Boston. What to say about Boston? About the returning wave of unease, about having to keep steadily and clearly in mind that since 9/11 America is part of the world our oceans always kept us distant from, so it was all-too easy to conjure up the bogus notion of American "exceptionalism"?

I was with four of my grandchildren when the news broke. Any one of them could have been the child that was killed. I could have been the one who was maimed. You, anyone you know, could have been. Iraqis know this as a fact of life. Afghanis know this too. Londoners know this. The citizens of Newtown, Connecticut, know this, as do the citizens of other towns and cities here and abroad.

And what is it we know? That the world's savagery is now normal--drones, state-sanctioned (United States' sanctioned) torture, special ops assassination teams, and who knows what else? More people are praying; more people are being killed. Death in the name of God has practically become state policy. And then there's the state raised to godhead--North Korea, which appears to be the most pathological, most regressive organized political entity on the planet, which has enshrined paranoia and threat as state policy.

Carole King's lines come to mind:

You can't talk to a man
with a shotgun in his hand...

And, from a different and a deeper perspective, Shakespeare:

How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?






 


Comments

Allan DiBiase
04/16/2013 6:49pm

Thanks for what you wrote. The culture of violence is not new. But greatly facilitated in our time I think.

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