The sane may never live, but the crazy never die.

I’ve been thinking a lot about a recent, and rather unfortunate trend. More and more, the disturbed and alienated youth of my generation are deciding that its better to die spectacularly than live insignificantly. From extravagant overdoses to the shitheads who go nuts with a gun, more and more of my generation is being lost to this pox. And they’re being rewarded for it.

In life, the Virginia Tech shooter (he’s already gotten too much attention, I won’t bring his name up) was largely ignored. Even his parents favored his sister over him. In his gruesome act he became immortal, as the media gave him all he ever wanted, presumably in exchange for the ratings-bait of the v-tech coverage.

Many may remember the tale of Ripper, who achieved notoriety after overdosing on his “grip of drugs” live, on the internet, his death broadcast via webcam to his moron compatriots in an IRC channel.

“i told u i was hardcore,” he said just before death.

Even I myself feel the cold, vile logic behind it. I’m a talented enough individual to achieve fame or infamy without violence, but for some reason that makes it even harder to resist the school of thought that says it is better to burn twice as bright for half as long.

I look at talented people with similarly underwhelming roots. Kevin Smith, writer and director of several movies financed his breakout film entirely on credit cards, for under $30,000. Richard Kelly, writer and director of Donnie Darko, and fellow Virginia native achieved success out of nowhere with the most ahead-of-its-time film since Blade Runner. Most recently, Diablo Cody rides a righteous pole to fame and fortune, her biting wit having been observed first on her blog.

I’m older than many of the new successes in film and comedy already. I’ve been mostly unemployed since graduating high school, and I’m headed for life-on-disability. Were I a weaker man I probably wouldn’t be around to write this right now.

That fact alone, is terrifying.