Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Has the whole world gone crazy, or is it just me?

I'm not one to follow the news too closely.  Watching NBC Nightly News about once every three months is usually plenty to keep me depressed for a year.

But it's nearly impossible to have not seen something about Penn State and Aurora, Colorado, the past few days.

One channel was showing some Penn State students yesterday as they reacted to the sanctions being levied against the school by the NCAA.  Their faces were aghast.  I couldn't help but wonder had they been as heartsick about the horrific allegations (and eventually conviction on 45 counts) of child sex abuse by assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.  And were they bothered at all that their beloved head football coach, Joe Paterno, was implicated in concealing the allegations for years?  I hope so.

Twitter was overrun yesterday with the same thing:  How dare the NCAA punish Penn State!  What does this mean for the Penn State football program?  Those poor football players!  One deeply disturbed person (immediately unfollowed by me) was already making jokes about the situation. 

But I think the moment that stands out most to me came last week when throngs of people gathered around Paterno's statue to show their support for the coach and voice their opposition to the possibility of the statue being taken down.


Look, I get it.  No one is a more rabid football fan than I.  Few things are more important to me than football.  But the few that are, are pretty damn important.

KIDS. WERE. MOLESTED.  And you're out there staging an all-night vigil -- NOT for the victims, mind you -- but for some statue?

I was glad they eventually decided to remove the statue, because all I could think about was the victims and their families turning on the TV every day, and the slap-in-the-face it must have been seeing those people out there demonstrating.

Then there's the Colorado shooting.  And again, I use Twitter for my example.  One of the people I follow has posted no fewer than four pro-gun messages in the wake of this tragedy.

I'm sure you know the ones I'm talking about:  "Guns don't kill people. People kill people."  And "If the people in that theater had all been armed, this wouldn't have happened."  Like I'm sure a hundred people all firing guns in a dark theater would have turned out real well.

And look, I know there are just as many anti-gun messages out there.  This is not at all intended to support one side of the issue or the other. 

It's just... people died.  And the initial reaction of some is to use the occasion to push their personal agenda?  I just want to ask them, what if that was your son or daughter, or brother or sister?  Would you still be rushing to turn this into a political issue?

When did the world become so desensitized?  Or maybe it's always been that way, and the internet just gives those people a voice now.  Or maybe it's just me.  Am I the one that's crazy?

I just feel like the victims in both of these tragedies-too-terrible-for-words almost become an afterthought sometimes. 

Whatever happened to mourning the dead?

Can't we simply be sad for awhile?  Is that still OK?

"How I wanna hear the anchor man talk about a county fair / And how we cleaned up the air / How everybody learned to care..."


  1. This is really good. Not your typical stuff. But really good. Love the perspective. Bc that's the issue, isn't it? People lose perspective. They forget that it's just a game. And it's just a hobby. Kids were molested. People were killed. There are things more important than football and hunting. Love your insight.

  2. I'm right there with you Bone! I refuse to click on the yahoo news link for the Penn State stuff, because I think it is crazy that these people are upset about the sanctions. But people tend to go a little crazy when it comes to football.

    And about the shootings...the man was covered from head to toe in body armor. Where are they gonna shoot? The theater was dark and full of smoke.
    Besides there were 53 soldiers in that theater...they dove for cover and shielded others. Two of them died and another one was also shot.

    Some people! sigh!

  3. They say it's about how we react to situations that define us.

    I've been thinking about that a lot as I listen to some of this stuff. One story in particular that got me today was about someone attending the movie (who wasn't even injured) deciding to sue the theatre, the movie producers, the shooters' doctors, etc. Because again, people died. And he's basically whining about living.

    I rarely watch the news. There is enough stuff in day-to-day life to bring me down, with just what goes on with friends and family. I don't need anything more.

    Good post, Bone.

  4. i can't believe they held a vigil for a statue... i think that the people need to be thinking of how best to help those children who were molested... and prayers need to be sent up for all the families involved in the healing process.

    i've read almost every article on the shootings in Colorado and still don't understand how someone can hurt another individual like that. my thoughts & prayers are with all those involved with the killings. i can't imagine they'll get over this anytime soon.

    hope all else is well. have a great night~

  5. Bone, we are on the same exact wavelength...yes, I think it's absolutely OK to just be sad for awhile. I know I sure have been. The news this past week with Aurora has been so heartbreaking that I truly needed to just step away from it all.

  6. I think it's great to be sad. I have been in the worst mood because of all the people who could have "killed" the killer in Colorado. Give it a rest!

    And Penn State--that's beyond anything I know. How they let it go on year after year....

    And this was a great post. The news Bone's way! I love it and thank you for being you! (He pays me to say this, not!)

  7. I love the comments here. I knew they would be civilized and thoughtful and they are~ Each one is a gem

    Thank you all for restoring my faith in people because I have been losing it all week

  8. A very good post, Bone. I liked how you admitted t that the things more important than football were damn important! Did I see TC commenting again?

  9. Cami - Thank you. Definitely not my typ, but something that was bothering me, clearly.

    Renee - The first thing I thought when I heard was "I hope that's not close to Renee!" There were evidently several heroes during the shooting. I'd much rather hear about them than talk about guns or no guns.

    TC - Wow. I had not heard that. Wish I could say I was surprised, but unfortunately, very little is surprising anymore.

    Naquillity - i think that the people need to be thinking of how best to help those children who were molested... and prayers need to be sent up for all the families involved in the healing process.

    I agree completely. Could not have said it better.

    Sherri B - Well, it's nice to hear I'm not the only one. Sometimes you have to step away. I definitely had to close out Twitter for awhile.

    Pia - Thank you. (And I'm sure he makes it up to you with laughs and... well, there must be something else.)

    I love the comments here.... Each one is a gem

    Yes, yes! I think that's probably one of the reasons I posted this. I needed to hear from some thoughtful, caring, sane people. And I knew I'd find them here.

    Sage - Thanks, Sage. Just don't tell my momma I cursed :)

    And yes, I think that was TC. Now if she'll just start blogging again.

  10. I appreciate your thoughts on both issues--very much. A part of me does think a parent who lost a child in that theater last week might, indeed, see this as a gun problem, as much as anything else. Personally, I have room in my head for all thoughts on guns, but the truth is that countries where guns are illegal or tightly controlled have such dramatically lower murder rates that it behooves us to look at the connection.

    There. I used "behoove." That's how I know my comment is done.

  11. I love this post. This is the Bone I know--and why you have been my friend the past seven years

  12. Hi Bone, I just wanted to thank you for sharing that amazing video with me...wow, it was incredibly beautiful. What an inspiring 20 minutes...can I admit that I even got misty-eyed while watching? I have saved that to my favorites to watch again - thanks again for thinking of me! On a final note, I would love to meet that photographer...have a great weekend! :)

  13. Crazy pretty much sums it up, I fear.