Monday, April 23, 2007

Oh, the Children!

Virginia Tech was an unmitigated horror. Those who suffered through it have my utmost sympathy. The nation too is in mourning, and justifiably so. Colleges hold a unique position in society; as the embodiment of a parent's desire to furnish their child with unlimited opportunity, or the embodiment of that child's transformation into adulthood through education, random sexual intercourse and binge-drinking. Colleges thus hold an aura, a nostalgic mystique of safety and security that when shattered, proves all the more horrific.

But to say that the children of today are irreperably scarred by the violent nature of the world? Friggin absurd. For the Beltway Bo-Bo's who cried fat alligator tears over their children's loss of innocence, I offer a brief history of the life of my grandfather.

Pap was born in 1919. He's really old... but not old enough to remember WWI, the bloodiest war in history at that point. He started working for Pittsburgh Terminal Coal in 1933, which puts him at about 14 years old. Look at the bright side, though. People were lucky to have work during the Great Depression, even if it meant weathering deadly miner strikes and even deadlier work conditions. Throw in WWII, a few assassinations, the Cold War, some random killings and a holocaust, and you've got the 20th century... pap's life.

My point is, don't be so fucking lazy as to think this is as bad as it gets. America will face wars substantially more trying, more grave than that in Iraq. As China and Radical Islam rise to fill the violence void left by the end of the Cold War, we will face bloodier days than 9/11 or Virginia Tech. As Asia rises to prominence on a surplus of cheap labor and a deficit of liberal democracy, we will witness increasing economic uncertainty and global instability. Virginia Tech was horrific in its own right, but senseless violence is historically commonplace.

What to say to the kids, then? Steel yourselves, 'cause this ride has just begun.


Mark said...


Amanda said...

nicely put. I hope your pap is well, I've always had so much respect for him.