INTERNET — Another suicidal man with assault weaponry went out in a blaze of infamy. Headlines stoked his epic kill streak and offered a vanishing thin narrative of the events as officials in law enforcement offered bare facts in ten second bursts throughout the day.
The next afternoon, survivors speak at length of the more grim truths. The blood sacrifice of innocents, their escape from the spontaneous perennial ritual. Slaughter as performance art with a mass audience and a mass appeal. No one is stunned anymore excepting the victims who are now, this time, unexpectedly in the arena.
Each mouth in the stands shouts solutions. They pass before whichever icon of the shooter is least appealing to them personally, disrespecting and dehumanizing it for refreshment. The show is now only a single journalist, perpetually stalling for the next expert’s opinion, yet the seats will be packed for another month at least.
The heckling and shouting intensifies. But I have a hopeful thought. Perhaps I am not imagining the shouts carry a little less conviction. They are as bored as I am of it all. Detached, seeing the bare mechanisms of the story and no longer at all committed to bringing it to an end. Is the tide going out? Probably not. But it has to, one day, doesn’t it? How many men must commit suicide in this now everyday fashion before the carnival of excess fails to generate a sensation?