The Clare Spark Blog

February 16, 2018

Nikolas Cruz and his undefined “mental illness”

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 6:44 pm
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magical thinking Mother

The Florida shooter has been identified as “the epitome of evil” by one (or many?) anchors on Fox News Channel, with an astounding conformity to the resistance of the media to any but religious (specifically Manichaean) definitions of the moral spectrum: presumably, a strong dose of “love” would have eliminated the horrors of “hate” wrought by this young adult.

What is missing from this prescription? In no particular order:

1. Mixed feelings (of “love” and “hate,” aka “ambivalence”), especially in regard to his family, living and departed. What were the bonds and/or values encouraged in either Cruz’s adopted family or family of origin?

2. What are the politics of young Cruz? Facebook was initially pushing the notion that Cruz was a “white nationalist,” a typical liberal diagnosis. But that “trending” item has been removed.

3. What are the politics of Superintendent Runcie and the faculty of the high school that was the scene of the recent Valentine’s Day Massacre? I.e., what was Cruz learning about before he was expelled (the answer appears to be “social justice,” according to Runcie’s bio: ( Did Cruz’s various schools target any individuals or groups as “the enemy”?

Other related topics tackled by “moderate” Fox News include the notion of depression, to be cured by “connectivity,” as if “atomization” encourages “personality disorders.” ( Cure that patient of bourgeois values and presto-chango, magical thinking does it again, namely cures dis-order. Moreover, affected families suffering devastating losses will eventually “heal” (as if the loss of a child can ever be repaired: more magical thinking).

Finally, what constitutes “mental health” is widely contested. For religious conservatives, the father-led family is vital to national “unity.” For (liberal?) practitioners hoping to alleviate (unnecessary) psychic pain, a patient history is a prerequisite to any degree of cure.

From Harvey Weinstein or Roy Porter to Nikolas Cruz, that history is missing from mass media treatments of “abuse,” notwithstanding our current preoccupation with “relationships” and “identity.” (

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