We’re not just talking about the effect of postmodernism on the actual criminal (of course many factors went into the making of Cho) but on the whole society, which gradually learns it cannot judge or make discriminations, and gradually begins to accept the false scenarios that are the real agenda behind the moral relativism promoted by pomo. It’s not really possible to live without judgment, but instead of searching for the truth, weighing facts and evidence, and using common sense, we accept the “narratives” of contemporary theory, as we saw at Duke and now also at Virginia Tech.
The Contemporary Horror course that Cho took is listed under Fall 2006 and the description ends with “Warning: Not for the faint of heart.” I would agree that it can be useful to study popular artifacts, but it may not be the wisest thing to spend precious undergraduate time on them, rather than more classic works. Furthermore, they should be treated historically, as having roots in myth, tradition, etc., and there should be a willingness to rate the quality of the “texts” according to accepted standards.
Also, here’s a follow-up from Townhall columnist Mary Grabar who also wrote about this subject and writes in an email to me:
Some of the commentators and letter writers on Townhall, like Mr. Paletta, feel it’s silly to link one course to the making of a criminal. Of course, but that’s not what we’re doing. Rather the concern is with the nihilism surrounding the horror, the refusal to judge the evil one reads or sees, per direction of the postmodern professor. All is reduced to “spectacle”–which as you know is the subject of many conference papers.
I’ve received letters from teachers who tell me that the common response to horror movies in classes in laughter. That’s the danger.
Once again, I’m reminded of Lionel Trilling’s concern that his students were becoming too casual about the dark extremes of modernist literature.