Two bombs exploded near the finish of yesterday’s Boston Marathon, killing at least three people (including an eight year old boy), and injuring around 120 people. The results of the explosions included numerous amputations (including loss of limbs… in some cases involving runners who were just completing their dream-of-a-lifetime race, only to have their legs blown off, and/or their loved ones maimed or killed).
Not quite as well-reported here, an American “off target” bomb managed to kill over 30 people at an Afghan wedding, during more ongoing and pointless carnage… somewhere else. Total casualties of killed and injured were believed to be in the range of… around 120 or so.
The GTMO hunger strike was met with a “violent clash” (those things tend to be one sided affairs, of course), although, as a number of recent interviews on this site reveal, the hunger strike, despite the immense suffering of those participating, has at least put GTMO back into public consciousness… though, of course, most people will quickly revert to platitudes and most alleged progressives will support the President in his ongoing doing of nothing-to-alleviate-any-of-this because he’s “on our team.”
[Boston’s own] Dmitry Orlov asks the philosophical question about a country quite literally blowing itself up… “why are we so fucking stupid?”
I probably have little value to add to any of this, other than to note my perverse luck in not being a good enough marathon runner myself to have been eligible to participate at Boston in this, or so far, any other year’s event… though of course, this sort of thing was certainly the general fear at my first NYC Marathon just a few weeks after 11 Sept. 2001.
In short, our society, and in particular, our nation, sadly took the advice of that misguided, and in the end, quite miserable person, the late Mrs. Thatcher, and erroneously believed that we are all nothing more than atomized individuals and that “there is no society,” and that hence we can gratuitously engage in aggressive lashing out at everyone else on Earth (because, after all, there is no society, only atomized individuals and our selfish interests) and that we can let our polity and collective psyche become organized entirely by the most craven and short-sighted selfishness and greed imaginable… Well, hell… we soon came to look like what we have now [that being… hell.]. Unsurprisingly, children, who never bear responsibility for any of this (and who instinctively still crave human company and intimacy and a sense of honor and fairness) always seem to be prominent among the victims of violent madness, be they in Boston or Newtown, Connecticut (and some of the kids from the Sandy Hook school were at the Boston finish line, dear God) or Arizona or Afghanistan…
None of this is going to stop any time soon, unless and until we do a dramatic and sober reassessment of everything we think is important, and come to realize that nature has made us just about the most social creature there is, and that creates certain behavioral obligations toward both one another and toward the rest of the planet. We have kind of dropped the ball on respecting those obligations for a few decades (or centuries… or millenia), and while it might actually be too late for us to correct course… our only hope is if we do. And fast. Our vaunted lifestyles, as Mrs. Thatcher never learned, have only served to make us miserable and hateful… clearly, very hateful… Greater persons from Mrs. Thatcher’s country suggested that “All you need is love.” That sure as hell would be helpful…