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Kauhajoki, Finland, killer — the darker side of a man

September 24, 2008

The fatal shooting of 10 classmates by Matti J. Saari, 22, in Kauhajoki in western Finland came as a shock. It was only in November that another young Finnish man went on the rampage in Jokela and killed and injured a number of his classmates.

Certainly a lot of questions clamor for an answer: Why? Where did we go wrong? What does this tell us about Finnish society?

One matter is for certain:  Saari was a pretty sick individual and should not represent any national group except for himself. But let’s say if the shooter would have been a foreigner. What kind of an outcry would it have unleashed?

Kick out the foreigners! Close Finland’s borders! could have been some of the cries. And consider the stigma that national group would have to carry if the murderer were an African or Russian?

However, we should not confuse the facts. The killer was the mind of a deranged person that carried out this  outlandish act — he only represented himself, nobody else.

It is the way we should look at things — the person not the country, stupid!

PS We should watch how we threaten others in this blog. One blogger said he wanted to kill me but would not because he is a law-abiding citizen. The comment was posted on the same day as the Kauhajoki shootings.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. Tiwaz permalink
    September 25, 2008 4:09 am

    On that shooting. Perhaps you should read bit more carefully, my post was not aimed at you but your dream of multicultural Finland.

  2. September 25, 2008 8:21 am

    ”The killer was the mind of a deranged person.”
    Are you absolutely sure or is it just an obvious fact because of the situation.
    I said the same thing to various people when left to comment, “a lunatic” was the phrase I used.
    Quite easy for us to throw off various handles. Anyway!

    I thought briefly about the possible malaise seemingly woven through the fabric of youth in regards to school shootings; common as we know in the USA.
    A thought crossed my mind, and it has to do with transition.
    Over the last 30, definitely 20 years, kids growing up have been – more or less – given a role model of study hard, get a job and that’s the way you survive. Chances are their (most) parents have/had reasonable jobs with reasonable incomes. However the climate has drastically changed in two ways with the new economic structure in America which has not only influenced but dictated you might say the run of things/economics. In the USA and Europe industry has (is a dinosaur) all but disappeared due to the high wage demand by the indigenous populations. (the last remaining and ones wishing to start various projects need cheap labor in order to continue) Anyway!
    We’re left in a situation where young adolescence are at an age of transition where they should be deciding their future and feeling good about their career life ahead.
    What they found certainly over the last ten years is a world outside that promotes doing well with prosperity/having money, instant gratification. There are more millionaires/middleclass in Europe, and the US, Russia, China, India then ever before. But somehow someway it seems to stop at their door.
    The prospect of jobs are few, and offering scrape-by income. Short term contract with no security to become an independent person with modest means to provide for a family if need be.
    As I heard the shooter quoted saying: “life is too painful.”
    Is society failing the young, making it too painful or is he just a wimp, a deranged person , or the culmination of the pain in Youth exploding into rage against the madness all around especially in the light of the mess, the crisis our deranged free marketer leaders have now lead us into.

    Just think of the presidents words these days: I believe in a free market but in the interest of the American people. In other words we must socialize loss and risk, and private profit (when it‘s made)

    I would like to see a study a proper study into the effects of the changing global economy on the youth, and what the instability is doing to their psyche their soul.

    (PS: I just rushed this off with any proper edit/pace; you’ll have to read in-between the lines)

  3. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 25, 2008 10:19 am

    Well, what the police investigations have revealed so far that the two killers had been in contact. The Kauhajoki shooting was a copycat killing of teh Jokela incident, that then again was copied from the Virginia Tech one. Disturbed? Well Saari went some 350km to buy his gun from the same gun store in Tuusula where Auvinen got his…

    Of course the media is in hysterics but a few facts remain – the police are impotent in dealing with this kind of situations. The shooter had been interviewed the previous day due to some suspicions but the police didn’t find anything peculiar. Privacy laws prevent them from getting information and as the Ministry of the Interior thinks the police surfed too much on naughty pages their internet access is limited.

