By Eric Garland –
You really need to be following the writing of Sarah Kendzior this week as she rips the major media outlets for their utter incompetence in understanding the role of race, ethnicity and nationality in the Boston Marathon bombing. The fact is: we don’t know what motivated these men. There will be a trial – and then we will know more. In the mean time, the American media has been throwing out every possible stereotype (indominable mountain men!!!) and disjointed factoid from Wikipedia their interns could gather.
Now, Juan Cole isn’t really “the media,” and I normally enjoy his analysis of Middle East affairs quite a bit – but I was perplexed by his trying to use 19th century literature to explain Monday’s actions in absence of thorough knowledge about the motive’s of the alleged bombers.
“They were playing the nihilists Arkady and Bazarov in Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons,” explained scholar Juan Cole, citing an 1862 Russian novel to explain the motives of a criminal whose Twitter account was full of American rap lyrics. One does not recall such use of literary devices to ascertain the motives of less exotic perpetrators, but who knows? Perhaps some ambitious analyst is plumbing the works of Faulkner to shed light on that Mississippi Elvis impersonator who tried to send ricin to Obama.
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*Eric Garland is a writer who focuses on the future trends that are changing life for everybody. He is the author of three books on future trends, a regular public speaker, and a professional bassist.