Kelly and I have both been shocked, horrified, and angry over what happened in Orlando. Truly, it is stunning to me that such a thing could happen, and even more stunning that we as a society could keep allowing these events to happen over and over and over again.
Kelly vented a lot of anger in her earlier post, and there’s nothing more I can say about how we feel about this. But I want to be a little specific about some of the intellectually dishonest arguments being made by people around the country trying to explain all this away. I also want to talk about two people who were there, and who did everything they could to save people’s lives, and still couldn’t save everyone. They are still heroes, even if they themselves probably don’t feel that way, and probably wouldn’t use that word.
Anyone who isn’t a moneyed plutocrat in the very tiny ruling elite here in Boston – Marty Walsh, John Fish, Charlie Baker, and Shirley Leung, I’m looking at you – likely understands that yesterday’s announcement that Boston “won” the USOC nomination for the 2024 olympics is a Very Bad Thing. The Boston 2024 group has existed for about a year and, chaired by Fish, has been trying to essentially shame the populace into believing that if we do not do this thing, invite the world to come here for a 3 week-long party 9 years from now, we’re provincial losers and that Boston isn’t fit for the world stage.
To put it bluntly, the people at Boston2024 are liars.
1) Yes, the bomb squad has had a busy day today in Boston. Yes, they did just blow up two things in controlled detonations (as in, within the last two minutes) at the Marathon Finish Line. Geoff and I are both fine and were nowhere near any of the controlled detonations today. Yes, there were more than just those two detonations, no, we were never in any danger.
2) To all the crazies/”patriots”/martyrs/whatever who think that today is a day for demonstrations of their ideologies by throwing backpacks full of stuff into random places: Go back under whatever rock you came from. We don’t want you, you will get caught and possibly killed, and your “message” just gets lost in the kerfuffle. Stop already, enough. April 15th is for paying taxes.
3) To the people heading up the security theater that now invades so much of our lives: I want my rights back. Catching the guy who tossed those backpacks into the middle of a heavily guarded street was no biggie. Stopping the guy who shot up KS yesterday? Not a whole lot of warning on that one despite his obvious history of hatred. Oh, and that was terrorism too, in case you missed the memo. Just because a white guy did it doesn’t mean it isn’t terrorism.
And finally, to leave the serious topics for a minute:
4) Geoffrey and Joffrey aren’t the same person, thank all the Gods. If you’re looking for information about the character on Game of Thrones who died, his name is Joffrey and that post is here. Geoffrey is my husband and he is a) not a psychopathic murdering boy king and b) very much alive.
ETA by Geoff: And c) I am very much loyal to the Starks and hate the Lannisters very very much. I am a true man of the North. Nyah.
Honestly, I wish I knew why some people have such a problem with anyone different than them. American culture is one of the most heterogenous imaginable. And yet there are still so many people afraid of “them”, whether it be gays, foreigners, or in this case, Muslims.
A U.S. Army veteran, who served in Iraq and is still in the Army Reserve, was apparently attacked by his fare last week. And the guy was screaming about terrorists and the Boston bombing and whatnot.
You know, from a certain point of view, the group that has created the overwhelming majority of the problems I have had in my life is angry, bigoted white meathead rednecks. Does that mean we should start profiling white rednecks? Or start reporting “suspicious” white rednecks to the police? Does that mean all white rednecks are the same? No, they aren’t. It’s absurd. And so is blaming all 1 billion plus Muslims for the acts of a small minority. It’s not like Christians have been free of committing horrific violence in the name of their religious views. So get over yourselves, people. Try learning a little, opening your mind, maybe cracking open a book or two. And for God’s sake, turn off the TV and the talk radio. It’s only making things worse.
It’s been a little over a week since downtown blew up and everything went to hell, but since then Boston Strong has become the catchphrase for how we’ve all held up. The whole tough New Englander attitude, some would say “crusty”, is well known. We’re tough people and down through generations we’ve been through a lot.
I have no idea who it was who coined the phrase. I hope it wasn’t some marketing VP somewhere who’s made a mint from it. It has helped, and it has spawned Watertown Strong and Collier Strong, on their own indications of what we’ve been through separately and together and how we’ll persevere.
Check out some of the images, below the cut, that have come up in the last week plus that I’ve liked the best or that I think are the funniest representation of Boston Strong.
We are ok. We are currently in lockdown and nobody is going anywhere. The streets are empty of people save for sirens and law enforcement/EMS. The MBTA is closed entirely as are all business in Cambridge, Watertown, Allston/Brighton, Waltham, Belmont, Newton, and all of Boston. The same cities are also ordered to have everyone stay home/indoors and parts of Cambridge/Watertown have no traffic allowed in or out, either the car or human variety.
We’re 48 hours out from the bombings and things are… different. It isn’t just the obvious police presence or the national guard people in uniform everywhere. Things are different. Yesterday everything was eerily calm, almost like the afternoon of 9/11 when all flights were grounded and nobody knew what was going on, except that yesterday there were helicopters in the air overhead and we were all waiting.
Waiting for news of who else was going to die. Waiting to hear from that last person or two that we hadn’t yet heard from. Waiting for news from the police, the feds, the various hospitals. Waiting. It was like life in suspended animation.
We were going to work and going through the motions, but everyone was asking the same thing, “Should we be doing this?” “Is this appropriate?” “What is the right thing to do now?”
Nobody has an answer for that. There is no single answer when there is a 15 block long scar in the middle of your city that was carved out by a coward with bombs, a bone to pick with humanity, a need to see his human fears and frailty writ large on the TV, and not enough guts or intelligence to make the change he wants to see from within the system.
We opened early today – about 8 AM – and stayed open until about 7 PM, when our second service ended. So a long day today. But a reporter from Channel 6 in Providence stopped in to talk to our new minister as well as a few Marathon runners. You may see yours truly doing security in the background.
This is a quick post to let people who have been calling and emailing from near and far know that we’re OK. We were driving back from Boston when the bombing happened. The Cambridge EMS, Fire, and Hazmat were screaming past in the other direction and I casually wondered if there’d been a bomb threat. Oops.
We’ve heard from one friend who ran today and he finished and cleared the area before the bombs went off.
I’m sure there will be more information and more to post about later. Stay safe, everyone.