Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Smoking Gun

The Smoking Gun has as its featured article a play written by the Virginia Tech shooter on its frontpage.

It's a curious thing, because I usually associate The Smoking Gun with taking on celebrities and sensationalism. I guess who's to say that gross tragedy isn't sensational-- in some ways, it's among the most sensational of topics. The fact remains, though, that The Smoking Gun is a great site because of its fusion of sensational topic and presentation, with the hard facts of legal and other written documents. To wrap the Virginia Tech shootings in sensationalist wrappings (default formatting of the website as they are), still, just doesn't seem quite right.

Flipping the coin, though, and looking at what's put out as an offering, I also can't help but think that it's an extremely intriguing thing to have out there. We often hear about the diaries and writings of deranged and sick people, and the "warning signs," but we are not often privy to the content itself, those forecasting signs that everyone claims to have seen. There is something more immediate and substantial to reading a play that he wrote, rather than reading the quotes and descriptions of it.

Or maybe it's just a preference for looking at primary sources.