What I'm reading
  • 44 Scotland Street (44 Scotland Street Series, Book 1)
    44 Scotland Street (44 Scotland Street Series, Book 1)
    by Alexander McCall Smith
What I'm listening to
  • This Is Somewhere
    This Is Somewhere
    by Grace Potter & Nocturnals
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Enough with the Shock and Disbelief Already

I was reading through the news coverage of the Newton, Connecticut elementary school shooting a while ago, sitting in numb sadness and thinking of my own young children, when something snapped inside me. I was reading a quote from Harry Reid, he said he felt "shock and disbelief at this horrible tragedy" and I just snapped.

I don't know how many times I read someone saying they felt "shock and disbelief" at today's events but I'm sure it was more than a few. I also know I've read those words many times after other shootings as well. I suppose politicians feel obligated to say these words after events like this, perhaps you do as well.

I'm begging you, don't. Please just don't.

It is foolish and belittles the fate of the victims. If you actually do feel shock and disbelief at today's shooting then, if you are in a position of any responsibility, please resign and seek employment as a janitor because you clearly lack the intelligence and perception needed to understand the world around you and to make important decisions.

I feel many things as a result of this shooting - sadness, despair, sympathy and anger being at the top of the list - but shock and disbelief? Hardly. After the Oregon mall and Aurora theater shootings just this year - as well as Virginia Tech, Columbine and so many others each and every year for more years than I care to remember - all of these, coupled with our nation's complete and utter unwillingness to talk about it, much less do anything about it, make this shooting predictable and thoroughly believable.

It is true that the fact that so many of the victims were young children make this shooting particularly disturbing, but it was all but inevitable. Still, the horror of so many young children being murdered so brutally seems to be waking us up and perhaps we are finally willing to do something about it. I hope so. I would like to someday live in a country where an act like this truly would be shocking and unbelievable.


Words, words, words Pt 8: Sorry About this Post

Recently, I had been having conversations with George that I was having trouble understanding. They would go something like this:

George: “I’m not feeling well” or “I hurt myself”.

Me: “I’m sorry, George.”

George: “No. I hurt myself.”

Me: “Yes, I know, I’m sorry you hurt yourself.”

Repeat last two lines a few times.

These conversations puzzled me until I realized what was going on. There were to things at issue here, the first was that George understood the concept of culpability, and the second was that he understood the word “sorry” as and apology but not as an expression of sympathy. George understood that I was not responsible for his not feeling well or hurting himself, so my apologizing didn’t make any sense to him.

This is perhaps my favorite aspect of childhood; I love watching my children as they grow psychologically and start dealing with the problem of other minds, causality, paternicity and agency.


Definitions #1 Christian Rock

Christian Rock: A form of contemporary music that attempts to make Christianity cool but only succeeds in making Rock uncool.


Back to the Family

Have you noticed how the Christian Right has highjacked the word “family”? Yes, of course you have but has it gone beyond that? I don’t know about you but “family” has become a bit of a dirty word for me. Every time I hear it in the name of an organization (Family Research Council, Focus On the Family, Florida Family Association, Illinois Family Institute, etc. ad nauseam) a ‘60s era robot starts spinning around in my head saying “Danger! Danger!”

The word has become a warning sign to me, as if I was driving down the highway and came across a sign reading “Caution: Hate Filled Ignoramuses Next 5 Miles.” Boy, that’s good to know; glad they put that sign there. Am I alone in this, or does anybody else feel the same about “family”?

P.S. 10 points for anyone who knows where I got the title from.


The Meaning of Christmas