July 20th, 2012

planet

small comment on random violence

I grew up knowing about John Lennon. My parents were huge Beatles fans, I knew all the songs, and I knew how he died... I was only six months old when he was killed but it's one of those things you don't learn, you just grow up knowing about it. At some age I asked my dad who killed John Lennon, and he said he didn't know. "They said the guy wanted to make a name for himself, that was his reason. Well that's awful, obviously he doesn't deserve to be famous, so I've made it a point to never remember his name." On purpose, every time the anniversary of the shooting comes up, I turn off the radio if I hear the name. In fact it really pisses me off that they even say it. Today I can honestly and proudly say that I have no idea who it is.

Then every year there's more violence in the world and it bugs me how much the news tells us who does is. Who cares? These aren't names I ever want to know. There's just evil, like a cloud, and they're part of that... faceless and forgettable. Maybe they're a microcosm of some mental illness or represent a societal issue, maybe there's something we could do to help. But as themselves they're very small.

Today I remembered Christina-Taylor Green, the little girl who was shot in Tuscon because she'd just been elected to her student council and wanted to meet her congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, so she was at the safeway. She was doing such a noble thing and must have had a nice family who'd take her to something like that, who knows what she would have gone on to do if she hadn't been murdered? Maybe wonderful things, maybe she would have been famous. So if there's a limit to the things I can keep in my brain, I'd rather remember the name of that girl, and keep turning off the radio if I hear anyone less deserving.