Beyond the Law: The Anti-Slacker as Mass Murderer

  • Jan Jagodzinski


The serial killer and the mass murder present the two “extreme” pathological responses to the psychic suffering (jouissance) as represented by the slacker generation of the early 1990s grunge and punk music, which was then followed by the Nü Heavy metal and industrial Goth groups of the new Millennia. That is the thesis presented here. Their pathological actions, in effect, execute the very unconscious desires, which, however tentatively, have been sublimated by their music. In contrast, their aggression and violence find a form of desublimated expression. The mass murderer and serial killer, in effect, “act out” such barely repressed desires, the unconscious wishes of the Metal-Punk-Industrial Goth music, making them come “true,” so to speak, as criminal actions. Like the gangsta rapper who sadistically kills, the mass murderer and the serial killer are “anti-slackers” in the very same sense. They “do” what the slacker generation unconsciously desire, acting out their aggression outside the Law. They are most “alive” when they kill. Both literally and metaphorically speaking, the death-drive of the gun is not turned in on the self masochistically, as was the case with Cobain, Davis, Rose, Morrison, Marilyn Manson in forms of self-punishment through their music, or actually through self-mutilation. Rather it is directed outward toward innocent victims, more in line with the exploits of Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols who stabbed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen to death and then OD-ed himself.


Action Video Game Serial Killer Symbolic Order Mass Murder Media Violence 
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© Jan Jagodzinski 2005

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  • Jan Jagodzinski

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