I’m…numb. I can’t quite put it any other way. I feel terrible that I can’t feel more sorrow or anger or sympathy after all the bad news this week. The worst part of it is when a mass shooting doesn’t make me feel something. That’s just depressing. I can remember when this kind of thing would shock me, and the politicians would offer their thoughts and prayers. Now there is a systematic blaming of the victims following a massacre.
I guess I am not really numb, as it were. I feel something. But what am I supposed to feel here? I seem to be angrier at what we’ve become, rather than feeling horrified that this could happen at all. For some reason I am not angry at the shooter. Or the would-be bomber. I don’t get angry lately. I don’t understand what that’s all about. And I don’t have time to delve deeper into my psyche to get an answer that probably will do nothing for me.
Maybe I don’t want to feel anything. I have enough to deal with in my own life. It’s not that I don’t care about what happens to innocent people who are minding their own business. I think it’s tragic that just anyone can snap like that, pick up a weapon, and take out his angst on peaceful people who never did anything to him. The worst part of this is that there will be no justice. How can there be? The death penalty might bring some closure to some victims, but how does it serve those who were taken from us?
Victim blaming is now the fashion, and we hear plenty of “if they had armed guards…”
I suppose I’m angry now. Well, that’s what I get for writing about it. I was looking for an appropriate quote from Shaw or Hemingway, but that was taking too long, and I was already distracted enough just thinking about how all this made me feel. It is now more apparent to me than ever before that human beings were never meant to have such global awareness. We cannot possibly digest all the information we receive everyday. Furthermore, there is not enough energy stored in one’s soul to withstand this level of senselessness.
Numbness would be preferable, coming from someone who normally feels something. Emotional anesthesia is not healthy, and I cannot recommend it. Perhaps we need to just plant a hedge for our protection, shielding us from the influences of the 24-hour news cycle. I don’t know what it would look like for most people. I avoid television for the most part. I watch subscriber services like Netflix, where I can watch what I want. I skip most. But that’s probably not enough.
Bad news will come from time to time. I guess we are powerless to prevent it. Positioning armed civilians everywhere cannot be a solution. The world crumbling around us is terrifying. It keeps me up at night – right now it’s ten till three in the morning. I feel my jaw tightening as I consider what to say. Nothing I say will help, actually. I would not attempt to speak to survivors; I cannot put myself in their position, not that I don’t care. I lack the empathy because I have not been where they are.
God help us, we humans have really fucked this up. What hope is there? Yeah, it’s too late now. I’ve run out of optimism. Actually, I think I never had any to start with.