There’s something awry in the world.

My RSS sidebar widget reports:
183 killed in 4 Baghdad blasts
College gunman disturbed teachers, classmates

It feels like we see the former every day. 183 killed in 4 Baghdad blasts. Did you even react to reading that? Or dismiss it, inconsequential? One hundred eighty-three people. In one day. I don’t know if repeating it in any other form can any further impress the number. People with plans, people with friends, people with families.

But my how much more exciting to talk about these other people with plans, friends, and families. How much more interesting the TV says that their lives are. How much more garish that they were slain while in college. :Gasp: I’m in college… it could have been me! </sarcasm>

What a pointless argument. I don’t mean to play a numbers game, or in any way downplay the events in Virginia, but seriously. The people killed daily in Iraq and other places of violence, unrest, and war around the world are often perfectly innocent people just living their lives. Why, they don’t even have to be in college! They could be sitting in their homes, walking to work, or any number of things that every person on the planet does daily. Why is it so much more shocking to hear of 32 slain by a suicidal gunman than 183 slain by bombs? Why isn’t it more disturbing that we are not shocked to hear of 183 slain by bombs?

Did you even remember the 183 from the start of this post? Or have you already forgotten them, too?

5 thoughts on “Awry

  1. Jared Mason

    yeah or maybe its the fact that people die in Iraq because there’s a war going on there and we are all used to that because there is a war (and plus no one cares about people dying in other parts of the world especially when they aren’t Americans) … and you don’t EXPECT to die or hear about people dying in college from a crazy son of a bitch with an attitude problem who decides to wack his fellow students.

    I mean the Virginia Tech shooting is ONLY JUST the worst mass killing on U.S. soil in history…but yeah who cares right?

  2. Colin M Post author

    Like I said, I don’t want to make it a numbers thing. I’m not saying it’s any less awful than it is, I’m just saying: why don’t we also care about those people dying in Iraq and other such places?

    Oh, and I don’t think 32 really holds a candle to say, the Civil War. But nobody thinks about the fact that people died then, either… Or, more recently, how about 9/11? I mean, yeah, it’s screwed up, but why is it any less shocking that somebody flew a plane into just any other day at the office?

  3. Josh

    What about the people who die every minute from starvation or poverty? There is very little to be learned from what happened in Virginia. It was an isolated incident; the causes have already been well-established, and 32 lives lost isn’t really that significant.

    The people who pretend to care are the same ones filling up their SUVs with sweet corn without thinking twice about what type of impact it has on the rest of the world.

    Then again, there isn’t a heck of a lot to be said about human life anyway. If human pain and suffering is somehow important in a macro cosmic sense, then what of the pain of animals, insects, or even bacteria? Life’s potentially-extreme reach is something most humans can’t comprehend.


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