Skip to main content

The sorrow porn McFlail is getting old.

Here's the thing. It doesn't matter who blew up people at the Boston Marathon.  I know we want it to make sense and to have an understanding of who what when and why - but we don't have to - what we need to do is address the national myths that bring us back to this flailing panicked blame game every time something bad happens.

More below the dooblydoo.

1. People blow shit up.  We have ever since they discovered how to blow shit up.  It's not new as a tactic, a pastime or a means to an end.  Every major nation in the world has had shit blown up in it - well before the whole ehrmagherd terrerists mania hit after September 11.

2. I don't give a flying McFuck who did it.  Not that I don't want to see justice served, but it doesn't actually matter. See 1. above.

3. We need to stop pretending that a nation can be "terrorist proof" because that's just a lie.  We can try to avoid the biggies, we can have people in place as security, listen for intelligence, etc - but in the end - NO nation is "terrorist proof" because it's simply too easy to blow shit up.  A kid with a chemistry set can blow shit up.  A farmer or a janitor can blow shit up.  It's not actually difficult.

4. Assuming we SHOULD be terrorist proof wastes a lot of time and energy.  It causes people to have the freak outs and flail and worry and hand wring.  It gives bloviating talking heads something to blather on about in between commercials.  It creates a culture of fear - and we have had MORE than enough of that.  Because no nation is "terror proof."

5. The flailing makes it MORE likely that people will try to blow shit up, because they get feedback - watching people flail.  We need to just realise that people blow shit up. For reasons.  We don't have to understand them.  We don't need "closure." We don't need to freak out and give more press and attention to people who blow shit up.

6. You are much more likely to die in a car accident than someone blowing shit up - and most people die of lifestyle related diseases, not being blown up.  Yes, loss of life is tragic.  Yes, injury can be traumatic.  It's shocking and scary and makes us feel uneasy.  But we are adults, we can deal and we can help kids understand that 1. people blow shit up sometimes.  But over all it's rare - and while scary, it's not very effective or common.

So chill out.  Stop finger pointing and guessing and clinging to every talking heads rehash of what happened with more and more updates of the same old guessing and bullshit - because what happened is some shit blew up. People were hurt and killed - but given the number of people there at the time, it was pretty damn small and well handled.

So turn off the "news" and do something else for a while.  Watch a movie. Read a book. Play a game.  But don't turn this into another American tragedy pornfest, they're getting pretty old.

For the record, I grew up largely in Europe in the mid to late 70s and early to mid 80s - when shit and people were being blown up.  Armed guards on the school bus. Daily backpack checks and quizzes before being allowed to board. Bomb curtains on one of my high schools.  Weekly warnings about whether or not it was safe to go outside because of terrorist threats.  Several bombs went off in Belgium and the UK when I was there - it was simply a fact of life, not a drama.  So I have experience that leads me to say these things, not just smoke out my ass.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  agree mostly but it does indeed matter who did it (8+ / 0-)

    because if it's AQ or even home grown Jihadists then Obama is in for some major heat and distraction from the GOP and all of his haters just because.  
    If it's homegrown Timothy McVeigh types then Alex Jones and all those other right wing losers and 2nd amendment absolutists will get their deserved scorn and scrutiny.

    •  I really don't think it does. (12+ / 0-)

      If it's home grown - every right winger will call them a "lone wolf" and insist that normal right wingers don't do that shit, despite a growing list of evidence they do - or insist s/he is a Muslim, democrat, mentally ill, etc.  Because reasons.

      If it's a foreigner - still doesn't mean their reasons were Allah hu Akbar - it's an assumption until they go to trial - while everyone freaks out about OMG jihad let's bomb some more middle eastern countries for no actual reason. Not effective as a strategy, not making us safer.  Because reasons.

      The sooner we get over the idea it can't happen here - because clearly, it can and does - and get on with just living life the sooner the shit becomes much less effective as a tactic.  We are making it worse with our belief Americans should be immune to death or consequences to unpopular policies abroad.  We need to just get on and get over giving people who blow shit up power based in fear of them.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 07:53:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I partially agree (6+ / 0-)

    but I think discussion of attacks like this is relevant for three reasons:

    1.  It's sad when innocent people die, especially kids and especially in an unexpected fashion.  Survivors/witnesses/news reader often talk at length about the event as a way to wrap their minds around what happened - to process it.

    2.  Depending on how the attacks happened, the specific facts of the attack can lead to changes in our security precautions (think the shoe bomber).  The balance between freedom from unreasonable searches and security is often reassessed after something like this.

    3.  Again depending on who the attacker(s) were, this type of attack may translate into additional military action abroad, which then leads to an analysis of whether the response is appropriate and whether the right people are being targeted.

    •  I'm not saying people shouldn't discuss (11+ / 0-)

      but the intense OMG DRAMA rehash is not discussion.  

      I can't help those people process it - that's what therapists are for.

      The only changes that need to be made are behind the scenes -  limiting access to event areas, background on set up crews, etc.  We are the only people in the world who have to deal with the grandma grope at the airport - security theatre is not security.

