On Death & Violence in America
Hello friends, I am currently taking a break from the newsletter to finish the book on leisure I have been writing, which is in its final stages & will be coming soon. I am going to be taking a break from that break by doing something I usually don’t do, which is comment on current events. But this won’t be about any particular event, but more about my frustration in how we handle tragedy. This will be clumsy & not polished, but I feel was something that needed to be said.
If this can even make one or two people stop & reflect for even a moment, this will be chalked up as a success.
It’s unfortunate, but violence is apart of this world. It is everywhere, but gets magnified even more so where I live, the United States, than in other places. It gets magnified not only because of the centralized national media but also because this is just who we are, more on that later. The discourse around these horrible tragedies is mostly useless and forgettable, I don’t think I have ever walked away from any kind of political analysis a better person, however, I certainly have walked away from political analysis a more indoctrinated person.
While these tragic & horrific events themselves will alter the lives of those involved forever, often with irreparable damage done to the families & individuals, I find the general public to be flippant & morally incapable of handling the horrible reality. It’s a sad thing that these events happen as often as they do in this country, but they happen, so we must deal with them, as best we can.
The way we deal with them now, is not the best we can do.
When these things happen, politics is the first thing to come up, before a moment of mourning or respect, or even the most brief moment of brotherly love, things get politicized. But this is America, and this is the gospel of America, Current Events. It is where we get our morals, our icons, our prophets, our philosophy, & even our sense of meaning. Seeing how we react to tragedy, & the savages it makes us, it may be time to think about getting inspiration from a wiser source.
Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion, and as heretical as it may sound, there aren’t a lot of opinions I would disagree with on complicated issues like this. In emotional moments like this we often forget that more than one thing, or more than one perspective, can be & often is true.
What is ultimately tragic is the bizarre spectacle these horrifying events get spun into.
The harsh and shocking reality, at least to those too entrenched in the discourse, is that no one in this country cares about human life. They love when people lose their lives, they love it because they love talking about it. They love debating about it.
They love to figure out what it means for *them*.
We Americans are experts at making things about us, even tragedies involving other people with whom we have no relationship with, & likely never will.
Disasters equate to clicks, analysis, and the best of all - intellectuals who get to tell us what it all means in our countries decline. These people are sick & deranged. They only care about themselves. We see this time & time again with every tragedy, the only thing that matters are the agendas & narratives they have already dedicated their lives to crusading for.
We are so consumed in the gospel of self that we don’t have the creativity, the nuance, or the decency to stop and just be sad about it. And that maybe that’s the proper response. Just sadness.
After all, people lost their lives.
We don’t need any commentary or podcasts on any of this stuff. The loss of an innocent human life is never worth celebrating, no matter what one may gain or lose politically from such an event. More often than not, thought leaders from both sides of the isle will be proud of what happened or be critical about what happened, but no one is brave enough to take a step outside the savagery.
For me personally, I have a rule that I have no opinion on court cases of which I am not a juror. To do so would seem like a grave overestimation of not only my intellect but a miscalculation of moral boundaries. Put simply, it’s bad juju.
But we do this every time, every time there is a national tragedy where innocent people lose their lives everyone retreats back to their political echo chambers to listen to dipshit YouTubers conspire about how the world is out to get you. Get the f*ck over yourselves, of course the world is out to get you, now what? What good comes from that realization? I’m not interested at all in how much of a political expert you think you are.
Our hearts have become so hardened that we have made our own hell.
It will need repeating so I will say it again, of course everyone is entitled to their political opinions. I just wish a few more of us, even if it’s only one or two more people, that upon hearing about these things would stop & reflect on those who lost their lives, and those who might have loved those people. This is corny & trite & all that, but it’s true, we are utterly alone and all we have is each other. Politics & larping as some sort of political revolutionary has become more valuable than human life itself. The political analysts whose job it is to stir the people into frenzied chaos are nothing but Godless brutes.
All of the political commentary, the podcast episodes, the dumbass substack articles (like this one) that try to digest and break down every shred of evidence there is will not matter.
The only correct response to tragedy is grief and sadness for those involved, donate if you can, and have the decency to leave it at that.