personal, philosophy, politics

Skipping "denial" — moving straight to "anger"

If you live near Washington and aren’t one of those total *^&#@s who despise all things relating to the Redskins, you’re grieving today for Sean Taylor, whose utterly senseless death has shocked the region.

But another death in the news caught my attention as well. Quiet Riot’s Kevin DuBrow, not an old man by any reckoning, suddenly passed away.

It’s easy to think of DuBrow and company as a little cartoonish. That was their image for a while, and it worked for them. But these are very real people. If you want a reminder, check the official site of drummer Frankie Banali, who shares his pain with an eloquence you might not expect from a guy whose band bashed out Metal Health back in the day.

I’ve been home with MMM Jr. today, and as entertaining and lovable as he is, I’ve been feeling kind of angry. The way I figure it, death and decay are always going to be in greater supply than any of us want. The great idiocy of mankind is that we invite more of them into our lives.

We don’t know the details of why Taylor was shot. We don’t know anything about DuBrow’s death. But at some point, the message has to sink in. We as a species are absolute failures in the most basic need of living creatures — taking care of each other.

I don’t hear any politicians talking about such things — they’re all reciting the same banter we’ve been hearing for decades, and the “citizen journalists” that are supposedly replacing those of us who are being bought out and laid off (speaking in generalities here — last I checked, I still had a job) aren’t doing any better at broadening the conversation beyond the same rhetorical tricks carefully coached by the Vogon warlords who serve as their strategists.

Can we do better? I sure as hell hope so.

(Back to more uplifting fare tomorrow.)


2 thoughts on “Skipping "denial" — moving straight to "anger"

  1. First, RIP Mr. DuBrow.

    You know more about the sports world than I, but I have to wonder if Sean Taylor’s murder can be described as a culmination of sorts of the recent trend of robberies and other attacks on black athletes, and the otherwise complete indifference of (mostly white) sports fans.

    The murder itself is undeniably sad, and no ensuing explanation or circumstance will change that. But I want to point out that the lack of response to such trend, if it even is a trend, is a different kind of sad.

  2. Neel, it’s actually worse than that. The indifference is reinforced by stereotypes. Mostly white sports fans are leaving messages on our site and elsewhere essentially implying that Taylor and his ilk are less than human, that we shouldn’t be surprised or even alarmed when this sort of thing happens to a “thug.” Some of our readers are even saying “a certain demographic,” and I’m assuming they’re not talking about the “greater than $250,000 annual income” demographic.

    It’s particularly aggravating in Taylor’s case because he had some “thug” behavior in his past but had taken great steps to change thanks to his teammates, coaches and — most importantly and tragically — his 18-month-old daughter. (It’s entirely possible, of course, that someone from the old neighborhood was bearing a grudge, but that’s not quite the same issue.)

    We have a handful of readers who are calling these racist scumbags “cowards.” And they are, not just because they’re anonymous punks on a message board. They’re cowards because they’ve contrived a defense mechanism in their heads so that they don’t have to care that an 18-month-old girl just lost her father to a senseless tragedy.

    The world seems to be a better place when tragedies only happen to “others” who had some reason for suffering. We can write off people who die from floods or tsunamis because hey, they “chose” to live near the water. (Funny how these same people will change their tunes when people in flood zones in Bangladesh or Central America “choose” to live in, say, North Dakota.)

    So basically, we refuse to face grim reality, which means we’re somewhat powerless to change it.

    And that explains the lack of response. The media can’t do change that because we’re so afraid of going out of business and losing our jobs that we’ve ceased doing them.

    (Geez — I swear I’m not really in this bad of a mood!)

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