Jewish Journal


December 17, 2012

Not Writing About the Newtown Tragedy



A memorial near a sign for Sandy Hook Elementary School, on Dec. 15. Photo by Eric Thayer/Reuters

By Yeshaia Blakeney

I sat down to write this week's blog entry and immediately felt compelled to write about the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy.  Why?  Because in a blog with open categories, dedicated to meaningful discussion, this will undoubtedly be the week's focus.  Why?  Because it's shocking, it's terrible, it comes from the darker recesses of human capacity, and it is what the media is telling us to focus on.  It would almost seem wrong not to write about it, it was children after all (and 6 adults).

What will people discuss around this issue?  Gun control, no gun control, the mental status of the perpetrator, his background, upbringing, is he insane or is he just evil? Metal detectors in schools?  The children in the ghetto or around the world who die everyday but don't make the news especially in Chicago  (I almost did that one, I'm so liberal I cant even stand it!). Obama's response, video games, music, movies, how crazy the world has gotten, or how the world's always been crazy and people just like to say that, or how the world's not crazier, we just know more because of communication technology and weird post modern transparency?

Bring out the politicians and clergy to tell us: how we should all come together, we should care, we should pray, we should donate, we should hug our kids and kiss them before we put them to bed at night.  Some insensitive jerk will write about the popular response to tragedy and the racing media cycle, and how we will all be over this in a week except for the victims families.  I myself was thinking about writing on the dull knife of boredom that we all are suffering from, therefore to have any feeling, even sadness, in the wake of tragedy gives us something to feel, something to remind us we are alive. And how if we talk about it for a week, we can keep it going, feed on it until it's dried bone.  Yeah,  I would have written about the starvation of the human spirit and how we go about scouring the world (the closer to home the better) for juicy information and spread like some kind of virus, like some kind of Borg Hive (star trek reference) incorporating all potential interpretations into our monotone group psyche and leaving nothing but confusion and more hunger in our wake (I chose not to write about that, it seemed insensitive and a little too negative).

Clearly I'm bothered by this event, and as a psychological defense have used sarcasm to avoid the painful truth of our reality.  I could have written about sarcasm as a defense against the real true feelings we experience in life, or how we wish we had real feelings and what we experience is marginal at best like "I can't believe it's not feelings" you won't even be able to tell the difference, I could have written about that, yeah I could have written lots of stuff but I've chosen "Not writing about the Newtown Tragedy" as my subject this week, because sometimes real life is too sad for words.

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