How to Remember a Tragedy

Rather than remembering another killer’s name, let’s remember their names. Last night I was picking up a pizza and CNN was on the pizza shop television. I saw a clip of one of the fathers coming out of a church service (of course there were cameras in his face because our sensationalist media knows nothing of respect), and he looked as if he had aged twenty years overnight. I cannot imagine the pain he feels. He talked about his daughter and how she lit up a room whenever she walked in.

AA034600

At my own church last night the priest talked about the monsignor in Newtown, CT who had baptized 10 of the 20 children killed. Now, that monsignor has to see over the funerals of the same children he had baptized just 6 or 7 years ago.

The other night my son and I talked about this (as did he and his mother). Sometimes we never have just the right words for our children. Our parents didn’t either, but we didn’t live in a world fraught with this level of evil the way our children do.

I wish I could tell my son it won’t happen ever again, but I do not like to lie to him. Children shouldn’t have to police their own schools, being on the lookout for anything out-of-place, for strangers in their familiar halls. They are there to learn, to grow, to make friends, to endure the pecking order (as we all have in our time), and maybe even to experience a few crushes before they get older.

These are just a few reasons why we should try to remember the names of victims as we move forward, and leave behind the killer’s name so that his twisted wish for immortality is nullified.

Far F***ing Out, Man!

There are 18 days left until the election. Tempers are flaring, people on both sides of the political fence are chomping at the bit, desperate to have their voices heard, to exercise their right as citizens to vote in a democratic and free election, to see their candidate in office, to turn the tide of our collapsing economy, to ensure that America rises from the ashes of the ruin it has become (ok, this might be a bit harsh); more now than ever before we are sick and tired of being bombarded by multi-million dollar ad campaigns, of neighbors turning vicious over silly signs in yards, of friends deleting friends on Facebook over liking a candidate’s page; anger and resentment fill our days and nights, talking points have become sacred texts we regurgitate on social media; and for all of this, when we close our eyes, we can feel it: the center will not hold. It is an exciting time in history, but this blog, today, is not about that.

I should preface this by saying my 12 year old son put me up to this. One day we were watching Ancient Aliens on the History Channel and this guy popped up on the television screen:

 My son and I watch this program from time to time, duped into the various episodes; never allowing for one cold hard fact: proof positive of extraterrestrial intelligence would make headlines news around the world; or as one scientist, whose name escapes me now, was quoted as saying: show me the UFO muffler that falls out of the sky and I will believe.

So, there we were last week, watching yet another episode of Ancient Aliens. Mr. Tsoukalos appeared on the screen and I mumbled something about his hair. To wit, my son chided me: you should write about that in your blog.

“Did human hairdressers create that look?” I said, invoking the narrator’s voice from Ancient Aliens. “Or was there some outside perhaps otherworldly influence involved?”

I mean no disrespect to Giorgio Tsoukalos; nor do I mean to mar the good name of History Channel’s Ancient Aliens. Sometimes, it takes children to force us to take a moment to breathe, to forget the ills of the world, to pull us out of our own heads and see what life is really worth. And if I have offended UFO and alien enthusiasts, or the over 57,000 diehard Twitter followers of Mr. Tsoukalos, by poking fun of that anti-gravity hairdo (to say nothing of the Mangerine tan he sports), then I offer my most humble apologies.

My intention was not misbegotten. If in reading this post you forgot about the political morass that is the 2012 Presidential Campaign for the minute or so it took you to read this post, then my work is done.