15 April 2013

Evil came to Boston today and wreaked havoc. Like everyone else, I feel numb, sad, scared and angry. I’ve tried to write something coherent for the last few hours and I have nothing. It’s too fresh and too horrible. 

Instead, I’m posting comments other have made in reference to today or, in the case of the late Leonard Bernstein, something he said that several people posted on Facebook today that seems very appropriate. I don’t know if he made the comment in reference to a specific atrocity, but it’s beautiful.

 While comedian/actor Patton Oswalt’s last paragraph is how I want to live my life,  Craig Ferguson’s opening comments to his show tonight, while certainly coming from a different circumstance than mine, most closely mirror the despair I feel right now. 

When I started this blog, one of my rules was to not give to a charity more than once this year. So while my first inclination was to give to the American Red Cross, I’ve already given to them and I knew they were not the only organization doing remarkable work in the face of the carnage (although I would certainly encourage anyone to continue to support them).  The Salvation Army is providing food, counseling and other aid to first responders. As we saw on the news, so many of the first responders were the medical personnel who were stationed near the finish line, as well as the police, but many of the first responders were runners and other spectators who rushed in to help those near them who were hurt. 

My hope is some of the comments below bring you a moment of solace in this tragedy. 
"First responders saved countless lives because they dared to run into danger. Boston residents are opening their homes to stranded marathoners. Facebook and Twitter are flooded with offers of help and solace. America, my faith in you is unshakeable."- Connie Schultz, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
Boston. Fucking horrible. 

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, "Well, I've had it with humanity." But I was wrong. I don't know what's going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths. 

But here's what I DO know. If it's one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we're lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they're pointed towards darkness. 

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We'd have eaten ourselves alive long ago. 

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, "The good outnumber you, and we always will."—Comedian/actor Patton Oswalt

Hey everybody, good evening. Tonight’s show is a little bit different. Obviously the news of today is so horrendous that it would seem insensitive at best to say ‘It’s a great day for America,’ so I won’t be starting the show with that tonight. Is anyone else sick of this sh**? I seem to have to say that too often.
People say to me ‘Craig, your job is to make people laugh at the end of the day.’ And I think, yes, that’s true, but I’ve never professed to be any damn good at that. And, the thing is, people want their mind taken off it. And I think, well ok, if you want your mind taken off it, you know, watch a cartoon or a video or something. I understand it, it’s perfectly acceptable. I don’t think it’s a terrible thing to not want to think about it, but I can’t not think about it.

Also, I have a personal connection with the city of Boston...When I became an American citizen in 2008, I spoke at Faneuil Hall on July 4, at the invitation of Tommy Menino who is the mayor of Boston….I’m appalled by this thing and when I watch it on these streets that I know, it’s horrifying.
If I have all this inside of me. If I have all this rage and anger and distress and upset inside of me, I’m not a good enough comedian to hide all that from you. — Craig Ferguson
“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” —Leonard Bernstein.
To that end, I leave you tonight with this song from Brian Wilson. It’s one that has tremendous meaning to me and it’s one I often turn to when I’m looking for some comfort. It seems as if Brian could have written it for today’s events. It serves as wish, a meditation, a commentary and a benediction. It’s my simple prayer for anyone reading this: Love and Mercy to you and your friends tonight.

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