What a horrible day. Not for me personally.
Of course, for the students at Virginia Tech, where the worst massacre of this kind in U.S. history took place. Apparently, a crazed Asian student dressed up like Rambo shot a gun at students and teachers, and his rampage was left unchecked by police and SWAT mess ups.
As the death toll rose on websites from 3, to 12, to 23, to 32, I had to work.
I had to proofread my arts listings, get on with my day, and avoid it.
I had to eat my lunch and continue copyediting articles, copying photos, and checking my email, sift press releases and just do my day.
I went to the dentist, got my teeth cleaned, and the dental hygienist made me laugh as she scraped away at my teeth.
It didn't hurt at all.
It wasn't like April 20, years ago, when the Columbine shootings shocked us, and the media stood still to report it. There was something so utterly stultifying about those events. I was in the middle of finishing PINS then, at the very part where I was trying to polish the scene where the students organize a memorial to a dead fellow student, and piles of flowers placed outside that Colorado school brought me to listen to Marilyn Manson, the musician blamed for it all by some:
"They slit our throats
like we were flowers
and our milk has been devoured..."
For all the criticism focused on such music as being responsible for teenagers going crazy, I found his music to touch on some level of misery in a poetic way. I don't know. Call me stupid, but the last I heard, it was a gun that killed all those students.
Who will we blame? Who will the media blame? Who was that guy? Who fucked him up so bad he had to top such a murderous record?
I could counter rhetorical whinings of the NRA types, who are no doubt spouting forth about the need for more guns, or the others decrying the hypocrisy of Chimpoleon saying how senseless these deaths are while more people died in Iraq today.
A lot of other news events are worth some bitchy comments, but I'm really not in the right mood for that now.
Yesterday was so great. I finished designing the book covers for Cyclizen. I hung out with friends. I made dinner. I watched a movie.
Oddly, as I was working on the cover -which includes a bit of the Empire State Building from an old ACT UP demo- I read about a man had plunged to his death from the Empire State Building only two days before.
It's so strange, pushing these tragic events aside, watching the news, then switching to Dancing With the Stars, happy to see Apolo Anton Ono do a great chacha, or was it a tango? He got three 10s from the judges.
"Just remember when you think you're free
the crack inside your fucking heart is me."
The 3038th U.S. soldier died in Iraq today.
32 people died in Virginia today.
And I went to the dentist.