I don’t know what to say about the Newtown shooting. As someone interested in peace, nonviolence, language, and their interconnectedness, I think there’s a lot to be said. But coming up with what that might be is another thing altogether.
Most viscerally, I just find myself angry. Not so much at the predictable parade of conmen, Pharisees, and paranoids who tell us that we need more guns or God or (preferably) both in schools to make things right. They’re just wind-up toys doing what they do. (I will say, in passing, that I think Sacha Baron Cohen has topped himself with his latest character “Representative Louie Gomert, Republican of Texas,” a masterstroke of satirical social commentary.)
|Evolution of a satirist?|
I’m not even mad at the shooter. Maybe I should be, but I’m not. He’s beyond anger at this point, and clearly was disturbed to a degree we cannot fathom.
I do get frustrated with those who I think should know better. The mom with whom I am (or was) “friends” on Facebook who approvingly reposts a screed about how none of this would happen if parents would just “beat the s*** out of weird withdrawn ungrateful f**ks” like they did back in the good ol’ days. The parents who think they are protecting their family by bringing guns into their house when statistics show that, regardless of type of gun or storage, a gun is 43 times more likely to kill someone in the house than any intruder. Those who in arguing for this or that approach to understanding what happened insist on using sloppy thinking, relying on false dilemmas and strawmen.
But most of all, I get angry at myself. Angry for being angry. Angry for gleefully unfriending authors of idiotic posts on Facebook. Angry at the satisfaction I get in giving the rhetorical back of my hand to nincompoops online with their half-baked theology or social policy. Angry for allowing myself to become misanthropic. Angry for allowing myself the grim pleasure of seeing my misanthropy confirmed by the unending parade of ignorance and hate available to us 24/7 through the magic of cable news, talk radio, and the interwebs. Angry for not fully putting to use the skills I’ve learned from reading folks like Thich Nhat Hanh, Johan Galtung, Marshall Rosenberg, and many others who have helped me begin cobbling together way of thinking about what truly peaceful/nonviolent thinking and communication might look like and be practiced.