From Brooklyn to Boston
I’ve been away from this blog for the last week, partly because I have been working diligently on a screenplay that needs to be finished by May 1st, and moreso because I have been riveted by the events in Boston this past week.
I’m not going to comment on the events or the suspects; not about who they are, and what they did, and what they believe, or what I think should happen to them (him). I simply don’t know the facts yet. Maybe I never will. But I do know this; in a civilized society, everyone gets a lawyer. Manson got a lawyer. Bundy got a lawyer. Hell, even Eichmann got a lawyer. If we are going to call ourselves the beacon of greatness, we should hold ourselves to a higher standard than the rest of the world.
Aside from my constant rhetoric about how much the Red Sox and the Pats suck, I do love the city of Boston. I’ve been there twice and each time was a great experience. It’s a city rich in history and most of it’s history is tied to the birth of this country. I still think that they talk funny, and I will continue to step on them every time a NY team sends them home in tears, but I was extremely proud and awed at the way that Bostonians handled themselves in what is surely a week that they will never forget. I’m also terribly proud about the way that my fellow NYer’s stood up and supported their brothers and sisters from the north.
And once again, I’m extremely proud to be an American.
But I’m also embarrassed to be a human being. I’ve never understood the depraved disregard for human life that some groups and individuals show for each other. Other animals kill for food and/or survival. We kill for political ideology and parking spaces. It boggles my mind at times.
As a NYer on 9/11, I can distinctly remember the helpless and impotent feelings that I encountered over not being able to do anything to change the course of events. For weeks and months I found myself pouring over everything I could read or watch about the attacks, and the survivors, and the heroes. After about a year, I had reached my limit and then for the next few years, I couldn’t watch or listen to anything related to 9/11. If the conversation drifted in that direction, I would either try and change the subject or simply leave the room.
On that Tuesday morning, I did walk through the WTC about an hour before the first plane hit, but other than that, I had no direct connection to the events; I didn’t get hurt, I didn’t lose a loved one; my home was still intact. Why was I so emotionally attached to the events for a period or time, and then so disconnected?
In the ensuing years, we have all seen other tragedies; Katrina, the tsunami, the Haiti earthquake, hurricane Sandy, Aurora, Newtown, but none of them had the profound efffect that the events in Boston had this week. This was different. It was a deliberate attack on a city and its people. I remember how that felt; how violated we all felt. For a long time, I didn’t feel like a part of America. My only allegiance was to NY. Even as the rest of the country was mourning with us and supporting us, I still felt like we were alone. The delays in re-buidling the WTC site certainly didn’t help matters. Now, as I watch the Freedom tower being rebuilt, I’m starting regain that sense of pride. I’ve always had it for my city; the rest of the world, not so much. I think watching the images of broken-hearted Bostonians, steely in their resolve, cheering for the cops and fireman as word spread that the ordeal was over, somehow brought me full circle.
Those residents of Boston, the ones like me who had no skin in the game other than the complete sense of impotence, will heal slowly. The emptiness will fade and someday be replaced by hope and pride, and someday they too will be forced to watch the horrible images of another senseless tragedy, because no amount of gun laws, or foreign wars, or meaningless political rhetoric will stop man’s inhumanity towards his fellow man. And though they think they will somehow break us, they never seem to learn that they only draw us closer.
Sleep well tonight Beantown, New York has your back. Until the next Yankee-Sox series…