Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Still on the sick bastard beat...

I have a confession to make: I’ve been slogging through Kevin Ray Underwood’s entire blog. Part of this is my own regrettable morbid curiosity, of course, but I also hope to write a longer, more detailed post on the relationship between his writings, his character, and his crimes. In the process of immersing myself in his miserable ramblings, however, a strange phenomenon has emerged, as uncomfortable as it is undeniable. Let’s get it out of the way right now:


1) We are both single white men in our late 20s named “Kevin”

2) We both maintain a pair of blogs, one updated regularly, the other not so much

3) Both of our main blogs got hundreds of visitors only after he killed someone

4) Writing wise, we are both the wordy sort

5) We are both strongly influenced by bewitching, West Coast women named “Melissa”

6) We both live near Interstate 35

7) We both have a history of anxiety in social situations and a tendency towards excessive self-examination

8) We both complain about our noisy, trashy neighbors

9) We both dislike our jobs

10) We’re both liberals

11) We both fear loneliness, irrelevance, and failure

Perhaps I’m weird or too sensitive, but I find all this unpleasant. I’d rather not have a single, superficial characteristic in common with someone who’d do something as loathsome as what he’s accused of. But I do. I have lots in common with him: a few important things, a few all-but meaningless things, a few coincidences, a few somewhere in between. In the sum of it all, it appears that Underwood and I aren’t complete strangers. I feel like I know him. He could be me if I had no hope, no emotional resources, no friends, a bad family, and a stunted conscience. That’s a large gulf, to be sure, but it still isn’t as large as I’d like it to be.

To help alleviate my mental distress, I’ve chosen to focus instead on this list:


1) I have never killed or injured anyone

2) I’ve never had fantasies about killing or injuring anyone

3) I do not write interminable, emotionally-exhibitionistic blog posts about my angst, my romantic torments, and my suicidal urges

4) I don't have much in the way of angst or romantic torment, and I’ve never had suicidal urges

5) I do not consider a child an acceptable surrogate for my sexual impulses and I do not suffer from the lack of adult female attention

6) The relationship between my bewitching Melissa and me is a platonic, thoroughly non-obsessive friendship grounded in about a decade of shared history, our similar outlooks on life, and mutual regard for one another; it’s not some frustrating, internet-bound, unrequited love deal.

7) I didn’t drop out of college and then drift through a series of miserable, low-status jobs. I graduated from college and then drifted through a series of miserable, low-status jobs.

8) I learned early that manipulating people into feeling sorry for me was a poor way to get attention

9) I have better musical taste

10) In my life, I have very little to apologize for

11) I have a future to look forward to