The Onion summed up the events of the past few days best in yesterday’s article:
Citizens across the nation confirmed today that, Jesus, this week […]
“Seriously, can we wrap this up already?” Maryland resident James Alderman told reporters, echoing the thoughts of all 311 million Americans, who have just about reached their weekly goddamned quota for carnage, misery, confusion, heartbreak, and rage.
Yep, this is one of those goddamned weeks for which I bet all you guys saw MORE than enough news — BUT there’s been so much misinformation (and opinion pieces about tweets about said misinformation) that we’re all like WHAT?So here’s the real deal on what went down:
1. Explosions. Monday’s annual Boston Marathon that attracts runners & cheering fans around the world was interrupted by what Obama called “an act of terror” perpetrated by, it seems, these guys in baseball hats, whom the FBI wanted our help identifying and who turn out to be immigrants from Chechnya. There was horror and there was hope on the finish line & beyond; accompanying harrowing stories of “traumatic amputations” among some of the world’s most dedicated runners & the death of utter innocents, we hear of Bostonions throwing open the doors to their homes (<– first spreadsheet to make me all teary), the hack group “Anonymous” Facebook posting on behalf of the hate group “Westboro Baptist Church,” and Patton Oswalt (who won the internet this week) telling us:
I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem — one human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths. But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet […] So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred, or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”
And some seriously GOOD reporting shoved in between all the racing-to-be-first-ness — like this profound article from Iraq/Afganistan war vets’ perspective, and this one pointing out that it’s a lot easier to say “we refuse to be terrorized” than to act like it.
And then there was an explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant (that looks to have been an accident),and back to Massachusetts for a showdown at MIT and a nearby 7-11 late Thursday night as the bombing suspects wreaked more havoc (and an online explosion of redefined vigilante-ism). Oy. Take care of each other, you guys, and re-read Patton’s post.
2. And then there were guns. In Washington. When a moderate background checks bill — “a compromise of a compromise, just about the smallest possible policy response to the Sandy Hook massacre” — hit the Senate floor this week it didn’t get the 60% support it needed, even though more than 90% of Americans would like to see its contents enacted.
Gabby Giffords had some insanely eloquent things to say on the matter. And HuffPo posted the Twitter handles of those offending Senators, in case the American people would like to follow up on Gabby’s suggestions.
And Obama shamed the members of Congress who seemed more interested in getting a thumbs up from that other hate group, the NRA, than protecting the American people.
If you’re interested in/can stomach WHY such a popular bill would nonetheless get killed, here’s your answer.
3. And finally, the Biebs! And his earnest & cringeworthy hope that if Anne Frank had been alive today she would have been a fan of his. Yes, Anne Frank’s stepsister has come to his defense, suggesting that indeed the Holocaust victim followed celebrities in her day and might very well have been a Belieber, buuuuut that’s kinda not the point. As delicious snarkmaster Alexandra Petri put it in the Washington Post, “Justin Bieber actually thinks this is the way the arrows of fandom should point between them???” (Punctuation added by me.) “What a pity that Anne Frank, whose writings have sold millions of copies, who managed to humanize one of the most inhuman periods of history, never got to tell Justin Bieber how great Justin Bieber was.”
Big love, you guys! For serious, take care of each other.
Quote of the week: