One of the curious things I've noticed is my disconnection to the shooting on Saturday. I started thinking about our nation's violent past, spurred by a sanctimonious Salon article I read this morning. And I realized my disconnection may be natural. I haven't been to AZ in two decades and it would take me hours and hours to drive there. I do have a blog friend and a cousin who live in AZ. Other than that, I don't know or care much about it.

I've never heard of the Congresswoman or anyone involved. I was busy snowboarding and living life that day and by the time I heard of it, CNN had degraded its coverage to what I half-jokingly call their "hillbilly witnesses" and "politico grandstanding." I do my best to avoid all that.

It's a curious thing to examine violent acts and culture within the framework of writing and story. I think it's going to affect my next Draken book to a degree. If he, as a foreign-born prince and a half-blood to boot (remind you of anyone you know?) has to also deal with a rash of terrorism and hatred as a subplot, it'd make for a pretty damned good story and link EMMISSARY to EMPEROR pretty well. The threads are already in EXILE, now that I think of it.

And unfortunately, I wonder if Story isn't most of the basis for our interest in the shooting. We all want to know the story, right? The loon who did it. The details of his court appearance. The lives of the victims. The cultural and political cause and effect. It's all story, more story than real to me.

I wonder if it's a failing of our humanity or a symptom of it.


Merry Monteleone said...

"I wonder if it's a failing of our humanity or a symptom of it."

Wow. Simple yet profound. The impossibility of finding a satisfactory and definite answer might be exactly the reason we do write.

I'm trying to stay out of the fray on that one too... I sent up prayers, because it's what I do, but I don't really have the patience for the politics of it. I'm rhetoric'd out when little kids start dying.

Vicki said...

I am sorry you feel disconnected to this. To me it is a reminder of how fragile we are as human beings, how quickly our lives can end unexpectedly. Like a car wreck. Or a bombing. Or illness. Or a shooter. Or a plane flying into a building.

For the last few days I've desperately wanted to have my children near me. Hold them, make sure they are safe. I called my daughter in New York and asked her to be wary of strange people on the subway. She laughed but understood my worries. I desperately wish that UNC didn't start until next week and will rest better when my youngest comes home for the three day weekend. Just so that I can see she is okay.

Events like this make me feel vulnerable, I identify with the sorrow of those who have lost loved ones. I remember the nephew I lost in Iraq and worry for the nephew deploying to Afghanistan on Thursday.

And I am horrified, infuriated, and nauseated that the media has turned this into a political issue instead of focusing on the tragic, wasteful loss of life. The loss of future for a beautiful little girl, beloved grandparents and parents, and an aid standing too close. We should be allowed to feel sorrow and loss and vulnerability without rushing to place blame. Otherwise healing never begins, questions are never answered, and loss is replaced with anger over the abstract and not the reality. Tragedy happens, insane people will shoot others, bombs will kill, cars will crash. Blaming others won't stop that.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

I wonder if the media coverage has made me feel disconnected. It's odd, I'm usually over-emotional at events like this, enough I have to hide my true feelings. This time, even though I have my very own 3rd grader, I just don't.