Monday, April 23, 2007

I'm tired...

God Bless AmericaImage by eschipul via Flickr
And not because I can't seem to go to sleep before four in the morning. I'm tired of everybody showing how human they are by having so-and-so day/moment of something for Virginia Tech. It just seems to me that people have statements and e-mails saved up for such an occasion. I imagine a politician (or other public figure) thinks, "Great! Thirty how many people? The most ever? Huh. This is the perfect chance to show how I have feelings. I'll be the most sympathetic person in the country. Nobody will out sympathize with victim's families more than me!!!!!!"

Then they pull out their fill-in-the-blank message that they use for every tragedy:

"The tragedy (___________________) fills us all with sorrow. My heart goes out to the families of each of the victims of such a senseless act. Tomorrow the world will go on as usual for most of us, but for those directly affected by (___________________) there will be a void which will never be filled. I personally believe (___________________) is wrong. Our prayers will be with the families and we wish them the strength to get through these tough times.

Most definitely sincerely,
(___________________)"

I, for one, do not believe in killing large amounts of people. I also believe most people don't want mass killings to occur. It's not as if somebody doesn't comment on it and assure me they are anti-killing, that I'll hold it against them ("That ass didn't say anything about the shooting at Virginia Tech is a bad thing. He must not think it was a bad thing. I hate that person. Just tell me what the weather is going to be like tomorrow so I can begin my boycott of your station.").

But, nevertheless, people just go on trying to out-sincere each other. The same thing happens after every tragedy. After the September 11 attacks, everyone had American flags on their cars and shirts and this and that. It really annoyed me. I refused to wear the one shirt I had with an American flag pattern on it (a cool Polo shirt that said Ralph Lauren and Polo in red, white and blue in a flag shape). Actually, I haven't wore it since. I was just so sickened by the trendiness of such a mild form of nationalism.

And that's what it is, you know, trendiness. Everyone else is doing it, meaning, now you have to prove your against terrorist attacks or shootings. Why? Doesn't something become meaningless when the reason behind doing it is because everyone else is? If everyone wore American clothing and displayed American flags before the terrorist attacks I wouldn't care as much. But they didn't. And I do.

Now, back to the present. There was one person who said something about the Virginia Tech shooting that I felt was heart felt and didn't try to grandstand...Talib Kweli. At the show that night he threw in one line and then continued on with the show. I thought it was perfect. While he showed he did care about the families and the school, it didn't get to the point where he was using it for himself, for his own personal gain. One line. That's all you need.

You know what else bothered me about this whole thing?

Everday you can turn on the t.v. and see how many people died today in Iraq...and it's not suprising to hear 50 OR MORE. Still, nobody talks a great deal about it, just a cursory mention. Look up other places and you'll see more killings, more death. It's all over the place. Yet, it's as if those lifes mean less than American lives. Do they? I find I tend to devalue the lives of people from other countries becasue I just don't pay attention. I know I care more about American deaths than the deaths of others and it's a terrible thing to say. But even then I still think this could all be a hoax and maybe nobody died and so then I just go about my day all happy and whatnot. Well, maybe that's not totally true, but it's close.

I find myself having to make myself feel things I should feel automatically. Maybe it's playing Grand Theft Auto, watching Rambo a million times or listening to Tupac too much (holding steady at number eight on my Last FM charts!), but I just don't feel sad hearing about terrible things anymore. In order to feel bad (like I think I'm supposed to), I have to think about each family individually and make up a story about a great child they just lost and how bad they must feel.

And that's not the only time that's happened. After the terrorist attacks in 2001, I just felt numb, not sad, or angry, or depressed, just numb. After my grandma died last year I didn't get sad either. Again, I just didn't feel anything. It's a strange feeling. Although I explained that to myself as, well, if anyone is going to make it to heaven it would be her. And, really, heaven has to be great if it's so exclusive. I think I'm the only one in my immediate family who didn't cry. I don't know. Maybe I'm just inhuman and a horrible person.

Eh. I'm tired now. It's past 4:20 am and I want to take a shower and go to sleep. I hope some of this made sense. I did stop a couple of times to give a closer listening to Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" record, which is amazing (and may just leap past The Beatles "Revolver" and Love's "Forever Changes" as my favorite record of all time).
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