Sometimes when I look at the headlines in the wake of a national tragedy, I swear I'm reading something worthy of The Onion.
No, I'm not saying what happened in Boston on Monday is even remotely funny. Hardly. But what kind of a world do we live in when the latest in a series of mind-boggling mass murder incidents involves exploding cookware at a marathon? There's something surreal and illogical about that.
It was just a fun day at an event that draws hundreds of thousands from all around the world. Most of the people who were injured weren't even participating in the event – they were spectators. They were cheering on family and friends who had put themselves through a grueling 26+ mile run.
Now, three of those spectators are dead. A darling 8-year-old boy. A restaurant manager who would have turned 30 next month. A graduate student, 26, from China. And now, about 170 others are beginning another grueling journey, trying to survive the loss of a foot or a leg or another even more catastrophic injury. Some of them probably won't succeed. It's bad enough when we have young soldiers a world away who are similarly damaged or destroyed. But noncombatants – people merely watching a foot race?
We still don't know who did it or why. (After today, it sounds like authorities may be closer.) But whether it was an act of international terrorism or just a local homegrown crackpot, it doesn't really matter. We just need to find them and stop them from inflicting who knows what on God knows who.
There are plenty of theoretical suspects to finger. And sadly, it seems like there always is when something like this happens. The truth is that many times, there really isn't any reason at all. It's random – whatever reason du jour some crazy person chooses to make it.
Why is the hate so strong? The insanity so irretrievably gone off the cliff? If you figure it out, do me a favor and let me know.