Tuesday, April 16, 2013
And Your Point Is...? Bombs, Boston, Blizzards, and B.S.
Yesterday was a weird day all around. It started out weird. We woke up to 10 inches of heavy snow before work, that we had to shovel out of the driveway to get out to our never-plowed street. Driving to work was weird, you would think that in Colorado people would know how to drive in snow, but it turns out they're not much better at it than if a blizzard dumped a foot of snow in Phoenix.
I went into work and it was a bizzarro day, is the only way I can describe it. We got some weird characters at work. They were not patients, but people who accompanied the patients. It's already crowded enough in our work space and then you sometimes get these annoying people who occupy more space, make noise, and find other ways to encroach on our foot space while being rude and loud and sometimes invading the privacy of our patients. When people don't feel well, they want to be alone, or with their own carefully chosen family members or friends.
All this crap makes me question the sanity of our human existence. I felt extremely irritable all morning and I was busy. Fortunately my own patients were easy to work with, none of them had been affected by the mid-April zombie apocalypse, or whatever weird phenomenon occurred that ate so many people's brains prior to April 15th.
By 1 pm or so, the irritation had worked itself out, or gone home for the day, I was lightheaded and my hands were shaking. I got someone to cover my 1 pm appointment and I took off for lunch. Our soon-to-disappear, already undersized breakroom was full and I needed quiet, so I ate my lunch in the report room, which was empty. I turned my phone on and started scrolling through Facebook, and then I saw the bit about an "explosion" at the Boston Marathon.
By the time I had to go back to work, it was apparent that it was not just an explosion, but a deliberate bombing. I thought of all the people I know who were at Boston, either as runners, spectators, or support. The rest of the afternoon, whenever I could, I checked Google News to see the developments of the story. All my coworkers were checking, too.
I hate to get sucked into the porn of a tragedy, I tend to never follow these things and wait until the dust settles with more information. I don't have TV at home, either, so I don't get exposed to the dramatic and overblown newscasts, and I don't watch them on the computer. I prefer to read about it after more information is available. So, I tried to avoid the video coverage and the graphic pictures that were coming out.
When I got off work at 6 pm, I saw my e-mail and some posts on Facebook that all the local runners were safe, and that ultrarunner Tammy Massie, who had gone to Boston to cheer people on and spectate, was safe, and reports were coming back about people being killed and critically injured.
What I want to say to the perpetrators is, "And your point is?"
How cowardly and pathetic that someone has to resort to violence to attempt to get some point across, I do want to know who and what their motive was, to choose a large gathering of people at this event. It seems that it was timed to coincide with the largest number of finishers and spectators at the finish line area, around 4 hours into the race. Somebody knew enough about marathons, or Boston, at least, that they figured that out. But I also think to coordinate this many bombs, they had to be an organized and funded effort by a group.
We have seen so many violent events lately, with the mass shootings and bombings, that I think that somehow this bombing might be connected in some way with someone with an extreme agenda regarding the massacres we've seen lately involving guns. I'm not sure if that's even right, but it's what pops into my mind these days whenever there is some kind of mass violence. Some frustrated, crazed sociopathic freak of a monster like a Timothy McVeigh. Who knows, it could have been anything, but I get the feeling it's homegrown and related to that domestic political issue. I might be way off, but it feels that way to me.
What scares me about this incident is that it seems like every time we have a violent event, it is followed by copycat events. It could have been any sporting event, a baseball game, or anything where there are crowds of people. No one ever thinks something like this would happen in running, except maybe at the Olympics.
I heard they had some kind of tribute to the people of Newtown, Connecticut at 26 miles on the course. I imagine there were plenty of people who experienced that horror and were also at Boston. Double traumatization. The people who were actually injured, or killed, and their families and social circles, are the ones who can never have justice.
I hope the crime is solved soon, I want to know, but no matter what happens to the people who plotted and carried this out, there is no justice in these situations, not for the perpetrators, and never for the victims. Justice doesn't exist. They will have to live with it forever. The only thing other people can do, other than supporting the victims, is to refuse to act out in violent ways and to solve disagreements through words, and peacefully.
There are too many people out there who feel that terrorizing other people is a way to get the message across, we have this horrible way of sensationalizing it in the media. Sometimes there is no message, it's just a mentally deranged individual. But in this case, it's more than that.
It always amazes me when I read posts in social media coming from individuals I think are just regular people, who run, go to work, have children, and lead fairly ordinary existences, don't commit crimes, wish to live peacefully and safely, and wouldn't endanger other people on purpose or want to traumatize anyone.
Then they spout things that exacerbate polarization and violence, and support the outrageous assertions of groups like the recent statements coming from the NRA leadership. I suppose that by pointing this out I could be just as polarizing to them, but I really think what we hear coming from those groups is crazy fringe nonsense and doesn't do anything to help solve the real issues we have with guns and violence.
Our so-called "elected" representatives, who are really bought, don't do anything to help these situations because they are so polarized. They set a horrible example for the people. They don't get anything done, they just obstruct each other and waste the taxpayers' time and money, while working to advance the agendas of the lobbyists' organizations who pay them much better for it than we taxpayers do.
There are too many people who are just freakin weird. Like the latest idiocy coming out of the Westboro Baptist Church, the hate group in Kansas that likes to blame everything bad that happens on God's wrath due to something to do with gay people. These crackpots are grabbing media attention by saying they will boycott the funerals of those killed in Boston.
Really makes you wonder about humanity. But I still think that the overwhelming majority of human beings are not bad people, and I think it's time that the good people harness their power and drown out the voices of the tiny minority of crazy, evil ones.
Regardless, we go on and move forward. We will run more marathons, and ultras. We will continue to have large events with spectators lining the streets. It won't stop runners. It will change the way some of the larger races are managed, and it will probably increase entry fees due to in the increased cost of security, but it won't stop people from going about their business as usual. It will leave people with an uncomfortable, eerie, nagging thought in the back of their minds when they remember what happened at Boston in 2013.