How Violence In Public Places Shapes America's Psyche

A discussion following a bombing at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

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Aftermath of the twin blasts at the Boston Marathon on Tuesday, April 15.
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How Violence In Public Places Shapes America's Psyche
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How Violence In Public Places Shapes America's Psyche

The Boston Marathon bombing sent me back to Don DiLillo's novel "Underworld," in which he describes the experience of watching a shooting be replayed frequently on the news.

"There's something here that speaks to you directly, saying terrible things about forces beyond your control, lines of intersection that cut through history and every reasonable layer of human expectation ... Seeing someone at the moment he dies, dying unexpectedly. This is reason alone to stay fixed to the screen. It is instructional, watching a man shot dead as he drives along on a sunny day. It demonstrates an elemental truth, that every breath you take has two possible endings."
 
Does it seem to you that we live, right now, even closer to that truth? A trip to school or to a cherished sporting event could be the last trip of your life. What does that do to us, deep down inside?
 
Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

  

Comments

E-mail from Dwight

I'm happy to see you have Dave Zirin on the show today. He brings in the broad, global perspective that is missing in almost all coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing.