Portrait of a Mass Murderer

It turns out that Omar Mateen appeared briefly in the 2012 documentary The Big Fix, from back in 2010 when he was working as a G4S security guard at a BP oil cleanup site in Pensacola, Florida.

One thing you will notice is that he does a lot of code-switching. That’s what linguists call the switch between different dialects or registers of conversation. Most people do this, and certainly someone approached by a documentary camera crew in the middle of the night is someone who might be groping for appropriate responses. I also suspect that his response was cut together to sound like a single statement, whereas there were probably several minutes of conversation which were cut out. But Mateen has some interesting code-switches in his brief appearance:

1) High voice, normal schmuck.
2) Hints of the stereotypical gay-signaling uptalk.
3) Rougher, more stereotypically masculine complaint voice, combined with profanity. Claims that cleanup people don’t care about nature, and just want more spillage to give them more work hours.

Given that a night security guard watching for cars has an infinitely cleaner job than folks cleaning up an oil spill at night, I’m sure that they didn’t think much of his contempt for them!

So that’s interesting. Doesn’t prove anything, but there’s your Sudden Jihadi before his Sudden Jihadi Syndrome. (Although he’d been in touch with some extremely sketchy Muslim groups and imams before 2010.)


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