Kyle Vs. The Amphibian Aliens From Mars

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My life was ruined. Ruined by an intelligent species of amphibian-humanoids from Mars. I wish I was joking. Keep reading.
—Kyle Odom, “Manifesto”

In early 2014, University of Idaho student and ex-Marine Kyle Odom discovered the technique of meditation as a way to deal with the stress over his heavy coursework. By February of that year, he claimed to have encountered a “being” through these meditations.

On March 6, 2016, Odom shot Pastor Tim Remington inside a church parking lot. Two days later in Washington D.C., Odom was arrested after throwing documents over the South Fence of the White House. In those documents, as well as a Facebook status posted shortly after the Remington shooting, Odom claimed that the world was ruled by an ancient civilization from Mars.

What exactly happened to Kyle Odom when he was meditating in February of 2014?

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Stripping Away The Psycho

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There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable… I simply am not there.

I researched James Holmes for two months in preparation for a comic book I was writing. I read his college transcripts, I watched his school presentation, I watched multiple re-enactments of the crimes he committed in a Colorado movie theater in 2012. Read hundreds of articles, tracked down photos from his camp counseling days, and more.

But to back up: I was diligently collecting news stories about so-called “Joker-related” crimes for several years before that; the first one taking place maybe a week or two after The Dark Knight came out, the worst being two mass murders.

A question I repeatedly asked myself through this entire process was:

“who do we blame?”
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The Year Of The Mask: The Ballad Of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

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“what is the new hotness?”

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Now, this bomb is armed! This bomb is mobile! And the identity of the triggerman is a mystery. For one of you holds the detonator! And we came here not as conquerors, but as liberators to return control of this city to the people. And at the first sign of interference from the outside world, or for those people attempting to flee, this anonymous Gothamite —this unsung hero—will trigger the bomb. For now, martial law is in effect. Return to your homes, hold your families close, and wait. Tomorrow you claim what is rightfully yours.
—Bane, “The Dark Knight Rises”

do yourself a favor, go watch the batman #tooreal.
—Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after watching “The Dark Knight Rises” (3 days after the Aurora theater shooting)

The Year Of The Mask has not just been about the intersection between politics and comic book culture, and the ouroboros of fantasy and reality…it has been about how the media (intentionally) creates clicks out of horror and (unintentionally, but perhaps even more destructive) creates “folk heroes” out of murderers. James Holmes had his “Holmies.” Chris Dorner had his Facebook support pagesChris Dorner had his Facebook support pages.

And The Dark Knight Rises fan Dzhokhar Tsarnaev? He had Rolling Stone.

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