Wednesday, April 17, 2013


One of my homes.  Not the one I live in today, but one where I lived for 6+ years, and which still holds a more-than-little piece of my heart.

Where Monday happened.

All my friends are ok, as far as I can tell, none of them were in the vicinity.  Most were at work (while they're proud of Patriots' Day up there, they still don't usually give you the day off unless you managed to score Red Sox tickets), a few were at home.  The physical therapist who helped me in the wake of surgery last year qualified for the Marathon, but opted not to run it this year.

Bostonians in general have been dealing with it amazingly, but not surprisingly.  The news outlets have rightly referred to their heroism, generosity, fearlessness, and humanity.

And I'm not going to dwell on the typical media sensationalizing of tragedy (and I'm certainly not going to dignify crap like this with a response)

What I will spend a little bit of time on are a couple pieces that talk about resilience, toughness, and not giving into the fear that, by definition, feeds terrorism.  Here’s one, from cryptographer and security maven Bruce Schneier in The Atlantic. It’s a good reminder that we get to choose how to react (or overreact) to these horrors, and that giving into our fear is neither necessary nor useful.
We actually have all the power here, and there's one thing we can do to render terrorism ineffective: Refuse to be terrorized.
It's hard to do, because terrorism is designed precisely to scare people -- far out of proportion to its actual danger. A huge amount of research on fear and the brain teaches us that we exaggerate threats that are rare, spectacular, immediate, random -- in this case involving an innocent child -- senseless, horrific and graphic. Terrorism pushes all of our fear buttons, really hard, and we overreact.
But our brains are fooling us. Even though this will be in the news for weeks, we should recognize this for what it is: a rare event. That's the very definition of news: something that is unusual -- in this case, something that almost never happens
And then this one from Dennis Lehane, author of Mystic River, Shutter Island, and a bunch of other Boston-centric work.  I like that this piece confronts Boston's blemishes (which is too weak a word; maybe I should say Boston’s glaring flaws) directly, but wraps them in the resiliency we all can be proud of.
Trust me, we won’t be giving up any civil liberties to keep ourselves safe because of this. We won’t cancel next year’s marathon. We won’t drive to New Hampshire and stockpile weapons. When the authorities find the weak and terminally maladjusted culprit or culprits, we’ll roll our eyes at whatever backward ideology they embrace and move on with our lives.
There’s been a lot of Boston love going on in the media, including some standouts in the sphere of late night comedy, and even the Yankees got in on it, much to their credit (and – you know this – I do not like to give the Yankees credit for anything, but damn, they deserve it for that.)

Also published in The Atlantic, with the caption: A sign saying "New York Loves Boston" is projected on the facade of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, in New York, late on April 15, 2013, hours after the bombings of the Boston Marathon. The work was done by the Illuminator, a guerrilla projection van that was a project of Occupy Wall Street, and members of the the OWS Light Brigade. (© Lucky Tran, The Illuminator collective)

Do what you do. Make the things you make. Definitely keep up with any activist work you're doing.  And send a little love and healing mojo to the Hub.

Oh, and my show opens tomorrow night.

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