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Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Ultra Violence

It's occurred to me that the younger generation is experiencing violence so much more personally than mine did. We had the Vietnam War and assassinations, crazy people like Son of Sam and other serial killers. But these kids are seeing their friends killed in front of them at school, at camp, in the street. It's quite different.

How can anyone process that? I lost dozens of friends in the AIDS epidemic. Though the experience and number of deaths took its toll on we who survived it wasn't like watching people being murdered by a gunman. Let alone a classmate holding the gun.

And in what happened in Norway, the murderer dressed to imply authority and safety and beckoned the kids to him, whereupon he massacred them. That's a kind of psycho that shocks me. That's the kind of psycho I would kill, myself. The restraint the Norwegian police showed in bringing him in is remarkable. I don't think he would've been taken alive in this country, and that's not to say it's to our credit.

We are in a new arena of personally witnessed violence, much more commonplace and likely to happen than in a few past generations. Makes me wish I could talk to the elders, the great-great grandparents, those who saw so much...


Austan said...

And in it all, I've just read the speech by PM Stoltenberg in Oslo's cathedral, which includes this:

"No one has said it better than the AUF girl who was interviewed by CNN: "If one man can show so much hate, think how much love we could show, standing together."

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

The real story here is the young lady who was interviewed by CNN. Her attitude is exactly what the world needs. It would be interesting to know more about her.