The study of English and murder
I have heard no single answer to the question of why a young man murdered 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus. Blame has fallen on the psychotropic drugs known as anti-depressants; mental illness; lack of treatment for mental illness, which has been celebrated as "transgression" in academia; gun culture; and speculative connections to Ismail, whose name the killer wrote on his arm and who was the ancestor of Arabs according to Islamist teachings. It may be that all these personal and cultural issues became part of the perfect storm in the murderer’s mind.
Having heard that he was an English major, I wonder what he studied.
Could he possibly have read the great English plays, poems and novels written by men and women of individual grace, determined independence, wit, and affection for others, particularly the vulnerable?
James Lewis at American Thinker has an idea what he might have studied because he has reviewed the websites of the English Department at Virginia Tech –
The English Department websites include those of Professor Knapp – "The self-justifying criminal in literature"; Professor Bernice Hausman – "Changing Sex: Transsexualism, technology, and the idea of gender"; Professor Paul Heilker – "Textual Androgyny, the Rhetoric of the Essay, and the Politics of Identity in Composition (or The Struggle to Be a Girly-Man in a World of Gladiator Pumpitude)"; Professor Matthew Vollmer – lesbian love stories; Professor Lisa Norris – sexually violent Toy Guns; and Professor Brizee – Karl Marx flanked by two raised fists in a celebration of revolutionary violence.
This is not the study of English. It is poison. It cannot be the sole reason for the killings. It may have very little to do with them. But it is poison, and it is being poured into children by irresponsible, self-serving professors –
“And in the porches of my ears did pour
The leperous distilment, whose effect
Holds such an enmity with blood of man
That swift as quicksilver it courses through
The natural gates and alleys of the body,
And with a sudden vigor it doth posset
And curd, like eager droppings into milk,
The thin and wholesome blood."
Update - 1 May - a student responds here to Lewis's description of the VT English Department. He reports that Brizee was not a professor and that the Marx website was created by students.