Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Cold Night and the Same Rope

Connecticut, for the most part, is a wonderful state to live in, especially if you need sleep. We aren't called "The Land of Steady Habits" for nothing and unlike a neighboring state, with "Live Free or Die" as the insurance capital of the country, our variation is "five hundred dollar or one grand deductible."

I'm teasing more or less when I talk about the relative calm in which most us in the state live, most of the time, because earlier last week, we
Nutmeggers made headlines across the country and around the world for an act so egregiously heinous as to be nearly beyond belief.and yet there it was, in black and white and, if the stories are to be believed, about black and white as well.

I'm not going to offer any comment on the validity of family members' contentions on the gunman's provocations, intentions and/or on the work environment of the company in Manchester where this unspeakable act took place. What a pity the big-mouthed-coiffed-hair-talking-heads on Cable Noise channels don't do the same. We all know the same amount - nothing which, not surprisingly, is what our uninformed opinions happen to contribute to the national dialogue we should be having on how well we get along with one another and why.

I can understand why many of my fellow travelers don't especially care for me-but few of them feel that way because of my sex, race, age or religion (or maybe they do and they hide it from me). My point is that from space we all look the same; it's only as you near the planet that differences and distinctions are easier to make. And for many of us in this species, life is really about those differences and distinctions.

As I said, I don't know what went on in the space of a few moments and I fear we may never find out, but my bigger fear is that we'll allow folks with agenda of their own to fill in the blanks and fill up the silences, like this person whose real issue has nothing to do with any of those who died, but, rather, recognizes a moment of opportunity when he sees one.

It's a big planet, unless there are people you don't like and then you can't put enough distance between you and them. With all the challenges and changes we face everyday, you'd hope in areas like evaluating people for who they are, not what they look like, we'd progressed beyond epithets that lead to epitaphs. A bigot is someone who slams his mind in your face, but an apologist can be someone who created an audaciously grand lie reinventing a most vile crime as "an insurrectionary act" to cover a horrible truth and many days, both are working overtime.

We've got
Stepan and Ivan and, somewhere, I suspect, Dora-all of us arguing while attacking and defending ideas and ideals and meanwhile real people, not abstractions, get murdered as punishment for sins they didn't commit. Some were buried yesterday and others will be interred early next week but when all the funerals end we'll still know as much, or as little, about the real and root causes as we did in the moments after the infamy happened. As Skuratov offers, to everyone and no one as a coda and a warning, "you start off wanting justice and end up forming a police force."

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