Monday, April 15, 2013

Nihilism and the Boston Marathon...My A to Z post for Tuesday.

I was going to right about being nominated. I was nominated earlier today for a Blog Award. It made me feel good. It made me feel happy. I was excited and couldn't wait to sit down and chat with you, my friends and readers about it.

And then the day got ugly. Ugly with the kind of fear and terror and worry and fright that only senseless harm and destruction can cause. Ugly that someone, singular or plural, would willingly take a wonderful, harmless, dream and turn it into a nightmare.

I only found out about it because I was checking Twitter. And you, my Twitter friends, were so gracious, so moved and hurt and caring and touched by what happened that you stopped talking about books. You stopped talking about writing and finding an agent and getting published and all the ordinary, mundane aggravations of your day. You stopped talking about what you were doing for lunch or whether I should read this book over that or whether publishers who steal from writers should be sent to jail.

You turned to what really mattered, to the news and to the agony and the worry and the sorrow of the people who where there, or who watched it, or who waited; like me, to see if a friend was okay. You turned to what you could do to help, to calm and to share news and prayers and hugs and handkerchiefs. You turned to what a community, electronic or otherwise, really is: a group of people who seek to provide for the greater good of even the least of us.

My thanks and my everlasting friendship and respect go to Susan Adrian (@susan_adrian) who shared a prayer with me for a co-worker running this morning. My thanks to Sarah Wendell (@SmartBitches) who immediately tweeted about donating blood. To Barry Lyga (@barrylyga) who's first thoughts were for the marathoners he flew with from Minnesota the other day. And to the hundreds, if not thousands of others who shared news, grief, hope and prayer for Boston today.

And now? Now I'm just plain mad. I'm freakin' pissed. I'm more pissed than I've been in a long, long time. And let me tell you, this is not a good place for me to be. I'm not a nice person when I'm pissed. I can't even pretend to be nice when I'm pissed. I'm every bit as ugly as the people who did this to us.

I lived in New York during the original terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. I have a "Sailor of the Year" plaque awarded to me almost exactly ten years before the WTC fell. I lost a dear friend, who I had ENCOURAGED to stay in the Navy and seek commissioning, the day the USS COLE was bombed. I have lost more friends, co-workers and fellow service members then I wish to count to the war on terrorism. And I sleep, every night, with a man who is still chased by shadows of things he should never have seen during 22 years serving this country.

And for what? So some Nihilist punks can make us afraid to spend the day challenging our own doubts? So some fucked up punks who don't like their lives, our lives or someone elses lives can take the chicken shit road to perdition? Really? REALLY?

My dictionary defines Nihilism as "a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless and  that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths." 

It goes on to say that it is also "a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility."

And yet, they kill the innocent. They steal our sense of security and destroy the GOOD things we all look forward to. A baseball game. A trip to Disneyland. A good, long run.

Mother Fuckers. They need to spend a little time looking in the mirror. A little time looking deep inside themselves, at the darkness and senselessness of their own actions. But they won't. They're too cowardly to do that. Too frightened. Too small.

And us? What do we need to do? We need to KEEP going to ball games and Disneyland and movie theaters and marathons. We need to keep tweeting and blogging and writing stories and reaching out to each other, though our arms may never be long enough and our only connection is the small bit of energy found between our computers. We need to keep doing what WE want to do, when WE want to do it.

We might be scared. We might be worried. We might be frightened and cowering and looking over our shoulders. But we can't give up. We can never give up. We can never let them change our lives, our hopes or our dreams.

Because if we do, if we give them that least little bit of credibility, they win. And they can never win. Never.

(I should probably apologize for the cursing and the language and the general attitude in this post. But I won't. I can't. I'm still mad. And JulieAnne would be mad at me. Good run, Jules! God bless and I can't wait to see you with your BAA medal around your neck!)


  1. Hey Barb,

    Thanks to you and Hubby for your service to our country and as you said, we *must* keep going with our normal lives, otherwise they will win - but they won't as long as we have people like you who volunteer to protect the rest of us.

  2. Thanks, Mark - and same to you and yours. I remember why you live where you do and take care of the kids. We're all in it together.

    It's Humanity, man. That's what it's all about.

  3. So so soooo sorry for this devastating attack on the marathoners. Heard about it this morning on the radio. Headline news. Thoughts and prayers for all those injured, dead, for their families, for those helping. *^&%^$#(**(& to the pathetic bombers - cowards is too pale a word.
    As ordinary human beings we will never give up the fight to scent out these low-life. Never.

  4. Thank you, Susan - and all the others who have sent their prayers and wishes to Boston.

  5. It's too bad that there are people who must resort to violent behavior directed toward innocent people. There are far better ways of expressing disagreement and discontent. And I appreciate your apology for the unneeded profanity. In a way screaming and irrational use of language is the verbal equivalent of terrorist acts. We should reflect upon our words and what impact we are trying to convey with them.

    Sorry if I'm coming across as taking a moral high ground, but I was lashed out against yesterday for my personal distaste for profanity by parties using profanity in their personal attack against me. For what purpose?

    Don't mean to lecture, but I just feel like saying something if I think somebody intelligent might be listening. You're right, we need to go about our lives and not let people with small minds make us afraid to live.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    1. No need for you to apologize, Arlee. Profanity in this, and other instances, is a cognitive choice. I have the vocabulary and the means to use other words to express myself, but in the heat and passion of the moment, these are the words I felt most appropriate for expressing my feelings. And there is a reason my blog is named "no filter."

      I respect both those who are able to apply that filter and those who are not. Our freedom of speech and freedom of expression are intrinsically tied to the performance of these types of acts.