      The LAST thing we need is more military action abroad, we're already stretched thin and have more troops dying by suicide than combat.  Largely because we decided to target the WRONG people and make some people rich while doing it.  And I say this as a Navy vet.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 08:13:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think the points you're raising (3+ / 0-)

        are ones that would naturally lead to more discussion about the attack and the proper way to react to it.

        •  as I said above discussion is fine (10+ / 0-)

          flaily McSorrow porn is not.  Far too often in America bloviating and guessing take the place of actual discussion because there are too many people who have already decided who is responsible - and/or have a completely self-centred unrealistic understanding of the actual rarity of these kinds of events to begin with.  They focus one OMG THAT COULD BE ME NEXT when the likelihood is they will die of cancer or heart disease while choking down an illicit snack cake watching FOX.

          I saw it after September 11 as well.  Phoenix AZ was a ridiculous place to live in weeks after because every third person was certain that terrorists were behind ever cholla and plotting to blow up their first floor offices.  Mesa had one of the first post 9-11 acts of violence against Sikhs because people are stupid and can't tell a Sikh from a Muslim.

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 08:26:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And I refuse to play. (6+ / 0-)

            My kinky friend in Massachussett's brother is going to be fine. (flying glass).

            But I am not her. I am aware this is a tragedy, and a wrong thing, and I'm all for capturing the doers and putting them in prison for the rest of their natural lives.

            But here in IN, I don't see that I do any good to anyone by doing the terrorflail thing. I do better by doing what I did; cooking dinner (farfalle florentine, nom) and going out for an ice cream cone, and enjoying a quiet evening in my little town with my husband.

            Therefore, I shall Keep Calm and Carry On.

            When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

            by Alexandra Lynch on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 08:58:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this Mortifyd. Last I saw 3 people (11+ / 0-)

    were dead, which is terrible for their families. One was supposedly only 8 years old.

    What about the 70-80 people that die DAILY in this country from guns?

    Are they and their families worth less than the dead and wounded from the Boston bomb?

    *Are we humans or are we dancers?* Annie Lennox (thx Words In Action & OPOL)

    by glorificus on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 08:20:50 PM PDT

  •  I'm going to watch some Doctor Who for a bit (7+ / 0-)

    so feel free to discuss.

    And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

    by Mortifyd on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 08:40:18 PM PDT

  •  I'm recommending you for the next speaker (0+ / 0-)

    at the Newtown Parent's Club meeting.

    •  You missed his point (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mortifyd, chimene, mamamorgaine, EcosseNJ

      And that remark was way out of line.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 09:28:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't miss anything, and his only point was (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward

        "All you who, what, where, why, and how proles in the U.S. are SO lame compared to those of us with sophisticated European sensibilities."

        •  go back to your Hooked on Phonics (5+ / 0-)

          you seem to have some reading comprehension issues.

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:10:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  lol ... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mortifyd, blueoasis, chimene

          You speak to me of "sophisticated Europeans"?

          That's quite funny :)

          I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
          but I fear we will remain Democrats.

          Who is twigg?

          by twigg on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:13:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  BTW its not so much the European as the ARMY (5+ / 0-)

          that gave me this perspective.  You spend your entire childhood as the USA's 30 minute warning and you learn not to stress so much about if you might blow up going to buy a pair of jeans and eat a waffle.  Or go to school. Or start your car. Particularly if you were stationed where we were - a primary nuke target of the cold war.

          Life is not safe or guaranteed, nor can a nation be terror proofed.  That we lie to ourselves that it can be shows a complete lack of reality going on in the "national discourse" - which is largely "we have no idea what happened, but we are going to guess, randomly talk shit and scare the hell out of you until the commercial break."

          THAT is the problem.  How many people were shot today by friends, family members and neighbours? Certainly more than died or were wounded by two small explosives going off at the marathon - but you're not likely to hear about them when there is TERROR porn to fap over in the 24 hour news cycle.  

          The response was quick and professional, the actual victims were moved to hospitals and give care and the area in under control and being investigated. Very few people were killed, and while it's a tragedy, it's not the end of the world, nor is it time to crank up the war drums - we don't even know what happened yet.  Until they finish - we have no idea who did what to whom, why and for how many cookies.  So talking heads talking to hear themselves talk and keep the ratings up - not helping.

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 10:32:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  woosh (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, chimene

      that would be the point flying over your head.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Mon Apr 15, 2013 at 09:59:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  'Blowing stuff up' helped drive the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward

    British out of Palestine. N.B. The Brits referred to Zionist groups that resisted them as 'terrorists.' Thereby demonstrating the truism that one person's 'terrorist' is another person's 'freedom fighter.'

    •  that was a long time ago (0+ / 0-)

      It didn't help the IRA any.

      And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

      by Mortifyd on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 12:05:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, last time I checked, the IRA (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward

        and the British reached a concordat, so it didn't hurt the IRA.

        N.B. Before 1965, spokespeople for the U.S. government and military referred to Vietnam's National Liberation Front as 'terrorists'. The NLF liked to 'blow things up' and it worked pretty well for them, too, I would say.

