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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Updating "going postal"

UncleBob's Treehouse, Bob Wallace's excellent blog, mentioned recently that there have been over 80 public school shootings in the past decade as a result of people "going postal."

That phrase originated after a series of five incidents involving postal workers between 1986 and 1993. But it occurs to me that with the far greater number of shootings involving students, it's time for the expression to be updated.

I propose a new phrase for unbalanced people who go berserk: "going scholastic."

You could say that the Columbine killers "went academic."

You could say that Adam Lanza "went scholarly." You might even say that Lanza, given the extremely horrific nature of his crime, "went Phi Beta Kappa."

If you're particularly frustrated with a situation or filled with rage for some reason, you could express your emotions by muttering ominously, "Man, I'm about to go to school."

Or, "I fucking feel like going to college."

Or, "If that jerk pushes me any further, I swear, I'm gonna get studious on his ass."

The change in our language is really long overdue, given that the new phraseology is far more warranted than "going postal" ever was.

When you think about it, the new expressions would work on more than one level. To become scholarly at most colleges these days is to gain a patina of political correctness, which basically translates as factual incorrectness. And since the traditional definition of insanity is to be divorced from reality, the new expressions would be doubly appropriate.


Anonymous said...

Great thinking, John. I'll even forget that it's not appropriate for Christmas, and offer a couple more:
"You're about to get an education you'll never forget."
"I'm gonna take you to school."
"You just entered a Gun Free Zone."

"Going postal", nowadays, more aptly resembles "I'm gonna provide service so shitty, you'll start using E-mail and Online Payments" or "I'm gonna raise your rates 6.5 percent on January 1st". It just doesn't carry the same swagger it used to. Also, it's been my assumption that "going postal" had something to do with the, uh, "type" of employees commonly found at USPS. Since some of those people believe Jesus might have been black, I won't mention it further, given today might be his birfday.

John Craig said...

Anon --
Of the five incidents which sparked the phrase "going postal," I think only one involved a black. Although blacks commit roughly 53% of all homicides nationwide, the crazy mass shooters tend to be white, from what I've seen, both at the post office and at schools.

Anonymous said...

I possibly would have gone "postal" too if I had to work at a post office (just kidding though), especially after hearing how some of its employees behave. Years ago, I met a guy (he was black) who had a temporary night position at a post office (processing mail) - he said that the regular employees were LAZY, not doing their jobs. They would stand their and watch you do your job. So I guess the solution for that particular post office was to hire temporary employees (who would then do the work). I also met a woman years ago (she was white) who told me about how she was a supervisor at a post office and was forced out of her position due to being harassed by a couple of female employees (they were black) - management wouldn't back her up, so she quit her job. Reading about the actual postal workers who shot their supervisors, co-workers, etc., was awful, but, if you work in a crappy work environment day in an day out, I guess you can reach your limit and go "postal."


John Craig said...

Birdie --
Those are both illuminating stories, and government employees in general have a reputation for being lazy (the DMV's reputation las long been horrible, and that's just because those are the government workers we see). But as far as bad work environments go, I don't think the P.O. has an exclusive, all it takes is one sociopathic coworker to poison the workplace. Even a couple of narcissistic personalities can ruin a workplace, if you have to work with them 8 hours a day, and narcissists are what, 30% of the population?

Spychiatrist said...

I tend to be an Occams razor kind of person John, but I've got to say that many, if not most, of the recent shootings leave me with that conspiratorial taste in my mouth.

Sandy Hook, Aurora, Columbine, Port Aurthur,and so on.

Antidepressant use coupled with some heavy persuasion from the right places and you have a recipe for disaster. I don't expect anyone to agree with me, but many of these shootings are random malcontents lashing out at society, but many of these events have too many anomalies to ignore.

John Craig said...

Spychiatrist --
I'm usually one of the first to suspect a lie or conspiracy, but I don't see anything but random maladjusted losers lashing out in these shootings.