This Thing Called Courage

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thoughts from Boston

Just posted this as a comment on a friend's wall on Facebook. These things must be articulated, and I need to have this conversation today. Last night I was overwhelmed (and I DON'T watch TV) by the media overkill, exploitation, fear-mongering, and circus atmosphere that has prevailed since Monday afternoon. I find it disrespectful to those who have lost lives in this terrible tragedy. I find it hypocritical of the media that they are silent on our own violent adventures elsewhere around the Globe, and the hatred that creates. Secondly, I find it absolutely astonishing, and a growing reminder of the militarization of our society, particularly vis a vis 'the plaza,' or public spaces of thought, physical gathering, etc, that an entire metro area would be placed under 'lockdown,' a word I abhor. This is America, people!!! The cradle of liberty! As soon as I heard that this morning, I gathered my dogs and went out into the world, into this amazingly beautiful spring day that we have been gifted with. One town over in Melrose I saw the most breathtaking cherry tree in full bloom-- I wanted to commandeer the public airwaves and announce, "Yes, Yes, there's a manhunt going on, we GET that, but people, the f#$#!!!! cherry trees are in bloom today! The cherry trees, and the bees have found them and are making merry in them!" Wouldn't you just love to see that, the bleach blonde with the dazzling, carnivorous teeth saying, "Oh, this just in-- there's this amazing cherry tree in Melrose that is JUST NOW coming into full, explosive (okay, maybe not that word...) bloom, and the bees have found it, and are making merry with it-- we go there live now..." I had Breakheart Reservation almost entirely to myself, at first; spring was unfolding by the moment and we had it all to our astonished selves. Eventually we met more people on our hike-- notably they were almost entirely senior citizens, who perhaps are not as compliant in these new ways as other demographics. Next we went to a massage/wellness studio, a dog food store, and a health food store. In the dog food store (and this is an increasing trend-- why do we need large screen tv's everywhere we go? In a dog food store? really?) Big brother was showing live video of these massive tanks and police with rifles, while the reporter was urging people-- she must have said it five times in five minutes-- to stay inside their locked houses and don't open the door for anyone, and if you MUST go out (for the cherry trees, perhaps?) "make sure you carry identification to present to authorities." Papers, please! I believe I am speaking as a true Bostonian when I say you can kiss my white Irish butt! These cautions were sandwiched in between repeated messages to 'keep it right here' for continued updates and 'all you need to know.' Then the graphics-- tasteful but lurid, especially designed for the occasion, as if it were a winter storm-- and then-- a commercial for mascara!!!!!! The only thing missing was a theme song-- a la The Poseidon Adventure, let's say--Love Theme from the Boston Marathon Bombings! It could go to the tune of Loveboat: "Lockdown....exciting and new...Lockdown...for me and for you..." Enough, I say!