        •  there is a difference (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bigjacbigjacbigjac, EcosseNJ

          between being overextended in an Empire  having shit you don't deal with on a daily basis and consider outside being blown up and London explosions which result in putting those fuckers in jail.  The IRA bombers ended up in jail in the UK - just like the Basques end up in jail in Spain, etc, etc.

          We don't jail or kill or even catch most of the people who are setting IEDs in the ME on our troops - but we fully expect whomever is responsible for yesterday will be in jail at some point in the future - because it's here, not there.  Even with IEDs, we lose more to suicide than bombs.

          This isn't warfare, it's cowardly shock factor tactics.  It was also strictly speaking in terms of tactics pathetic.  Not to say loss of life and limb is not an issue - it very much is - but they only managed to set off two, killed 3 people and gravely wounded what...23?  That's a poor showing for a bomb attack.  So why give them power by media wanking all over it breathlessly?  

          We have to stop deluding ourselves that we are above being attacked - be it by our own (McVeigh, et al) or by people trying to light their shoes and taints on fire and failing.  There is no such thing as a terrorist proof country.  There is no way to catch everyone who wants to do bad things to groups of people.  We can minimise the desire to choose that method by stopping the breathless media fapping, the "expert" talking head bloviating and rambling accusations - making that method have less impact and lose some of it's appeal.

          And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

          by Mortifyd on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 12:27:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not sure whether we agree or disagree. I'm (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bigjacbigjacbigjac, Victor Ward

            thinking of writing an essay for Daily Kos to the effect that all the money expended on Homeland Security over the past 12 years has been um, for want of a better word, wasted. It hasn't made any of us one whit safer and, I'd argue, we're either no more safe or even less safe than we were on 9-10-2001.

            The real lesson of the Boston Marathon bombing, imo, is that Americans should avoid large crowds when the security is provided by the government, whether federal or local. All this Homeland Security Kabuki Theater should fool no one who has eyes with which to see and ears with which to hear.

            •  there is no way to be "safer" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              because some people are assholes who like to blow shit up.  So in that respect I think we agree - HS is a joke.  OTOH, I think media flailing and this concept of "the pain and suffering of individuals who are injured is national" is taken WAY too weird creepy personal here.  

              Yes, people were hurt and I felt bad for them, and sad at the deaths. A certain horror at the random factor and targeting spectators at a long running event.  

              But I don't need support or grief counseling because I'm not the people who were actually there and impacted by it physically, mentally and emotionally.  I wasn't there, I was states away - as were most people bloviating, blogging and freaking out.

              It takes a lot of chutzpah to sit in a living room watching FOX/CNN/NBC/ABC/CBS/MSNBC etc. coverage and take it personally as if I were one of the injured - and that is what I see happening again and again.  Appropriation of victimhood because of the way our media reports these kinds of events - which are rare and localised.

              I get compassion.  I get having feels because people are hurt and it's random and scary.  I do NOT get the need to add oneself to the victim list - to be all "we are all Boston" - because we aren't.  And we don't know who did it, why they did it - and to a certain extent I feel it doesn't matter - only that care is given to the real victims and justice is eventually served - by the perpetrator(s) going to jail.

              And we sail and we sail and we never see land, just the rum in the bottle and a pipe in my hand...

              by Mortifyd on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 12:52:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  We need (0+ / 0-)

    to cut Social Security ASAP to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.  Cut the whole program.  That money should go into the "defense" budget to keep America safe; it's the patriotic thing to do.  I'm also in favor of more government aid to the financial sector, building the Keystone Pipeline, and cracking down on cyberterrorism (particularly copyright infringement) as additional measures to raise security!  And armed guards in every Wal-Mart.  


  •  Manic Media (3+ / 0-)

    So much of the fanning of the fear flames is due to the news media's breathless, incessant replay of he same few seconds of footage, and hour after hour after hour repetition of the same few facts.

  •  When we run short on oil, making us short on (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alexandra Lynch, Vetwife, Mortifyd

    diesel fuel,
    and we switch the farm equipment to natural gas,
    and then we run short on natural gas,
    and then we run short on food.....

    Short on food
    will be the biggest emergency
    America has ever seen.

    And I'm not certain that even then,
    folks will see the need for widespread contraception,
    designed to make America nearly empty,
    compared to now,
    so that folks have enough food,
    produced the old fashioned way.

    For the short term,
    Americans shooting themselves,
    because they're tired of living,
    that's a more common cause of death
    than most,
    short of cancer.

    In the long term,
    food is the number one priority,
    not who blew shit up,
    as you say.

    folks blow shit up.

    Set it off to the side,
    in our thinking,
    and deal with the downward slope
    of oil production.

    The baby boom worked okay,
    in a time of cheap and plentiful oil.

    Now we need to make other plans.

    Not get too distracted
    with every news event.

    Great diary.


    Bringing a child into the world at this point in history is a crime, the crime of child endangerment.

    by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Tue Apr 16, 2013 at 05:16:40 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site