Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Lighting candles to a cynical saint.

I am in a foul mood today. Part of it's work, part of it's the break up, and part of it's Virginia Tech.

A couple of fellow bloggers have written about the shootings, and what they said makes sense. Thirty-three people, in the long-run, isn't a massacre when you compare it to how many people die a day from preventable disease, or war, or any other human-influenced death. So part of me feels silly for feeling weird about the event, and at the same time, I feel guilty for not feeling worse. Being from Virginia, I've known a lot of people who have gone to Virginia Tech. And I think all day yesterday I was rather removed from it because I was sitting at my desk six-hundred miles away, reading about it on CNN.com.

But still, it hits home, especially after I watched some of the live coverage last night and saw one of the students (the bald gal) recount her story about the shooting. When I wasn't staring at her head, I was focused on the buildings behind her, specifically how much they looked like the Bluestone buildings at JMU. And I realized, yes, as Americans we're so far removed from the death and destruction that happens every day all over the world, but that doesn't mean when we ARE affected by a tragedy we shouldn't still feel completely and utterly shitty about it. I'm not saying that the thirty-three people killed yesterday in Blacksburg are more or less important than any of the other innocent people who died in the last twenty-four hours; I'm just saying that it makes that kind of tragedy more recognizable to me, and as self-centered as that sounds, that's how everyone deals with such an event. The realization of one's mortality is an incredibly self-absorbed awareness.

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