Today we all stand together and mourn the tragic events that occurred during the Boston Marathon yesterday. It’s perhaps ironic that such an iconically global event should set the stage for such a vile crime against humanity. On this day there is no American-ness, there is no Massachusetts, no Boston, we are just people collectively mourning the horror of a terroristic act.
This is not a piece to address what kind of terrorism happened: should it be domestic or international, it doesn’t make an ounce of difference. What this is is pure terrorism. Premeditated attacks designed to create panic, terror, amongst the greater public.
And that’s just it. That’s what terrorism is.
We write frequently about the symbolic warfare of hockey. Hockey is filled with violent, evocative images of men engaged in battle, and we aren’t afraid to channel those images in our writing. Sports are religious: elite warriors don the totem symbol and engage in a series of feats of skill against similarly bespoke warriors. Ultimately only one can emerge as the truly chosen. We as fans partake in hero worship. We develop superstitions, we set aside hours of our lives learning the catechism: the rules and regulations, we participate in the mass, how many times do you find yourself screaming at your television, and for what reason?
And maybe we promulgate the problem, we glorify the violence, we make it a holy symbol of purification. And maybe we shouldn’t, when violent symbols permeate a blog about sports, it doesn’t seem unfair to ask, where hasn’t violence spread? It’s easy to say that no one reading our blog should mistake our language for a call to arms. But maybe we do need a change of pace. You can’t convince me that a violent media has created a violent culture in which we live, people have always been divided, and they’ve always been afraid of the “foreign other,” whether they should be separated by location, by language, by skin tone, by race, in the course of human history the reasons have never been important.
But we need more joy, more laughter and happiness in life. And that’s what we want you to take from these words, before you end up throwing blame around, whether it should be targeted at those who perpetrated the crime, whether it should be targeted at “media bias,” whether it should be an indictment of the American system to catch and adequately punish those responsible, or whatever. Just let it go. The old adage is that only in the event of tragedy do we find the good in people. It’s a pity, but hopefully what we all find within ourselves over the coming days won’t be lost again as soon as the winds shift away from the streets of Boston. Hopefully.