But I cannot run away from life. Where there is internet and TV, life follows.
Steve headed to Minneapolis this weekend for an internet broadcasting conference. I decided to hustle the dogs into the car and escape to Lake Michigan. I planned to read, to write, to spend a bit of time with a friend. I introduced her to Flipboard for the I Pad. I tutored her on its connection with Twitter and Facebook. Then I started adding “follows” to her Twitter feed.
I explained how she should pick a few key news sources, and follow them. Then, when she awakened and reached for her I-Pad, a Flipboard digest of trusted sources would inform her of the latest happenings, with links and pictures already accessed. Tribune, Sun Times, CNN Breaking, MSNBC and Slate were “followed.”
I added a few of my favorite jokesters so there would be levity- Albert Brooks, Steve Dahl…and a few of her metaphysical pals- Deepak, Oprah…and said good night.
At 8:00 AM, she opened her new aggregator; Flipboard conspired to take her to Aurora, Colorado and a scene of confusion, death and despair. I doubt if that’s what friends are for. It IS what computers do.
We felt compelled to turn on CNN, and be informed. It is mid afternoon, and we have seen the same news loop over and over. There are slivers of new information encrusted with repeated details. There has been speculation and amateur phone video. Harrowing eyewitness accounts. 911 tapes that indicate amazing professionalism. Images that illustrate an excellent and immediate response from the authorities. We have seen enough now.
We live in a culture of immediate gratification and reaction. On this day, we do not need to have an answer, or a place to lay blame. The lives ruined or ended by this incursion deserve better than speculation, politicization and exploitation.
We will have years to ruminate on the causes and the sadness of this day. For this day, I think I will say a few prayers. Tragedy has touched many families, and in ripples, it strafes us all.
Let us hope to find understanding for the pain that programs a young man to do such harm. Let us try to cure the causes so they will not infect others. For the moment, we cannot expect answers. This knot of evil and violence will take time to translate. The shooter is alive. We do not need to speculate. The roots of the evil will be unlocked.
We DO need to create a commitment to peace- in our hearts, our homes, the world. Violence and hopelessness are epidemic today. I think we will head for the lake and embrace the peace it brings. I have no answers or wisdom. It is a time to commit resources and determination to understanding and preventing such events. But that will have to wait.
Today, we mourn. Hug our loved ones a little tighter. Convince them that this is an anomaly. Hope that our words are true. And then, when we can move forward, we need to work to see that we never become inured to mass murder. Whatever it takes, we must commit.
For now, CNN, I’ve seen enough. You may have the exclusive details, like that porta potties have been delivered to the suspect’s parking lot, indicating a long term defusing mission. But this factoid adds no wisdom, only clutter. I think I can wait for a better understanding. We all can.