Sigh.

memorial at boston marathon bomb site
Image from boston.com

I just don’t understand.

What point could you possibly be trying to make?

You got something against long-distance runners? Did you try to do the Boston Marathon once and not finish?

Or do you have something against mobility in general? Thanks to you, dozens of people have lost limbs. Boom. Just like that. Perhaps you’re an amputee with a bitter heart? If you are, that’s still no excuse.

Maybe it’s humans you don’t like. Especially humans celebrating the miracle of human bodies, joints and lungs and muscles all flowing in harmony to accomplish a personal goal.

At least three people so far have lost their lives. Including an 8-year-old boy. Was that what you had in mind? To cut down a third-grader and critically injure his family, just because they were waiting to see their dad finish the race? I guess so, because that’s what you’re dealing with when you decide to fling death into a crowd of humans. You’re asking to kill innocents.

COME ON.

I’ve written before about perpetrating horror for no good reason. I don’t know what your reason was – I’m sure you had one. It’s just that

no reason is good enough.

Not for this. Even if there are many of you, and you all agreed this was a good idea,

it was not.

People are angry – beyond angry. They’re calling you the worst names they can think of. Is that what you wanted? Did you just need some attention, to feel really badass and rebellious? To get people talking about you? Bravo.

When these things happen, I always wonder at what factors brought those responsible to this desperate point. I do still wonder, but honestly… I’m so tired of this. Tired of being heartsick, haunted by blood and tears and screams and lives ripped apart. Tired of being reminded that evil exists and that no one is safe. Tired of re-realizing that nothing is sacred – not elementary schools, not shopping malls, not finish lines. It makes my brain and spirit hurt.

There are humans out there born into violent lives, who have endured unimaginable suffering, and who still spend their lives making the case for love. If they can rise above the brutality, you could have too. And you should have.

There has got to be a better way to make your point. Whatever it is.

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7 thoughts on “Sigh.

  1. Yerpa says:

    You say that you, like so many other North Americans, “just don’t understand [why this happened].”

    Try this exercise:

    Pretend that people who live outside the “First World” are just as valuable as are we who do live here.

    Imagine you live in a small, impoverished village in a third-world country like Pakistan or Afghanistan. Imagine that one day you hear a noise overhead, and several seconds later your village and its residents, including your parents and siblings and husband and both your small children, have been mutilated and dismembered. Bodies and parts of bodies are everywhere. You hear horrible screams expressing unimaginable pain and traumatic suffering. Somehow you yourself are spared, and you subsequently learn that everything you lived for and cherished has been destroyed because of a U.S. drone-fired missile. What would be your feelings about the United States of America? Would you ask yourself how this could possibly be allowed to happen? Would you wonder how the most privileged people in the world could be so cruel? Would you do everything in your power to seek retribution?

    If not, you would be a truly exceptional human being.

    Understanding what happened in Boston could be as simple as this: “Don’t be baffled when others do unto you as you have done unto them.”

  2. Mark says:

    @Yerpa,
    You say “Would you do everything in your power to seek retribution?

    If not, you would be a truly exceptional human being.”

    While I empathize with your scenario, NO… I would NOT do everything in my power to seek retribution… I would do everything WITHIN THE LAW, perhaps, but the idea that retribution for each criminal or, in this case, SENSELESS act of violence should be the response is what is creating this downward spiral into societal doom in the first place.
    NO, I don’t think I’m exceptional. I know I’m educated, and I know that by virtue of living in a “First World” country that I’m privileged. I also know that the use of drones and warheads to attempt to “solve” political problems is ludicrous and has devastating impacts on the innocent civilians that the results of such military force actually affect. And, as a human being, I definitely DO find that repugnant.

    Having said that, I also know that the urge/need to retaliate “in kind” is also NOT going to serve any useful purpose. Will it bring your family back? NO. Will it stop the future bombings? NO…in fact, if anything, it will escalate the cycle and create more heartache for OTHER innocent families. This whole idea of “he/she/they started it” to justify such planned atrocity is EXACTLY the problem.

    The change must start, (as difficult as it is) with US… by NOT using our own suffering as a justification to make OTHERS suffer. Anyone who cannot see that is destined to continue to be unhappy and unfulfilled in life, because if all you have to hang onto is your vengeance and fear, you’ve let the “bad guys” win. Again.

    • Mark says:

      @ Yerpa, again. Your point is made. But along with a more global realization of such atrocities, the message that two wrongs do not make a right must be heard, understood, and most importantly, heeded.
      Your seeming willingness to “justify” such criminally evil behavior in the USA because of the impact of politically based armed conflicts in the third world countries you’ve mentioned cheapens if not negates the message you are trying to get across.
      Yes, atrocities occur in these other places as well, but to encourage, support or justify playing a deadly “game” of tit-for-tat terrorism is NOT a solution or positive suggestion towards world peace and global understanding of the very real issues you want to expose. If you truly want such atrocities to end, do something positive (read “within the law and rules of a civilized society”) rather than suggest that these sorts of senseless, illegal crimes of violence are somehow “deserved” as some form of ludicrous “pay-back” for actions of a militarized government.
      Help solve the problem rather than encourage its escalation. Only then will we not have to worry about media coverage (or saturation) of ANY such graphic horrors, anywhere.

  3. Mark,

    Dilovely’s post expresses her inability to understand the atrocity in Boston, and the mindset of its perpetrators.

    With regard to my response to that post: There’s ubiquitous evidence that perceived injustice very often provokes violence — particularly when the injustice is perceived to be perpetrated by a powerful and arrogant entity such as a nation-state or fundamentalist religion. When violence occurs, it’s frequently possible to trace its origins to perceived injustice. Look at slavery. Look at colonialism. Look at paternalism.

    With regard to me: I’m a humanist. I would never attempt to “‘justify’ criminally evil behaviour.” I believe in the rule of just and enlightened law. I abhor both violence and injustice, whatever their sources; the fact that I abhor them doesn’t prevent me from applying logic to the question of why they might occur.

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