Kristen reminded me of Jeff Daniels’ existence so Instarted rewatching The Newsroom. Typical Aaron Sorkin formula. Frank Capra American optimism with sardonic humor.
It reminded me of when I used to watch MSNBC daily. When I used to do political stuff.
News cycle adrenaline junkie stuff.
Midway through S1:E4 you hear Coldplay’s “Fix You” (manipulative in a not creative way) and you see an associate producer look at her computer and run to the anchor with news.
“A congresswoman in Arizona’s been shot.”
I immediately start crying. “Oh fuck. I forgot about this episode,” I say to myself.
Grief is a strange thing.
I kept tabs on Nikola yesterday as he watched the Taylor Hawkins tribute concert. I had the concert running on mute in the background as I did other things and tuned in occasionally. Wembly Stadium. Packed to the gills. All the coolest rock stars (and surviving members of Rush) onstage, in what is a once in a lifetime event. All because something terribly tragic happened.
Is it ok to take joy in collective grief?
When Gabby was shot, Tucson was a mess. Six people murdered at point blank range. Fifteen people survived being shot. Washington came to Tucson. Not just Obama, everyone. To a packed McKale Stadium with overflow at the football stadium and all the rest of Tucson watching on TV. It felt like a rock concert. People in other parts of the country didn’t understand why there was so much cheering.
Grief is complicated. It endures. It changes your DNA. It affects your soul.
I looked at social media for a bit this morning. I’ve stopped listening to NPR. There were Beto O’Rourke ads promoting a ban on assault weapons for people under 21. What a sickness to believe anyone should be able or want to own a machine of destruction at all. Why are we bargaining with this industry of death when they will find every work around possible to put fear in people’s heads and guns in people’s hands?
How do you mobilize collective grief into collective action?
I don’t have any answers. What I do is turn pain into dispassion and compassion. And figure out what my skill set and interests allow me to do to help others. To do more good than harm. And to persist in the fight against nihilism.