We might as well get used to it. This is the new normal here in the United States: senseless acts of destruction wielded upon an unsuspecting public. That’s what 9/11 was. Columbine, same thing. Make a list of all the cowards and run ’em down. Aurora theater nut and Jared Effin’ Loughner! That clown in New Town and Eric Rudolph! The list is long and growing by the day. It used to be that we were hated around the world. We could handle that. Iraqi students storm the American Embassy and hold Americans hostage. That’s how things used to be. I can remember covering the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and feeling the “hate” from a group of young Syrian men because I was American. That I got. On this Boston bombing, I could be wrong, but I feel like this is the work of one of us.
How did we get here? When did we start treating human life with such disregard? For some reason Columbine jumps out at me as a sort of turning point for toolboxes goin’ nutso. Two idiots were bullied at school so you decide to shoot up the place in a blaze of glory? That is NOT how we handled it back in the day. I’m not saying there’s anything OK about being bullied. I was called ‘Pissy Chrissy” (don’t ask) growing up, so I get being bullied because I was! It taught me how to avoid confrontation and the art of disarming the situation with humor. Also taught me how to improve my time in the 40 yard dash! But killing my classmates was never an option back then where now it’s the “go to” move. Sad.
Here are my thoughts on Boston. There is so much symbolism tied to April 15th in Boston it had to be some anti-government zealot out to send a warped and muffled message. Do we ever really understand why these guys do these things? That’s what I mean by muffled message. The ex-cop run amok in California recently. The Virginia Tech killer. And their point was what? The Boston Coward saw Patriots Day and the world’s most famous marathon rolled into Tax Day in a city that revels in its free spirit. Throw in a ball game and that’s what I’d call a perfect storm to inflict a bit of cowardly terrorism! But for what reason? Maybe we’ll find some rambling manifesto in a booby-trapped apartment. That seems to be in vogue these days. I think that when they find the perps, and they will, they have to make the punishment swift and severe. Terrorism on our own shores can’t be tolerated and allowed to steal what gives the very identity to a city such as Boston. This one hurt. This one feels as if we’ve lost some of our innocence as a nation. It might sound trite but it’s so true: If you see something, say something. That, my friend, is just how it’s got to be now. That’s the new normal.