reality versus the reality brand


More gun killings in the US of A. This time not too far from where the California Jenkins people live. It’s hard to make sense of what is happening in the US right now. The picture is so complex and is constantly being distorted by bad reporting and bad politics.

It looks like the recent shooters owned legal guns. I support better gun laws but they might not have helped in this case. What would have? The futile question. Eileen said she couldn’t imagine why someone would go on a rampage in the recent setting. I said that unfortunately I could.

Part of the problem is the nature of an open society. In an open society people are inevitably vulnerable. Societies that close down (as many Western ones are doing) may give a certain kind of safety but it is the safety of the jail cell.

I resist the idea that words alone can cause people to do terrible things. However, ideas themselves can. In my way of thinking anyone who ends up taking another human life is acting in an inhuman way. But this is not a realistic notion in a society where people are often forced between two bad decisions (allow harm to come to the innocent or harm the guilty). Or worse, are forced into making grave mistakes.

We have a young man in our choir (high school age) who is facing life threatening health stuff around his heart. He was at rehearsal last night. Sunday morning after he walked out of the pregame, I told the choir that he was ill and that I wanted people to keep an eye on him when he walks out of rehearsal.

Last night, I asked him (in front of the choir) how he was doing. He said he was scheduled with a doctor’s appointment soon. It was good to have him alive Sunday and last night. It was also good to surface the tension into conversation.

I bring this up to counter the inevitable hysteria one runs into these days.

People are crazy anxious and jump from one extreme expression to another. Here is a young high schooler who is old enough to be justifiably frightened by the problems in his body. He is facing his fear with a calm and bravery I can only admire.

I guess it’s reality versus the reality brand foisted on us by political rhetoric and social and journalistic media. A difficult terrain to deal with, but doable when one remembers the real stuff some people are having to go through.

The Toll of Violent Anti-Abortion Speech – The New York Times

I used to read the Nation when I subscribed to magazines and read them. Katha Pollit, the author of this article, was one of their columnists I never failed to read. Interested to see her on the pages of the NYT.

Little Onion Tarts With Gorgonzola and Walnuts Recipe – NYT Cooking

I think this idea is cool. I will have to do it sometime. Last night Eileen made me a faux chicken pot pie as she made herself turkey pot pies. Yum.

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