If you listen to conservative media, then pop culture is responsible for 90% of the murders committed in the Western world. The liberal media blames it on the graphics used by political websites.
Well, I can see the logic about pop culture influences. The whole realm is filled with gory horror films, rock music played backwards in a Satanic fashion, and evil first-person shooter games, all just waiting to drive innocent souls into a murderous frenzy.
It seems if you want to commit a culture-inspired crime, the choice is easy.
Look, committing crimes is not cool in the first place. It just makes you a big loser. But you’re even more of a loser if you use the lamest elements of pop culture to base your shockingly heinous acts on.
Several killers have been inspired by a movie about unusually agile computer hackers with superpowers. The ‘Matrix defense’ was most famously used about 10 years ago by a young man who shot his parents while wearing a Keanu-esque trench-coat. He told the jury that he believed he was living in The Matrix. In a couple of other incidents, a man and a woman killed their landlords and blamed the movie afterwards, even though it was specifically pointed out in the movie that Neo liked his landlady.
Last year, a guy robbed a California bank while wearing a Guitar Hero t-shirt. As if that wasn’t enough, he then chose to spend his ample loot on a new truck, which he then decorated with a Guitar Hero bumper stickers. The police soon tracked the guy down to his ingenious hideout: an apartment complex right next to the bank he had robbed. In another case, a man on the run from a murder in North Carolina was captured when police were tipped off that he was hanging out in Wal-mart playing the same game. Apparently, he didn’t quit playing even as the cops approached with guns drawn.
A man in Japan killed his mother after watching an anime series. The cartoon had convinced him that ‘humans should be eliminated’. Convinced that he should start with his own mother to get the hardest part out of the way, the loser was ultimately stopped before he could go on a full-fledged killing spree, presumably because he was a puny anime nerd. Look dude, everyone sometimes gets the idea that humanity deserves to die after they watch anime, but did you really have to take it out on your poor, helpless mother? She had to endure enough just putting up with a grown adult son who watched anime all day.
In Belgium, a group of men were recently arrested over a dead body found with the words Watashi wa KIRA dess scribbled on lined paper nearby. I don’t speak Japanese, so the article thankfully translated that for me as meaning I am a killer. It was a reference to something called Death Note, a comic book and anime about an emo high school kid with a magic book. And as if that’s not bad enough, the article noted that the Japanese is spelt wrong, which means that even the other anime fans won’t respect these guys.
Another murderer blamed his actions on the movie Kill Bill. The advantage to this excuse is that the movie actually involves brutal violence. The disadvantage was that the real-life victim was not killed with anything resembling a samurai sword, and there was no blood feud involved. I wasn’t there, but I’m also pretty sure that nobody delivered any cool Quentin Tarantino-written speeches when it happened. No, it was just another ordinary loser who killed someone smaller and weaker than him.
I hope he tells everybody in prison, especially his large new cellmate, that he’s in the joint because he got caught up in an elaborate fantasy about being Uma Thurman.
My favorite pop culture crime was two years ago, when a teenage boy in Iowa was charged with assault after going on a ‘biting’ spree at his high school that was apparently triggered by the Twilight movies. By the time a girl complained to the principal, the kid had already bitten 11 people. After the girl reported him, the other ten students came forward. They’d probably been hiding until that time because they were afraid that Twilight was a true story, and were planning on quietly killing themselves as soon as they began to sparkle.
Unlike the others mentioned, this kid didn’t kill anyone, but the fact that he even tried to injure someone using Twilight as an inspiration is enough to sentence him to eternal shame. Hell, even the anime guy would beat this dude up for being a pussy. If the monsters that inspire you to do evil are skinny pubescent pretty boys that sparkle in the sunshine, you are probably beyond hope.
Seriously, I would give you more respect if you watched The Last Unicorn and then strapped a traffic cone to your head and went on a goring rampage.