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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Re: A Theory

posted by on April 17 at 13:22 PM

Killing time, killing space: Turns out Cho Seung-Hui was a playwright.

Here is a page from his short play Mr. Brownstone.

Here is a page from his short play Richard McBeef.

Where is the Seattle company that will produce these works immediately? They’re both crude, but Mr. Brownstone, I’m guessing, was written later. It feels more mature and has more surprising language. Mr. Brownstone, the villainous math teacher is described as “such a wicked old flapper.” The kids sing—and parse—the Guns ‘n’ Roses song. One character sighs: “After a long, ravishing day at school, we just want to be left alone.”

I like that phrase—a long, ravishing day.

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Jesus, I read the whole of "Richard McBeef" at Smoking Gun. I think there might have been something wrong with that boy. Crazy from top to bottom. And completely illiterate as well; he was a college SENIOR? English major? Yikes.

Posted by Fnarf | April 17, 2007 1:43 PM

we'll produce it when someone makes a play about him making these plays.

Posted by shane | April 17, 2007 1:54 PM

Does anyone else think "Richard McBeef" would make a great band name?

Posted by joykiller | April 17, 2007 2:02 PM

it's outsider art.

Posted by infrequent | April 17, 2007 2:04 PM

there WAS something wrong with mr. cho - he was alienated. this is not unique. he did not have a 'screw loose'. he wasn't schizophrenic.

he had a psychotic break & was determined to make the world feel the pain that he felt.

Posted by Max Solomon | April 17, 2007 2:13 PM

Yeah, but did he fill anybody's ipod with music?

Posted by Erik | April 17, 2007 2:18 PM

Nothing about video games or goth lifestyle or rock music. Yet all the other school shooters had read literature too. So now the common thread becomes clear. This massacre is the worst because the shooter is a playwright and an English major: literature is the infection and he's at the epicenter. If he'd been playing video games instead of reading, none of this would have happened.

Clearly we need to ban plays and English literature. Every English major is a potential murderer.

Posted by Joe | April 17, 2007 2:19 PM

It seems to me a case of differing cultures. Some of the stuff this South Korean native writes appears forcefully Americanized.

Reading it I get the feeling like he was far more immersed in television and the Internet than any healthy social setting.

It appears, to me anyway, that he's writing as though that's what he thinks reality is. From what I've heard he was a loner and had few, if any, friends. It makes sense then that his inner workings are based not not on personal societal mores but those he picked up from pop cultural icons.

I'm sure there are some fancy psychological terms for this stuff, but I don't know them (nor do I think they're necessary).

Posted by Sam | April 17, 2007 2:21 PM

Ack, now look what you've done, Joe - my commenting sitting right under yours.

I was trying to avoid the same things you're saying (or, rather, being facetious about) because I completely disagree with music or TV making people do things, which is what has been said in the past.

What I'm trying to say is that in his writing the only things he knew were based on things outside of reality. I just want to be clear.

Posted by Sam | April 17, 2007 2:24 PM

i think people should be careful. do we really want to judge whether or not we think a person will span based on their writings? anybody seen grindhouse? some of the best writers (note: not grindhouse) have written pieces that might cause us to question them. that is not the environment i would like to encourage.

we really don't know much about this person. but it does seem as though he was intentionally anti-social in an extreme manner.

Posted by infrequent | April 17, 2007 2:26 PM

"span" should be "snap"

Posted by infrequent | April 17, 2007 2:27 PM

I would like to know what anti-depressants he was prescribed and if he was on or off his meds.

Posted by elswinger | April 17, 2007 3:00 PM

apropos of 10, would you know hitler was capable of organized genocide by looking at his paintings? no.

Posted by ellarosa | April 17, 2007 3:08 PM

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