Where do I start? Right here I guess. For a lack of anywhere better. The coffee hasn’t yet kicked in so I’m moving a little slow and for some reason the cat is particularly clingy at the moment- he’s sitting right under my feet. He just ate his breakfast and it won’t be long now before he starts meowing at me to go out- which of course is fine. If there’s one thing about the winter that grates on me it’s when the cat does nothing but lay around the house (just like his Daddy). Since the weather broke his routine includes breakfast then scratching by the door or asking me to come open it for him.


That’s all well and good and I know how he feels. The windows are open as it’s finally temperate enough and the trend is only onward and upward. The grass is greening, the dogwoods are blooming and the trees are leafing out, along with lots of personal positive change.  Why don’t things change during the cold dark winter when I need it most? It seems growth and rejuvenation perennially go hand-in-hand with the natural world. How one can’t believe there’s more at work in the universe than just we humans is beyond me.

Do you believe there’s more at work?

So yes positive changes, balmier weather and excuse me while I let the cat out.

It’s funny how when there’s a crisis or calamity the internet and Facebook especially go wild. I guess for those who still watch TV or listen to the radio it may be the same, but for those of us who spend time virtually, Facebook is where we share our collective experience- the new town square. Yesterday I found out about the bombing in Boston by coming home and turning on the computer. I immediately knew something was wrong. How could I not with the headlines and quotes and angst running down the page? Although I sat here alone I could feel the confusion and horror. I spent time reading and watching and sharing the news and couldn’t help shed a little tear. Why do we keep going through what we go through? You’d think we’d be desensitized to such things but I think it’s the opposite. Whenever we go through a quiet period with nothing dramatic happening, something strikes.

What will become of us?

This new town square gets every Tom, Dick and Harry posting every kind of random thing. The facts and who-said-whats, the condolences and tributes, the conspiracy theories, etc. Me included (well minus the conspiracies!) After a couple of hours of this then came anger. Anti-US anger seemingly aimed at those who were feeling bad about the tragedy, justifying or minimizing it? Kind of like blaming the rape victim, that whole mentality. Why should people feel bad when the US is asking for it, killing people the world over every day?

I get your point.

But where’ve you been? Why are you silent otherwise and choose now to interject? Why not try and make a difference in a constructive way instead of putting people down when they’re down? Yes it’s true we’ve been waging war and yes it’s true that it’s wrong. Personally I’m a pacifist and believe in war when it’s to protect ourselves directly and when all else fails, as opposed to any type of imperialistic and dubious intervention in a far off land. Whether you agree or not is your business but that’s where I’m coming from on the subject. You don’t have to agree. If I’ve learned anything over the last decade it’s that my country’s unilateral actions overseas hasn’t done me or my neighbors a hill of beans of good. It’s certainly not waged on MY behalf. I mean it helped break the bank here didn’t it? And I particularly don’t believe in sending our kids thousands of miles away to die for the wrong reasons.

The world as I see it.

Still although I believe there’s a time and a place for everything, everyone does have a right to say whatever the hell they want, whenever and however they want. The new town square. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. Just like you don’t have to like this.

I just have to tolerate it.


16 thoughts on “TOWN SQUARE

  1. Well said. Everyone is so consumed with hate. I don’t get it. I found out the same way, btw. It is the new town square.

  2. Yep. One of the downsides of the virtual town square is how easy it is to sub-divide, go tribal. Another being, the town square as a public space with a modicum of manners and norms is subverted by the hyper-individuality of just hitting “send.”

    • Right Doug? Tries the patience no doubt and makes me sad for those who are trying to make sense of it all and grieving. But really primitive. The more things change the more they stay the same! 🙂

  3. Yes I do believe there is something at work apart from and greater than me, you, us. What it is, I have absolutely no idea 🙂

    And all the sudden comments and despair at what happened in Boston, are justified, as nobody wants this stuff to happen and it is tragic. But there are thousands dying every day in other parts of the world and we only seem to react urgently,with such passion and utter horror when its on our doorstep

    Thats my penny-worth anyway. And of course my thoughts and prayers are with the Boston victims.

  4. I also believe there is something larger at work, Pete; I have to because of all the horrible things happening here in our world “today.” And I also agree with Christine in that all the comments and sadness are justified about the tragic events in Boston, but after awhile, I had to sign off…I didn’t feel like participating and simply “liking” a post for the sake of “liking” a post…maybe that’s just me, I don’t know…sometimes I think it would be better if we rewound and didn’t have the instant communication.

    I don’t mean to be desensitized because I still shed tears and my heart breaks, no matter what, but it’s just too much, at times..and all the hate? Well, that’s another chapter in itself! I don’t know what the answer is, but it is frightening to actually feel that there really isn’t a safe place anymore…marathons, movie theaters, and the list goes on…

    My thoughts and prayers are with all those who suffer in our world, regardless of their reasons. Sometimes we complain about something so simple, then stop to think about what others are experiencing and it’s an eye opener…okay, time to end this long reply! I don’t even know if any of this makes sense because it’s early here, but I hope it does! 🙂

    • It can happen anywhere no doubt is how I see it and that’s scary. Anyplace anytime. And your comment makes total sense. It’s all horrifying and was really a bit much for me yesterday too. Sitting on the computer it seemed for awhile the sadness was appropriate, then it turned to rage and I just wasn’t having it. BLEH.

      • Oh and yes the instant communication plus the “over and over” of it is tedious. Best to step away. I don’t need to keep rehashing it in my brain nor do I need to know every last detail. Especially when we have so many tragedies. Who can really keep track anymore?

  5. The internet is a host of miscommunication and we are failing miserably. In some ways, the internet and social media has proven to be a tremendous catalyst to change, sparking conversations and ideas away from our computers. Leading people to causes and concerns they might never have been aware of. But unfortunately we’re also forced to sift through what we experienced yesterday, where people express anger and concern, press enter and never have to look anyone in the eye.

    Trying to make sense out of yesterday, and the other tragedies that continue to take place, the internet and our keyboard diminishes our hearing and social etiquette. Right? So many are like… BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH YOU AND HIM AND THEM AND THEM AND THEM AND YOU!!!!!!! But really, maybe thats people in pain from so much fear they don’t really know what to do with it. It’s scary. If you think about it.

    My hope is for people to take the conversation off the internet and not be afraid of the discourse. I can’t get to know you on the internet, but across the fence post, or dinner table, then we can talk and move towards a greater understanding of our differences.

  6. Provocative – ‘Social Media’ – ‘The Good & The Bad’ – &, Here to stay, um?! Here in Charlottesville, Monday nite’s program “Voices from the Civil Rights Movement”, (at the Jefferson School Afro American Center, sponsored by UVA’s School of Political Policy), began with a Moment of Silence for what had happened in Boston.


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