Saturday, November 07, 2009

Forgive us this day our daily carnage

Those of us of a certain age have been through this many, many times before. I cannot say I’m shocked or even surprised anymore, which is not to say that I don‘t tear up and say my secularist‘s version of a prayer.

James Fallows, in response to the Fort Hood shootings.
In the saturation coverage right after the events, the “expert” talking heads are compelled to offer theories about the causes and consequences. In the following days and weeks, newspapers and magazine will have their theories too. Looking back, we can see that all such efforts are futile. The shootings never mean anything.

Forty years later, what did the Charles Whitman massacre “mean”? A decade later, do we “know” anything about Columbine? There is chaos and evil in life. Some people go crazy. In America, they do so with guns; in many countries, with knives; in Japan, sometimes poison.

We know the emptiness of these events in retrospect, though we suppress that knowledge when the violence erupts as it is doing now. The cable-news platoons tonight are offering all their theories and thought-drops. They’ve got to fill time. I wish they could stop. As the Vietnam-era saying went, Don’t mean nothing.

It’s a violent world. America is a violent country. If the criminals don’t get you, the nutters will. And if the nutters don’t get you, the zealots will.

Duck and cover, friends, duck and cover.


DPirate said...

America is violent because humans are violent. Honestly, I'm surprised we don't hear about something like this every couple of days.

fallenmonk said...

Excellent advice Grace. Those who have been around for 50 or 60 years have seen this so many times that it has been ingrained in our psyche to expect the worse. Wish it were different.