WBEZ | James Holmes http://www.wbez.org/tags/james-holmes Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Losing James Holmes http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-08/losing-james-holmes-101406 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/3596136287_1082172045_z.jpg" style="float: left; height: 160px; width: 300px; " title="Aurora, Colorado. (Flickr/Jeffrey Beall)" />After the recent shootings in Aurora, Colorado, few felt bad for alleged shooter James Holmes, who has since been charged with 24 counts of murder. WBEZ&#39;s own Al Gini wrote that he wasn&#39;t sure that our society could ever really forgive people like Holmes, or former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky. &quot;Given the immensity of their actions, I think forgiveness is asking too much,&quot; <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/when-forgive-101213">he wrote</a>.</p><p>But writer and performer Lisa Buscani feels that, since Holmes is just the latest of &quot;many disenfranchised gunman&quot;, there might be more there that we&#39;re missing. Read an excerpt of her thoughts below or listen above:</p><p><em>You knew him. He was the kid who got good grades without even trying, but blinked and swallowed constantly during show and tell, when he tried to talk about the time his parents, &quot;Um took him, uh, to the like Epcot Center,&quot; and no one wanted to hear it because he was a stupid, boring geek. The restlessness spread through the class like thin kindling on fire, as the kids giggled and imitated him until he cut his story short. </em></p><p><em>Maybe he was the kid who brought up the rear of your pack, the one who, to your everlasting credit, you took the time to find out what he thought and discovered he was funny and sarcastic and smart. His advice, when you asked him for it, saved you work and pain. You even encouraged him to step away from the wall that always had his back; you threw the spotlight to him once when he said something funny that everyone missed and you made them stop and listen and he said it and everyone laughed. He looked like a guy who&rsquo;d spent three weeks in the Mojave who just got his hands on a Snapple. </em></p><p><em>But when he tried to do it himself, tried to take center stage with his contribution, primarily because you had said he could, you had shown him how it felt to be heard finally, and he stepped out into the light only to fight that same enemy in his audience&rsquo;s restlessness, only to have his brilliance caught and carried away in a stiff wind, only to see eyes glaze over as points and friends and potential were lost. Only to start him on the road you wouldn&rsquo;t follow, to become the person you didn&rsquo;t recognize.</em></p><p><em>In the mass murderer story arc, James Holmes, the latest alleged lone gunman, is an unabashed cliché, the quiet young man who never caused trouble but who no one ever knew, who brought home the grades and played soccer like all the rest of the white suburban kids but failed to walk at commencement. He went from doing honors work in undergrad to working at a dead-end job at McDonald&rsquo;s to entering a prestigious UC Denver neuroscience doctoral program to withdrawing from that future.</em></p><p><em>You&rsquo;ve known guys like James Holmes. What you don&rsquo;t know are the details of the spin out. I mean, think about it. What it&rsquo;s like to be that smart and yet unable to share; to be of the world and never in it. It&rsquo;s like the dreamer who pushes through race walls for a third or fourth wind and crosses through tape to a roar of adulation only to wake to a brace and a walker. It&rsquo;s a high-flying mind dragged down and buried under a suffocating wet blanket of a personality that offers no impact. It&rsquo;s madness. It&rsquo;s a slow death.</em></p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a><em>&nbsp;is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It&#39;s always at 3 p.m., it&#39;s always on Saturday, and it&#39;s always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/paper-machete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 02 Aug 2012 09:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-08/losing-james-holmes-101406 When to forgive? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/when-forgive-101213 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/james%20holmes%20colorado%20AP.jpg" title="Al Gini argues that criminals like accused Colorado shooter James Holmes are beyond society’s forgiveness. But what about other wrong-doers? (AP/Denver Post, RJ Sangosti, Pool)" /></div><p>On February 27, 1993, 14-year-old Greg Ousley went into his parents&rsquo; bedroom at 11:30 p.m. and shot them point blank with a 12-gague shotgun. He then called the police and said that he had just come home and found them murdered. It didn&rsquo;t take the sheriff&rsquo;s office in Warsaw, Ind., long to poke holes in his story. Ousley confessed and explained himself by saying: &ldquo;They don&rsquo;t seem to understand me&hellip;.I&rsquo;ve been thinking about killing them every time I get mad.&rdquo; Because Ousley admitted to planning the murder, the state tried him as an adult and sentenced him to 60 years in prison.</p><p>For the last 19 years Ousley has been trying to better understand why he killed his parents. (The <em>New York Times Magazine</em> ran <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/22/magazine/greg-ousley-is-sorry-for-killing-his-parents-is-that-enough.html?_r=1&amp;partner=rss&amp;emc=rss">a cover story about Ousley</a> last week, which included excerpts of <a href="http://6thfloor.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/in-greg-ousleys-words/">a 40-page, hand-written essay</a>&nbsp;a 19-year-old Ousley wrote about his crime.) He still doesn&rsquo;t know exactly why he did what he did; but, he knows he did it and he accepts full responsibility for it. Ousley is quick to point out, however, that now he&rsquo;s not &ldquo;that crazy 14-year-old kid anymore.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m a 35-year-old-man and I&rsquo;m different now,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>That seems to be the case. While in prison, Ousley has done everything possible to change himself. He finished high school, graduated with honors for college, took years of anger management and self-improvement classes. He has worked in the warden&rsquo;s office and is trusted by the prison staff. The bottom line seems clear: Greg Ousley is not the same person that he was. He has paid a stiff penalty. He wants to help other kids avoid the anger and confusion that drove him to commit murder. Now, he wants to be free. He feels he has redeemed himself and that he should be forgiven. I for one think he&rsquo;s right.</p><p>But can we, as a society, ever forgive the behavior of such individuals as sexual predator Jerry Sandusky, the Batman terrorist James Holmes (12 people killed and 58 wounded) or the Norwegian white supremacist Anders Behring Breivik (77 dead and 319 wounded)? I don&rsquo;t think so. Given the immensity of their actions, I think forgiveness is asking too much.</p><p>Beyond forgiveness and redemption, what we need to do as a society is try to understand the motivations behind their behavior. Truman Capote, author of <em>In Cold Blood,</em> argued that to simply execute murderers or to put them away forever gains us nothing as a society. We need to study these people. And perhaps, said Capote, after years of studying different madmen and murderers we might come up with some answers.</p><p>Unlike Greg Ousley, there is nothing that Sandusky, Holmes or Breivik can do to reinvent themselves as human beings. Their actions are beyond redemption. But we must learn from them, so that in the future we can try and stop the behavior of others like them.</p><p><em>Al Gini is a Professor of Business Ethics and Chairman of the Management Department in the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago.</em></p></p> Thu, 26 Jul 2012 12:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/when-forgive-101213