in Berlin, in Ankara, and in Zurich. I have blogged about violence a lot, always with the same theme: it is pointless and senseless to perpetrate more misery through acts that don't strike at the heart of oppression, but only further it. I don't know any other way to say it or to let people know it. In the Berlin case, the wrong man seems to have been held for a while, but it still looks like an act of terror. In Ankara, the assailant called out the political support of Russia for what was being done in Aleppo--but phrases were used that tied the killer's outlook to al Qaeda. In Zurich, the puzzling thing I find about the reporting is that the shooter of a mosque had "no Islamist link"--why would we suspect a person committing an act of terror against a mosque to be linked to Islam in the first place?
Sometimes, when it seems like horrifying things have happened so closely, it feels like perhaps the world had gone mad, or maybe the people on it have. But I don't think that's the case. It's just that outrages are better reported now, and seem more immediate because we so often have video and first-hand accounts broadcast to us. Humankind, if history gives the accurate indication--has never been entirely well. But days like yesterday make one wonder what the hell we are doing to try and get right. Or if we even are trying at all.
What I'm trying to say is--if this is, as some news outlets have opined "the new normal", then how am I to remark on something "normalized" at all? If this normal isn't even all that new, what insight is there to add? Human nature hasn't changed in some significant way. The tragedy is fresh, and I offer condolences to those appropriate to receive them, and abjuration to those who should have blame assessed. And then we go on. We just do.
None of these acts did anything but hurt people. That is all they did, and won't change a single policy or make anyone feel better about themselves or life as a whole. They won't even stop other people from hurting still other people. People need to learn that hurt is not a language but the absence of sense and hurt after hurt doesn't bring understanding--but rejects the capacity to communicate at all. Force acts on bodies, but it doesn't change what humans are. We are creatures with speech and some capacity to reason. And we need to do these things.
It's the best we have got. Speak truth to power. Make sense. Enlighten. When you don't have words, then wait until they can come. But don't think this darkness helps anything.