This stuff about the bombing in Boston's been depressing me -- and not in the way you think.
It's a horrible-bad thing, for sure, and an evil I cannot understand. But the Boston Marathon bombing is barely a mouse fart in the grotesque symphony of violence playing out across this country and this planet. And for all the shouting and hoo-rah that has accompanied it, I fully believe that in a short while, almost none of us will give it a second thought. It will become not a catalyst to action, but merely one more media-fueled cathartic experience... a sort of release-valve to make possible the ongoing blindness we all practice every day.
You know what I think? I think there's something in us that likes the drama and excitement of a terrorist act. I think we enjoy the chance to abandon all reason, as for once we have a clear, in-arguable villain at whom we can direct our fear-fueled hatred.
If this were not the case, then why is it that if you call it "terrorism," it's okay to shut down a city for a whole day, just to catch one wounded kid on foot? Why can we all agree to completely ignore the whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing regarding this "suspect?" Why, if it's called terrorism, do we get to lock someone up for eleven years in a prison camp without ever charging them? Why are we allowed to kill a citizen with a drone, or burn an innocent child to death with rocket-fire from the sky?
Why are these things okay, but in the face of thirty thousand gun deaths a year, it's considered by many to be a horrific violation of civil liberties to want to make it even remotely more inconvenient for someone to get a gun?
I can only conclude that the relentless crush of everyday violence just isn't sexy enough. It doesn't do enough to remind us of all the "cool" things we've seen in the movies. A kid shooting himself with his dad's gun is horrible, sure... but where's the Bruce Willis in that?
I just don't get it. It keeps building and building -- this endless pressure behind my eyeballs -- and I've got no hope whatsoever of making it go away. It's insanity, and appeals to reason result only in more insane screaming from people who, in most other matters, are thoughtful and measured in their words and actions.
Why? Why? Why?
I'm completely at a loss to understand this, and what's worse -- I don't feel as though there's anything I can do.
So instead I do nothing. I shut my eyes and ears and heart and try not to think about it. Like everyone, I hope it will just go away. Chances are fairly good that me and mine will be all right -- after all, there are a
few advantages to being an educated, white suburbanite.
But I still have to work at it if I'm not going to wonder if it'll be my son who'll be gunned down by someone else's easily-acquired weapon. I have to struggle to avoid thinking if it'll be my loved ones who'll be the victims of America's fear-driven need for a gun shoved past every waist-band, down into every American crotch.
You may think, from my tone, that I'm mad about this. But the tragedy is that I'm not. This is despair you're hearing here, because I don't know how to stop this madness. I don't know how to argue against this fear.
I know what I'll do: I'll write a blog post.
That'll fix it.
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