Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech Headlines

Well, well, here it comes again.

Texas Tower, Columbine, Nickel Mines and now, Virginia Tech -- how many this time?

Like a Santa Claus distributing bits of wrapped candy to small children, death once again gets handed out, casually, indiscriminately and, except for the cough of the guns, in a total mask of silence.

Brace yourself: once again, we are going to be subjected to a chorus of hand wringing well salted with hypocrisy from political and religious leaders.

There will be demands.

Leaders will pretend that they will "do something".

A policeman on every corner, metal scanners at every school, a lock on every door, the obsequious presence of video cameras, vain calls for morality and righteousness in homes and public life and a guard behind every bed. All this and more will be demanded -- and none of it will help, not one little bit.

Why the shock? Why the outrage? Why the smacking of lips?

The shock: I suppose is because the emptiness of our public space is revealed and laid bare for all to see.

The outrage: because it is only the right of leaders such as presidents to deal out death in mass doses -- that is why we often hear such inane rhetoric about terror.

The smacking of lips: Most of us nurture an ugly little creature in a cellar where we seldom go. We need to know if there was some particularly sickening detail for it to feed upon. Or, perhaps this new dingbat set a record of some sort?

In any case it is a terrible tragedy -- for the families and loved ones left behind. For the rest of us? Well, I've already said what I meant about that! But I'd like to add that this waste of human life will have competition in making it to the headlines in Baghdad.

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