4/17/07

There is "Spin", and then there is "Spin"

I have been waiting to write something on the Virginia Tech tragedy. And the very reason I have been waiting is the fact that I am truly disturbed with how fast too many of the politicals on both sides have jumped in to the fray with their "talking points" for pet issues.
At the center of that nightmare lies a dark, bottomless pool. As with the Columbines of this country, people will stare into the pool seeking answers. Some will see reflections and try to generalize from them about the nature of the shooter and the victims, but the reflections they see will only be their own. Interest groups will look into the pool and see their causes, filling the talk shows with spokespersons who will say that if we had only done “x” the event would have never happened. Others will take a longer view trying to peer into the depths of the pool seeking confirmation of trends historical, social and psychological. They too will see only their own reflections.

For those at the center of it all, the parents, relatives and friends of the victims and the shooter, those who witnessed it and lived, and those who somehow made a decision to not go to those places at that time the pool will seem more like a maelstrom in which they are caught and cannot get out. Spinning helplessly they will try to maintain some sort of equilibrium, some rationality to keep from drowning in it all. For some this may mean just focusing on the immediate, the details of that which has to be done and it is only days, weeks, even months after that a delayed reaction will overcome them.

People need to show and have a little respect for the dead and grieving.

There is much to be discussed concerning these issues, but for the moment think about these words from LiberalAmerican's thought provoking piece:

Instead we need to turn away from the pool and remember that at least for a brief tick in time all of us will be as one. For now is not a time for politics or debates or even business as usual. Instead families and communities need to realize how fleeting order and life can be and hug one another because that is all they can do. This time as with all those other times we will pledge to love one another a little more and show it. We will swear not to hate and to watch out for those stray souls who slip between the cracks only to emerge from those dark places with guns in their hands. Perhaps this time we can make that oneness last longer.

Perhaps we can remember that kind words can conquer hate and vitriol. Perhaps we can remember to succor the meek, the powerless, the people who have been dealt a bum hand through no fault of their own. Perhaps we can remember that in situations like the Virginia Tech shootings that we are in fact all equal, that it could have been any one of us who died or knew someone who died and yes who knew the shooter, for death recognizes no classes, no races, no languages or cultures as superior. Most of all we can try to nurture that feeling that all of us struggle to feel right now, that feeling of empathy with other human beings we did not know before and whose friends and family we somehow each wish we could help.


To everything
There is a season...


These issues have a time and a place. Now is not the time so, for now, this Blog will not be the place.

3 comments:

sptmck said...

ATM (my better half) and I were talking about this morning, as we were watching (tolerating) a bit of the Today show that was broadcast from the campus; I'm sure every major news outlet has staked out a spot. I mean: yes, report the news. But that's like broadcasting from someone's grave site. It just smacks of being...wrong.

Connecticut Man 1 said...

It is not just the news outlets that are jumping all over this politically, it didn't take long for both the left and right Blogosphere to jump on the political talking points about things like gun laws and immigration and the GWOT.

And just as bad, they try and defend those positions by saying that those who chose not to discuss the political ramifications of it immidiately are only "trying to stake out the moral high ground" for the future political discourse. Are they feeling a bit guilty for their behavior?

I don't.

sptmck said...

You're...right (well, left): just leave it alone, at least for this week.