    So what makes a pretty regular young man do this kind of a thing? And I say pretty regular as he had friends, he was doing well in school, had been on a 4-month student exchange to Hungary, went out to bars…. heck, so he was shy and got bullied but how does that differ from any other guy there who is a bit of a nerd. No manifestos, no political views, no ranting and raving… But something made him copy the Jokela shooting. Too much internet they say, others blame heavy metal.

    Heck, lets look at me… thinning hairline, black leather jacket, black clothes, listens to rock, weird political opinions, haven’t gotten laid in a while, posted a picture of myself with a chainsaw… coocoo alert. Finland is full of people like that.

    I think paddy is on the right track there saying its a bigger global problem with youth. Theres “fashion trends” that kids end up starting from tombstone toppling to suicide clubs and now we have the school shooters. They are all symptoms of something underlying there.

    News coverage more or less up-to-date
    http://www.hs.fi/english/

  4. Enrique permalink
    September 26, 2008 10:23 am

    DeTant and Paddy, it is very sad and, as you said, even if we have weird lifestyles, we do not go walking around with chainsaws or sharpening it for fun.

    The social state of a youth like Saari or Auvinen shows an incredible amount of egoism. Imagine, because life has been unfair to me, I am going to leave with a big bang. The idiot did not even understand that he would NOT be around to get high on all the publicity.

    I guess we are getting older when we say “things were better and easier” when we were young. Probably things were not that well back then and people had different ways of showing their frustration with life. However, the turmoil that is going on globally may usher in a new era: possibly we may learn the hard way that there are other values more important than making money and fueling our avaricious greed. Remember when we spoke about a new era after the demise of the Soviet Union? Did the world become a better place?

    When I look at the sad state of some of our societies, I see today a sort of 1930s cutthroat situation that has been made “elegant” and acceptable by the media. We have forgotten valuable things such as checks and balances and caring for others. I know that some may blame me for being naive for my thoughts, but hey, history changes with very noble ideas. The problem is that when such a minority gets into power, they become corrupt and part of the old system.

    How do you think Kauhajoki and the global financial crisis impact Finland?

  5. Tiwaz permalink
    September 26, 2008 10:45 am

    Kauhajoki? Relatively little. Sad tragedy, yes. But it does not really shake the nation off it’s feet. Politicians will make promises, police hold press conference and tell what they find out and things will quiet down.

    Economy? That is going to be a bitch. I don’t see way out of this mess without USA crashing economically. And that means several bad years for global economy.

    Regarding Saari… I think it doesn’t matter to them if they are alive or dead when they get publicity. They know they will get it, that their face and story will be screamed out from every media. They know they will get their fame, that people will dig out everything about their worthless lives.

    I believe that if media did not go to such lengths at making such maniacs famous, interest in becoming loonie with gun would drop dramatically.

  6. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 26, 2008 1:59 pm

    – The social state of a youth like Saari or Auvinen shows an incredible amount of egoism.

    I think this is in part the modern consumerist culture that produces egoists.

  7. Enrique permalink
    September 26, 2008 2:25 pm

    Yes, with little regard for other people. Deranged people who want to destroy the lives of other people as they kiss the world goodbye.

  8. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 26, 2008 4:30 pm

    – Deranged people who want to destroy the lives of other people as they kiss the world goodbye.

    Haven’t heard a better definition for a “multiculturalist”.

    But back to the issues – none of the Nordic countries are immune – even they are “better off”. You read this through and say your opinion about the trends.
    DELINQUENT BEHAVIOUR IN NORDIC CAPITAL CITIES
    http://www.optula.om.fi/uploads/k5kto3p8v485my.pdf
    All cities have their differences, but Helsinki doesn’t strike out as anything other than average. A few interesting things there though about how different things can be even you think its all the same.

  9. Enrique permalink
    September 26, 2008 5:33 pm

    But that is because you are so negative about societies that are diverse culturally, or multicultural.

    Yes, it is a comprehensive report. I skimmed through it. So what does it mean? Does it imply that crime in the Nordic region, albeit some minor differences, it pretty similar. Is it the welfare system or what other factors are at play?

