Showing posts from April, 2013

After Anger, Only Sadness

On Tuesday, as the events of the Boston Marathon bombings sank in, I, along with most of the United States, was angry.  I wrote about how we are defined, not by our anger, but by what we choose to do with it.  Now, though, the anger has faded.  The story ended, as too many of these stories do, with a scared young man lying in a puddle of his own blood, pathetically trying to hide from the consequences of his actions.

And when it comes down to it, that's what this story is: pathetic and sad.  We don't yet know what drove these two men to mass murder -- though plenty of people are willing to fill the airwaves and the internet with their own theories -- and even if we ever hear the full story we probably won't understand it.  I have dark corners in my soul, but even so I cannot imagine the sequence of events that would lead me to say, "I know, let's blow up some people who've never done anything to us!  That will show them -- er -- something!"  I don't k…

On Anger, in Sadness

I am angry.  I want to howl, to rage, to hit an old-timey cowboy over the head with a chair.  Someone blew a hole in my memories yesterday, desecrating an event that represents the purity of competition and international cooperation, and marking my "other hometown" as a target once again.   I don't live in Boston anymore, but the bombing at the Boston Marathon struck home as deeply as if I were still walking those streets.  I used to watch the marathon from that very corner, and now I'm pissed.

You've heard of anger, right?  It's fear's brawnier twin, the aggressive half of the fight-or-flight instinct. It fills the veins with adrenaline and the muscles with blood, ready to pound any threat into the ground. It also focuses the mind, the better to identify and outsmart any predator.  When we are angry, we become the human equivalent of a heat-seeking missile; our mission: seek out and destroy the target.

Of course, that's the problem with my anger rig…