You know, I was going to write a frothy little blog about what I did last week. I might right it later but not right now. I just can’t. Why? I dunno, maybe because people have been killed at a goddamned pop concert tonight. Sure it’s a long way away from me, there’s a whole ocean between us, but for whatever reason, I just can’t ignore it anymore. For years I’ve heard about all the death and destruction all across the world but it didn’t really seem all that real and I didn’t really engage with it. I said “oh how sad” and moved on because I couldn’t feel all the pain in the world, I hadn’t the bandwidth.
Maybe it’s because I live in New York now, or because there’ve been too many too close to me, but I’m not able to shake it off anymore and tonight I am burning with anger. I’ve never been angry about something like this before. I’ve been sad and I’ve been scared but I’ve never felt like this. How on earth are we meant to make the world better or even stop it getting worse when we’re looking over our shoulders all the time. It’s not making us nicer or smarter, it’s making us scared, suspicious, and xenophobic.
The worst bit is that there seems to be nothing we can do. We’re in an awful bind where we either prove their point and radicalize more people, or we continue to live in a world where terrorist attacks seem increasingly de rigeur. And then we trample each other when we hear a taser go off because we’re so tuned to fight or flight. We’ve decided that this is not a world for calm consideration or rational study and we might be right, but I think we can do better.
It’s the awful confluence of thinking that we can do better and not having a single damn clue how to do it that’s made me feel so angry. I am helpless and increasingly vulnerable and everything I was taught about goodness and morality seems not to apply. So I’m left with very little to say but fuck you. Fuck you who drive cars down sidewalks and into crowds, fuck you who build bombs and kill innocent people, and fuck you who shoot innocent strangers.
And Steven Pinker, I don’t care about your stats, I don’t think the world’s getting safer or less violent—at least not anymore.
So, what did I do this week? Well I had trouble sleeping—whether from the heat or my own idiosyncrasies, who knows. I ate dumplings and a poké bowl, and some phenomenal french pastries. I went dancing, I went to the Met. I saw beautiful creative high fashion and beautiful ancient Chinese artefacts. I shared dinner with some of the dearest people I know at a housewarming in New York, and I worried about leaving the stove on or forgetting to send a work email. And now I’m too exhausted and too frustrated to make that sound all pretty and light. I’ve heard too many news reels that start with tragedy and end in terror and I’m really, really tired.
I don’t know if we can do better, but we’ve got to.
The Salsa Girl