A week ago today, two terrorist psychopaths detonated a pair of homemade bombs at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. The reasons are still unknown at the time of this writing, but the older one is dead and the younger one is in custody. And if there's any justice, he'll be given a life sentence and assume the role of Sweetheart of Cellblock Eight for the next six or seven decades.
As an avid runner and a Boston native, this incident really rattled me, as it hit my hometown and a passion of mine. It was even worse when you add on the fact that my oldest daughter works at a Boston hospital, and also, being an avid runner who has done her share of marathons, has also volunteered to help at the finish line. You can bet I was messaging her when it all went down, and wondering with a rising sense of panic why she wasn't responding right away.
Fortunately, she wasn't anywhere near the incident. I wish more people could have said that about their loved ones.
But in the aftermath of terrible tragedies like this, people start speaking their minds. Most express condolences, sadness, or confusion. A few, however, make some totally amazing statements that make anyone with a modicum of common sense or compassion to want to stick an IED up their collective rears and let it rip.
So, in the spirit of preventing widespread colon damage to people who would otherwise deserve it, here's a handy guide to things you should NOT say in the aftermath of this tragedy, or ones like it.
1. Yes, this was sad and senseless, but other parts of the world experience this on a daily basis. Why is what happened in Boston somehow more important?
Okay, listen asshat...this is America. The incident occurred in America. Most of the people making a fuss about this are Americans. It's being reported by American media outlets to the American people. Do you see a pattern here? Call me crazy (many do), but I somehow think that something that's happening at home or close to it, may juuuuuust have a tad bit more relevance and/or emotional impact than a bombing in WhoGivesACrapIstan. Yes, all tragedies carry equal weight; all death tolls diminish us as a race, but the Boston one hits home to those of us who, oh, I don't know, happen to live in Massachusetts or in the rest of the USA. We can relate to it more because it's happening to people and places we know. While tragedies happen around the world, we Americans have enough adversity and unpleasantness sucking up our emotional bandwidth (rising prices, unemployment, sequesters, exploding fertilizer plants, Glenn Beck) in our own backyard without having to wring our hands and rend our garments at every damn bad thing that happens in every damn corner of the globe. There's a bus leaving town at midnight; I suggest you be under it.
2. This bombing is God's judgement against America for (gay marriage/declining church attendance/abortion/no prayer in schools/Nikki Minaj).Look, I'm a Christian, and the only response I can come up with here that will pass obscenity filters is "Get stuffed". In fact, I consulted with God on the matter, and He says the same thing. I don't care how many times you've read the Bible and in how many versions you've read it. You do NOT know the mind of God with any greater certainty than anyone else walking around today. Rather than point a finger and say "a-ha!", why don't you reach out with an open hand and say "How can I help?" That's what Jesus would want us to do, you steaming lump of cat crap.
3. If some people in the crowd had a .45 or an AR-15, this wouldn't have happened!
This crap (and yes, I read the above quote somewhere) and other comments like it, are uttered by an utterly soulless and fixated species of so-called human that uses tragedy in order to legitimatize their agendas. Not only that, you're dead wrong. Guns are not magic wands that somehow bestow upon you a Spider Sense that indicates when a couple of douchebags are about to bomb a bunch of helpless people, you sick son of a bitch.
4. While this was a tragedy, certainly, we need to understand that the bombers may have felt that they had a legitimate gripe/cause.Wrong, wrong, WRONG, you idiotic bleeding-heart non-entity. The Boston Marathon is about as apolitical a gathering as you can find. It's hosted in Boston, but it brings in runners from all over the world to come and compete in a spirit of respect, fun, and athleticism. It's an event that celebrates the human spirit. It's not a symbol of capitalism, Western values, America, pro-Israel sympathizers, or anything else like that. Hell, even the chief Chechnyan Muslim separatist group has disavowed all knowledge or approval of this atrocity. So if, and I do mean "if", this turns out to be somehow politically motivated or something Al-Qaeda like, seriously, what's been accomplished here? The Islamic radical population (and again, IF this is what the motive was) has now been saved from the depredations of two young women and an eight year old boy!? Nothing excuses this. Nothing. It was pointless and stupid.
5. It's a government conspiracy.And sure enough, the tinfoil hat brigade comes crawling out of the woodwork to spew their deranged venom. Listen, morons, the incident happened. It was not a set up, it was not staged. It was not a trial run to see if martial law can be implemented. The two dirtbags accused of doing this did in fact do it, otherwise they wouldn't have been fleeing from the Watertown police, lobbing goddam IEDs out the window of their car and firing at the cops. What framed patsy carries around IEDs as standard traveling gear?
Phew. That's it. I believe that tragedies and disasters bring out the best in some people, and the worst in others. In situations like this, we should all come together and do what we can to be part of the solution. But if we somehow can't be part of the solution, then for God's sake, let's not be part of the problem.