Not Enough Violence
The difference between good and bad criminals depends on how well they were dressed. It depends on what weapon they used. It depends on their posture, their voice, their plan of attack. It depends on how they carried themselves. It depends on how they carried it out. It depends on their height, their bone structure, their body fat percentage, their haircut. It depends on who their victim was. Even the very worst of criminal acts are forgiven by simply looking good. Or cool. Or interesting, in some way.
This is why droves of people idolize certain criminals. The Columbine shooters, the LA Shootout gunmen, Dylann Roof, Elliot Rodger, Omar Mateen, Ted Kaczynski, Killdozer, and so on. This is also why some get left behind, only remembered for the amount they killed or their embarrassing backstory, like the Parkland shooter, the Las Vegas shooter, Virginia Tech, etc. Of course, the whole fascination isn’t purely aesthetic-focused ¬today’s population will generally love anything or anyone that causes massive societal disruption.
ISIS understands this well, for the most part. A black flag, white letters in the center.
“There is no god but Allah.”
Even in the Arabic scribble they use, it pleases the eye. But further than that, it’s intimidating beyond belief. It’s mounted on the tanks and armed trucks that storm into Middle Eastern towns with raw force; those six words in white let know the world what’s coming — shameless acts of ultra-violence filmed in crystal clear high-definition, uploaded for the masses to witness. Executions portrayed so vividly that the first-world can feel nerves splitting too.
The uniforms don’t fall far from the tree. Fitted and sometimes tailored assortments of digital and desert camo, juxtaposed with black cloth and face covers to match. Ski masks, combat boots, AK- 47s, bandoliers of extra magazines slung over the chest. With even minimal taste and maximal attitude comes pending influence. They capture not just cities, but hearts and minds. Mothers, children, teens, fighting-age males, you name it. Raqqa falls to ISIS at night and by morning, droves of new allies fall into line. They understand the importance of fashionable terror. They may also be a little scared. As I’m sure you’ve heard before, it’s “hearts and minds, because physical wounds heal.”
Of course, I’m not justifying the acts of the Islamic State, only mentioning how a group of rebels and misfits made it so far within a mess of Middle Eastern conflicts. Fleets of Toyota Tacoma’s with mounted machine guns jimmy-rigged into the truck beds tends to grant you a little power. Selling gargantuan amounts of oil to Israel also helps.
Violence without good story or style is barbaric at best. You can get away with a lot if you look a little better. Maximize looks to maximize crime, and in that, accelerate better. Consider it crimemaxing. Next time you are thinking about robbing an armored truck, put a little time and money into the outfit you’ll be wearing. When the urge to smash every windshield of every car at your local dealership strikes, tone up beforehand. Pick some nice boots, a nice mask, chin up and shoulders back. This is all going to be on the news tomorrow.
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