, (various psychiatric drugs) from Breenwood, South Carolina, took a .22 caliber revolver into an elementary school killing two young girls, and wounding seven other children and two teachers.
Elizabeth Bush, age 13, (Paxil) was responsible for a school shooting in Pennsylvania
Jason Hoffman (Effexor and Celexa) – school shooting in El Cajon, California
Jarred Viktor, age 15, (Paxil), after five days on Paxil he stabbed his grandmother 61 times.
Chris Shanahan, age 15 (Paxil) in Rigby, ID who out of the blue killed a woman.
Jeff Franklin (Prozac and Ritalin), Huntsville, AL, killed his parents as they came home from work using a sledge hammer, hatchet, butcher knife and mechanic’s file, then attacked his younger brothers and sister.
Neal Furrow (Prozac) in LA Jewish school shooting reported to have been court-ordered to be on Prozac along with several other medications.
Kevin Rider, age 14, was withdrawing from Prozac when he died from a gunshot wound to his head. Initially it was ruled a suicide, but two years later, the investigation into his death was opened as a possible homicide. The prime suspect, also age 14, had been taking Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants.
Alex Kim, age 13, hung himself shortly after his Lexapro prescription had been doubled.
Diane Routhier was prescribed Welbutrin for gallstone problems. Six days later, after suffering many adverse effects of the drug, she shot herself.
Billy Willkomm, an accomplished wrestler and a University of Florida student, was prescribed Prozac at the age of 17. His family found him dead of suicide – hanging from a tall ladder at the family’s Gulf Shore Boulevard home in July 2002.
Kara Jaye Anne Fuller-Otter, age 12, was on Paxil when she hung herself from a hook in her closet. Kara’s parents said “…. the damn doctor wouldn’t take her off it and I asked him to when we went in on the second visit. I told him I thought she was having some sort of reaction to Paxil…”)
Gareth Christian, Vancouver, age 18, was on Paxil when he committed suicide in 2002,
(Gareth’s father could not accept his son’s death and killed himself.)
Julie Woodward, age 17, was on Zoloft when she hung herself in her family’s detached garage.
Matthew Miller was 13 when he saw a psychiatrist because he was having difficulty at school. The psychiatrist gave him samples of Zoloft. Seven days later his mother found him dead, hanging by a belt from a laundry hook in his closet.
Kurt Danysh, age 18, and on Prozac, killed his father with a shotgun. He is now behind prison bars, and writes letters, trying to warn the world that SSRI drugs can kill.
Woody ____, age 37, committed suicide while in his 5th week of taking Zoloft. Shortly before his death his physician suggested doubling the dose of the drug. He had seen his physician only for insomnia. He had never been depressed, nor did he have any history of any mental illness symptoms.
A boy from Houston, age 10, shot and killed his father after his Prozac dosage was increased.
Hammad Memon, age 15, shot and killed a fellow middle school student. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and depression and was taking Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions.”
Matti Saari, a 22-year-old culinary student, shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine.
Steven Kazmierczak, age 27, shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amounts of Xanax in his system.
Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen, age 18, had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School – then he committed suicide.
Asa Coon from Cleveland, age 14, shot and wounded four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon was on Trazodone.
Jon Romano, age 16, on medication for depression, fired a shotgun at a teacher in his
New York high school.
Missing from list… 3 of 4 known to have taken these same meds….
What drugs was Jared Lee Loughner on, age 21…… killed 6 people and injuring 14 others in Tuscon, Az
What drugs was James Eagan Holmes on, age 24….. killed 12 people and injuring 59 others in Aurora Colorado
What drugs was Jacob Tyler Roberts on, age 22, killed 2 injured 1, Clackamas Or
What drugs was Adam Peter Lanza on, age 20, Killed 26 and wounded 2 in Newtown Ct
Roberts is the only one that I haven’t heard about being on drugs of some kind. “
This is the last post John Noveske made on his Facebook page before he was killed
So people post all the time that they wrote Manson, or Kinkel, TJ lane or some other killer but I never see anyone talking about Jared Loughner. Is he not allowed to get letters, does he not reply, or does noone care enough to write him?
In her first face-to-face confrontation with the man who shot her in the head at close range and killed six others in an Arizona shooting rampage last year, former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords locked eyes with Jared Lee Loughner in an intense courtroom scene Thursday.
Loughner, 24, was sentenced to life in prison after killing six people, including a 9-year-old girl, and leaving 13 wounded in a parking lot attack in Tucson during a political rally on Jan. 8, 2011. Giffords, who struggles to walk and has been left partially blind with a paralyzed right arm, stared intently at Loughner while holding hands with her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, as he read an emotional statement to Loughner.