Usually I'd be extoling the virtues of our fair and fairly odd city here, cracking wise and trying to impart my own perspective of what it's like to live here. This week, though, my mind is elsewhere.
It's in Boston, a city that's been wounded in a viciously cruel way by two young men who decided that some ideology, or some perceived slight, had to be illustrated with the spattered blood and shattered limbs of fellow human beings. This is what I'd like to say to these individuals who perpetrated this horrendous act: Some of the participants in the marathon, who had just run 26 miles, shrugged off their pain and fatigue as they rushed to provide aid to those you cut down. Those are the kind of people you sought to maim and kill. How do you feel about it? Where in your selfish sense of right vs. wrong do they fit?
It's in West, Texas, where as of this writing it's still not known what caused a conflagration and the earth-rending detonation of a fertilizer storage facility, but where we may be assured that there will be accounts of devastation and death, and the heroism and sacrifice of volunteers and rescue personnel (and isn't it a Hell of a thing that I and perhaps others of you will sigh with relief when told this hellish event was the result of simple accident or mere incompetence, and not of someone's outsize resentment or a warped sense of righteousness?).
It's on Capitol Hill, where the will of the majority of our citizens was ignored and undermined by a too-powerful gun lobby and the venality of those who value their personal wealth and security over the safety of the public who elected them. I hope you're angry. I actually insist that you be mad as Hell, and stay that way, long enough and hard enough to remind you the next time you cast a ballot as a virtual BANG! to answer the literal ones that have caused so many so much grief. Remember that these “gentlemen” heard the pleas of Gabrielle Giffords and the grieving families of Newtown and then turned to vote for their own interests instead. Remember.
Today, please go to the relief organization of your choice and donate what you can afford in the names of those victims in Boston and in West. Please go on-line to voice your dissatisfaction with the actions of the NRA and with the senators who put their interests ahead of the public they allegedly serve. Sign petitions. Log onto your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts and leave a rant in your own words, don't just share someone else's dog-eared memes and quotations.
Then do the hard part: shut off the box and go do something nice for someone, like maybe someone you don't know. Be kind to others so that they won't go through their day assuming that other people are cold and only care about themselves. Leave an anonymous gift. Put some canned goods in the barrel at the library. Show a kid how important generosity is.
No pictures today. Instead, let's all imagine pictures of a better next week, and a good rest of the year beyond.