19 April 2013

The Russians Are (Not) Coming

This is surreal
Has this been one of the most tragic, and one of the strangest, weeks in American history? As I write this, we are watching - LIVE, mind you - what could be the denouement (how's that for a 20 point word?) of this week's awful events in Boston.

Unless your name is Groundskeeper Willie and you live in a shack, you know the story. It began with the senseless bombings on Monday at the finish line of the storied Boston Marathon, where three people were killed and scores of people suffered gruesome and hideous injuries. While I've never felt compelled to run a marathon, I've ran a couple of half marathons and other races, and I that I've shared some great memories with runners.  They are good people and so the bombings were even more senseless to me.

And now, in what seems like it came from the mind of a deranged Hollywood screenwriter, there is a trail of death and mayhem across Boston, an amazing city that's been in lock-down for hours.  All this perpetrated by two brothers. One dead now and the other is on the run with the clock ticking loudly. It's insane.

When I first heard that the brothers were Chechen, it only underscored the movie thing.  Weren't the characters who hijacked the President's plane in "Air Force One" Chechen? They weren't.  They were Kazhaks. Regardless, then I thought of the craptastic "Red Dawn" and its ridiculous Russian invasion plot that served to fuel the Reagan administration's Cold War fear that characterized the early 1980's. But you know what, this isn't a movie. In 1966, a comedy was made called "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!" but it's 2013 and the Russians, nor the Chechens, aren't coming. There is still much to understand about this. We must wait before we jump to conclusions or to begin painting an entire nation with the terrorist brush. This needs to play out and kudos to how it's being handled right now.

The Boy made an observation last night as this continued to play out that I was proud to hear. He said, "Whoever they are, I hope they aren't Arabs." I asked him why and he basically expressed that he'd had enough of an entire people being painted as terrorists. He then went on to explain that he was a teen-age anarchist, but that's a story for another day.

While we've seen much of horror and carnage this week, we've also seen so much good. Did you see how many people ran TOWARDS the explosions at the Marathon? They were running to see how they could help. Did you see what total strangers did to help those impacted by the bombings? Have you seen how law enforcement have put themselves in harms' way this week in order to bring these suspects down? There is still good in this world. It can be really hard to find, but there is still good. That gives me some hope.

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