LOS ANGELES, April 25, 2013—When a tragedy like the Boston Marathon bombings takes place, the temptation is to just withdraw into a quiet, safe place. As after 9/11, when people longed for the halcyon days that existed on September 10th, 2001.
Those days are gone. Blown up in the hate of a vengeful people.
Like a bad fraternity initiation “Hell Week” began on April 15th, 2013. A day to gripe about taxes turned into Bostonians suffering a lethal and life altering blow. A man was arrested for sending letters containing the lethal poison Ricin to President Obama and several United States Senators. That situation turning bizarre when the FBI admitted they had the wrong man and dropped all charges.
Capping off the tragedy trifecta was an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, that killed several people and wounded over two hundred more.
For the lucky ones, those not in West or Boston, tragedies give us pause and perspective. Think about what the “news” was in the weeks preceding the Boston bombings.
Obama canceled White House tours , threatening to cancel the White House Easter Egg roll due to sequester budget “cuts.”
As if this was not bad enough, people were watching programs involving Real Housewives and Kardashians. Even worse than Katy Perry expressing political opinions was America’s youth listening to her.
How can people focus on such tripe when the world is on fire and radical Islamists are trying to kill us all? How can we win the War on Terror when we cannot even win the war against nonsense?
The sad reality is that Kardashistan, in a warped way, contributes something positive to society. We criticize the media for focusing on nonsense, only to develop “Boston fatigue” when every day brings more depressing news.
If the Tsarnaev brothers are the new reality, maybe the fantasyland of “reality” television is not so bad. Nobody listens to Hollywood celebrities in the wake of terrorist attacks, but hearing celebrities spouting off is preferable to Americans being blown to bits.
Some conflate focusing on everyday ridiculousness with an America at peace. Obliviousness is not peace. Ignorance should not always be bliss.
Several years ago liberal radio host Alan Colmes asked, “What should we do, talk about the War on Terror 24 hours a day?”
My voice screamed at the television, “Yes!” Perhaps not. Maybe I am wrong.
As the hard reality of Boston fades into the background, there are serious issues to deal with.
Obama is determined to push through gun control legislation despite a stinging Senate defeat.
Iran is still building a nuclear bomb.
Syria murders its own citizens while the world watches powerless.
The murder of four Americans in Benghazi by radical Islamists still needs to be investigated.
Sequestration is now being used as an excuse to delay airline flights so Americans will demand the GOP surrender to Obama’s insistence on higher taxes and more spending.
New Jersey and Virginia have 2013 elections, and the 2014 election will soon be upon us. Several presidential contenders are already jockeying for 2016 positioning.
It’s enough to make somebody either throw the television out the window or watch the Kardashians and then throw the television out the window.
Yelling at the lighthearted among us to get serious is about as useful as telling serious people to lighten up. Being so tightly wound that the head explodes from worry shares a common thread with refusing to care about anything serious in this world.
Both lifestyles are unhealthy and prevent leading a balanced life well lived.
Several days before Boston, the Fox News show “Redeye” had foreign policy expert K.T. McFarland as a panelist. Naturally, host Greg Gutfeld asked her opinion about rapper Snoop Dogg.
Ms. McFarland explained that she used to teach nuclear physics at MIT. She hung out with Henry Kissinger. She had no idea who this “Snoopy Dog” fellow was, and inquired if he was the beagle from Charlie Brown cartoons.
While that interaction would not have taken place right after the bombings, maybe it is time to return to harmless fare. Even if our peacetime lives are tiny moments between acts of war, cherishing them may be better than dismissing them as infantile avoidance.
On September 17th, 2001, David Letterman interviewed Dan Rather during the first late night comedy program following the Manhattan terrorist acts of 9/11.
Amidst serious questions and answers and plenty of tears, Letterman asked Rather if the terrorists hated us because “they don’t have cable.”
Returning to normal comes with a price. It means an end to unity and a return to fighting. We don’t need to “come together” during peacetime so long as we rally together when it matters most.
Red Sox and Yankees fans need to return to hating each other. The Celtics and Knicks need to stop hugging and start trash-talking if they face each other. Republicans and Democrats can speak about what does not matter provided they get the job done when it truly does matter.
If focusing on petty squabbles and mind-numbingly awful television is the price to pay for not being bombed on any given day, then even Katy Perry can be tolerated for a few minutes. Well, maybe. Or not.
For news junkies, slow news days seem like the end of the world. When real news happens, it often is potentially the end of the world. The cliche about no news being good news rings true.
The serious and the nonsense are yin and yang. They both matter. My friend and I watched the news as the world burned. At the darkest moment, his six year old son had the last and most important words.
“Dad, Unca’ Eric, can we have ice cream, play Star Wars, and watch Dora the Explorer?”
Why yes, young lad, we can. That is an excellent idea.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS. Follow us: @wtcommunities on Twitter