When this blog first opened up shop (almost six years ago now), I would post from time to time on the political issues of the day; for the first couple of years, the description that you see above even included "politics," in addition to what's there now. But a couple of years ago - may have been three, I don't remember exactly - I stopped writing about politics altogether, mostly because I wanted to devote my time to writing about other things, but also because I didn't want, even inadvertently, to contribute to the sinkhole that political dialogue has become in this day and age.
I think one of the reasons that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have become so popular (aside from the fact that they are both brilliant comedians with a remarkable sense of timing) is that they devote the larger part of their shows to skewering the media, showing us all just how ridiculous most of the talking heads that we see on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, et al. really are. For the most part, those people aren't any smarter than you or me, but they like to think that they are. And the message of those who really are smarter than you or me is usually undermined by a combination of arrogance, smugness or entitlement that, depending on one's mood (or the number of cocktails one has consumed) falls somewhere between aggravating and enraging.
Which brings us to what happened in Aurora, Colorado last night. Try as I might, I haven't been able to get it out of my mind since the moment I turned on my iPad this morning and was greeted with a record number of "pop ups" letting me know what happened.
What happened is a horrible, awful tragedy, but also supremely scary, because it points out just how fragile a concept life can be. Regardless of how religious one is, I'm sure everyone can relate to the phrase "there, but for the grace of God, go I." Midnight showings of popular movies have become commonplace in this day and age. I've never been to one, but someday I might. I was tempted to go to one for this movie, just because I was interested in seeing it in (a) a crowd where everyone was seeing it for the first time, and (b) a crowd that was prepared to shower its love on the movie. Don't get me wrong, I'm not what some refer to as a "fanboy" who feels the need to piss on any kind of dissenting opinion about something. But, having seen the first showing of "The Wrath of Khan" lo these many years ago, I know how much fun it is to watch a movie surrounded by devoted fans.
What makes me angry, and I'm sure that anger will only increase, is that I know damn well that we're going to be treated in the next few days to hours upon hours of amateur psychoanalyzing about "what it all means." People on both sides of the political spectrum will seek to use this event for their own political purposes, cheapening the lives that were lost and themselves in the process. We're going to hear and read thousands of words seeking a connection between what happened in the theater to what was going to be shown on the screen. I won't be watching it or reading it, but you know damn well it will happen.
I know it's too much to ask for, but perhaps just for a while we could all devote our thoughts to the victims?