  10. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 27, 2008 7:17 am

    Nope, diversity is when you have four ethnic restaurants side by side, one being a native one. “multiculturalism” is when the restaurants are on different blocks because they can’t be next to each other due to their ideological differences they brought as baggage from home. I have nothing against diversity – I have things against refusing to integrate. And if I am negative it is due to the facts I read – I have a friend living in Walthamstow I visited before the London bus bombings. Didn’t look that “diverse” to me – was as if everyone was crouching behind barricades.

    I think the report shows that there is a trend of youth marginalisation. And as we can see from say France and Germany there is a trend of immigrant/migrant marginalisation. Creating the “angry young men” but whereas the immigrants may have some excuses like racism the natives don’t have much excuses… It seems that while the Nordic welfare societies on paper look good and theres loads of social programmes – they cannot reach out to those who don’t wish to be reached. But the worse part is these reach programmes lack funding, they’re shortlived and whats the worst part is they require “in the box” thinking. Once you are out of the box you get chucked out and if the youth then is a grown up and gets disillusioned again – its quite easy to relapse back. But theres been good results… however the current situation in Helsinki area atleast is that they would need more money for the special ed. That would also alleviate this imaginary “need for workers” if it were not then the consumerist culture that teaches the kids to want it all and want it now. So when they find out you can’t get rich with honest work… well thats disillusioned us all. But thats why you need to grow the tough skin for.

  11. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 27, 2008 7:19 am

    Oh, in above “If I am negative it is not only due to the things I read”

  12. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 27, 2008 10:14 am

    Here is a documentary of Kauhajoki in 1957

    what did we again say about going back to Mayberry?

  13. Enrique permalink
    September 27, 2008 12:45 pm

    Yes, DeTant, thank you. This was a really good example of a Finnish Mayberry. I wonder how many were able to sit through the whole film on Kauhajoki. Facts, facts and more facts.

  14. Enrique permalink
    September 27, 2008 12:50 pm

    –Nope, diversity is when you have four ethnic restaurants side by side, one being a native one. “multiculturalism” is when the restaurants are on different blocks because they can’t be next to each other due to their ideological differences they brought as baggage from home.

    Where did you get that. If a society accepts different cultures certainly those that live in such a society must also abide by such rules. So what are you stating: A Georgian restaurant cannot be on the same block as a Russian one. I don’t agree.

    –But the worse part is these reach programmes lack funding, they’re shortlived and whats the worst part is they require “in the box” thinking. Once you are out of the box you get chucked out and if the youth then is a grown up and gets disillusioned again

    I would add that probably policy makers do not have a good idea on how to solve these problems. With respect to integration, it is not complex: work and start building your life. Work and take part in society. There is no other way. It is the best integrator at the start.

  15. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 27, 2008 7:50 pm

    Where did you get that. If a society accepts different cultures certainly those that live in such a society must also abide by such rules. So what are you stating: A Georgian restaurant cannot be on the same block as a Russian one. I don’t agree.

    Just go live in reality you condescending Finland-basher.

    I actually live with foreigners unlike you politician-friendly establishment foreigners. I just played 3 rounds of 8-pool with ethiopian students. And you are a condescending imprialist not understanding their plight.
    I talked over feschist italy over 4 tables of pool we got a no-speak Finn… you are in the area of s***.

  16. Enrique permalink
    September 28, 2008 5:01 am

    –Just go live in reality you condecending Finland-basher.

    Woke up on the wrong side?

  17. DeTant Blomhat permalink
    September 28, 2008 6:26 pm

    Sorry but I live in the reality. I see things with my own eyes. I try to assist these people, and it is a fact that people from different cultures – especially war zones bring a lot of baggage. You are right in saying that certainly those that live in such a society must also abide by such rules. But the fact remains they will live with their own rules, and then cry racism and xenophobia when we go tell them what are the rules – and the politicians then write their hands in agony we’re not accepting these people. The constant Finland-bashing isn’t going to make people be more accepting.

    As I said a no-speak Finn, a few bilinguals and a pool table make much more of a positive effect than having a political task group wasting money on thinking about ideas on how to solve imaginary problems, when everybody is having more or less the same problems.

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