First off, such "bursting forths" of violence and public mayhem may be found throughout recorded human history. Mythically, the perpetrators of such antisocial actions have been labeled "Trickster" by academics. Tricksters appear in stories and rituals from every culture as socially disruptive characters who might defecate in public, engage in inappropriate sexual liaisons, deceive without shame, or commit felonious acts of violence and other lawless exploits. The trickster's demeanor covers a broad continuum--ranging from slapstick comic to homicidal-rapist, with many variations in between those two extremes. Paradoxically tricksters are also frequently portrayed as cultural hero/heroines--pulling the rug out from under the established order so that something revelatory and innovative might appear in its place. One such character in popular American culture is The Joker, Batman's archenemy appearing in comics, television shows and movies. The Joker is a highly intelligent homicidal psychopath, always smiling during his antinomian escapades. He, like most tricksters, is a strange concoction of despairing anomie mingled with manic extroverted energy,  which is how James Holmes was described just before his violent outburst in the Colorado movie theater as it premiered The Dark Knight Rises. In fact some sources reported that Holmes told the police, as they arrested him without a struggle, that he was Batman's nemesis, the Joker.
After long hesitancies and vacillations we have decided to assume the existence of only two basic instincts, Eros and the destructive instinct...The aim of the first of these basic instincts is to establish ever greater unities and to preserve them thus--in short, to bind together; the aim of the second is, on the contrary, to undo connections and so to destroy things. In the case of the destructive instinct we may suppose that its final aim is to lead what is living into an inorganic state. For this reason we also call it the death instinct. (Standard XXIII. 148)
If we consider...the daemonic features exhibited by Yahweh in the Old Testament, we shall find in them not a few reminders of the unpredictable behaviour of the trickster, of his pointless orgies of destruction and his self-appointed sufferings [of human beings], together with the same gradual developments into a saviour and his simultaneous humanization. It is just this transformation of the meaningless into the meaningful that reveals the trickster's compensatory relation to the 'saint'... (Radin 196).
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matt. 10:34-37)
In the history of the collective as in the history of the individual, everything depends on the development of consciousness. This gradually brings liberation from imprisonment in agnoia [agnoia], unconsciousness, and is therefore a bringer of light as well as healing. As in its collective, mythological form, so also the individual shadow contains within it the seed of enantiodromia, of a conversion into its opposite. (211)
Lastly, let me state clearly that I am neither justifying nor excusing Holmes' or any other heinous acts of violence. I am not minimizing the unimaginable losses and grief of the families. I lost a son to war in Afghanistan and know the reconstructive hell of the trickster pattern. I am not asking people to stop seeking justice as they perceive justice, or to cease seeking cures for deadly diseases or the end to war. Our aim as humans, in my view, is to love and care for others--to bring healing and order to life. However, I am asking that we look more deeply into the significance of cultural and personal tragedies. If Adorno is correct, then this "bursting forth" in Colorado may carry a revelation from the unconscious—that life is comprised of "objective happiness and objective despair", and that "as long as people have problems taken away from them... their welfare and happiness in this world will merely be an illusion. And will be an illusion that will one day burst. And when it bursts, it will have dreadful consequences.” If we continue to deny or ignore the necessity of problems by numbing ourselves with distractions and by insisting on creating utopian external solutions—then we can expect greater and greater compensatory nightmares to get our attention. If the pain of ordinary events does not call us to reflective soul-making, the pains of extraordinary events will escalate, forcing us to do what we must do for our psycho-spiritual development.