I sit here in front of my computer this morning, hopping from headline to headline, trying to find anything other than this Batman tragedy in Colorado to write about. There’s something funny about Nestle and Pedobear. And some pregnant celebrities are making their rounds. Or, I could always talk about the Emmy nominations and snubs that were announced yesterday. Maybe we all need a distraction from this awful news story that has hijacked headlines of seemingly every news source in the world.
But I keep circling back round to this mess. I don’t think I’m ready for a distraction. Not yet, anyway.
At the time of this writing, there’s still very little known about the details surrounding this shooting. We do know that it happened in a packed movie theater during a midnight showing of Batman. We also know that the gunman was 24 years old and was taken, without struggle, into police custody shortly after the shooting. And we know that many people–children included–are dead, and even more–an infant included–are wounded.
And what the hell are we supposed to do with this information? Other than rage and plead and beg for it to stop?
Obviously I don’t have the answer to that. We all work our way through the aftermath of devastation in our own way. Let’s take Twitter for example. Some of us are taking up a cause and channeling our disillusion into a debate about gun control and effective parenting and the damage that comics and cartoons and movies are having on our culture. As deflating as this is to see alongside the mourning of dead children, it’s understandable. It’s an attempt to take control of that which we have no control over. It’s an illusion, of course. It doesn’t work. But it helps.
Others bury themselves in statistics. Numbers are tangible and organized, nothing like the chaos of evil and murder.
Other still, people like me, try to delve into the coverage and learn as much as possible about these slain people. As if knowing details about their appearances, the clothing that they wore that night, the music they liked–any of these things–will help to resurrect them if only for a moment.
Whatever our method, I think it’s important that we remember what’s happening here. Each of us is trying to wrestle with some massive and intangible monster. Sometimes that fight looks like anger. Sometimes it looks like disillusionment. Sometimes it is simply a tremendous pile of sorrow and helplessness.
Let’s be gentle with each other. Let’s be self-aware and kind and do our best to shine a little extra light into a day that is so filled with darkness.