Friday, October 17, 2014

Univ student stabs woman to death because he 'wanted to kill someone'

Univ student stabs woman to death because he 'wanted to kill someone'

You don't need me to tell you this story is horrifying.  Where was it in the US not so long ago a group of young guys cited boredom as the reason they killed a guy out jogging?  I wonder about the malaise in people's souls that causes them to harm others then give these nonchalant excuses.  I don't believe their excuses are their real motivation.  These words are translations of some untranslatable feeling or tangle of feelings, a way of speaking the unspeakable.  Or maybe people really do kill simply out of curiosity or boredom and I refuse to believe that because it's the more horrible concept.

Yes, this is another crime in Saitama story.  After reading the comments, I admit I tend to associate Saitama not with crime but with extra-sick crime.  I wrote a very pissed-off blog entry about Saitama after the guide dog stabbing, but at least I pointed out the positive example of the man who collected money for a reward for information leading to an arrest in that case.  I could easily have made him the focus of that entry with an intention to "prove" what a wonderful place Saitama is.

When we read articles about Saitama crime and immediately feel something is wrong there that goes beyond the wrongness of other cities, this is confirmation bias.  Sick crimes happen everywhere, but even that statement is something of an example of bias because it focuses on a supposed universality of wicked behavior.  Crimes do happen, but most people aren't committing crimes at all.  Even the worst "per 100,000" statistics feature tens of thousands of law-abiding people to create their ratios.

The people in the comments who argue Saitama is hardly the worst place for crime in Japan are correct and I'm wrong.  But once a misconception forms, it's hard to get rid of.  We allow stories like this to reinforce our mistaken beliefs while ignoring evidence to the contrary.  Even now I have this irrational dread of Saitama.  I'll try to do better in the future.

No comments: