Last night in Berwyn, sitting outside on the first really pleasant spring evening, having just dropped Jane off at what looked like some teenager’s lovely, joyous 16th birthday celebration in a castle-like place overlooking baronial lawns and fairy woods, we were relieved to find that the deadly Boston attack and siege seemed about to end.
Such an incongruous jammed week, it even included my own 60th birthday (an ok bit of incongruity, actually; my father didn’t make it to 60 and I was fervidly hoping to do so).
We celebrated the significant anniversary, and will continue to do so for a while, but slowly and somewhat quietly. Our old cat Felix, terribly ill but filled with a life-force that literally says “never say die,” rose every day, in some ways higher and higher. Taxes were filed, paid, two monsters slaughtered Boston, and nasty, fascist political minions (with portfolio) megaphone-speculated about the farther shores of taxophobia to small, barely interested audiences.
It felt so strange experiencing another major terror attack, but not feeling others feeling it constantly and searingly the way we and the people we knew in New York all seemed to on and after 9/11. Happy talk television and radio news slowed down quickly then, even dying for a while, but this time the chatter persisted as if nothing had occurred. Markets traded, rose, and corrected (I think). Television comedians, silent for quite a while back then, were insta-extolled this time around by their logrolling network colleagues for immediately incorporating nail-bombing references and narcissistic encomiums (the monitor is my mirror – look at me, I’m wonderful) into their routines. Boston actors lacking their own national talk shows or bookings “tweeted” self-promotional blurbs and newspapers actually ran these as news.
Worst of all, hateful, “politically correct” commentators wished aloud for peculiar, irrelevant things. The weirdest and most horrible of all, a terrible writer named David Sirota, published an article called “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American” in Salon.com. Life being as short as it is, you might think there would be more pertinent and better things to hope for.
An obviously politically liberal television journalist with a good professional reputation named John King was widely excoriated by other liberals for referring to the bombing suspects as “dark-skinned,” while reporting the Boston Marathon bombers search story on CNN. For anyone unfamiliar with police work (I used to be professionally involved in the area; I’ve also watched a lot of tv), the first thing cops ask victims and witnesses to do is give a physical description of criminal perpetrators. I won’t insult you by explaining the reason for this. By the way, my own complexion, not light, just about matches those of the Tsarnaev brothers.