Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.

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Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sick Despair

I often wonder how much commentary about real world events is appropriate here. This is not a news blog. Yet ignoring certain things might imply disregard. Vonnegut's death, for example: of course I was upset, but so was the rest of the world, and everyone rushed in with lovely words and moving tributes.

Now it's Virginia Tech.

I have worked in academia since I was a student--twenty-one years. I am employed by a large university not dissimilar to Virginia Tech: roughly the same number of students, the same diverse racial make-up, the same opportunities for a deranged individual to wreak havoc.

I find myself incapable of pithy comment. Professional insight? Maybe, but I'm not sure which is making me sicker: so many deaths, so close to home, or the media, swarming around like fat happy maggots.

I am thinking about the administrators at Virginia Tech, the ones who will have to fill out the paperwork, close the email accounts, remove names from enrollment lists, ensure report cards are not mailed. The secretaries who will be charged with cleaning out faculty offices. The custodians, and the awful task awaiting them.

It is easier--though not much--to think about them than it is the dead.

Light a candle for the dead children, their dead teachers, their friends and families.

Turn off your television. Stop reading the news feeds. There's nothing more to know. Light your candle, and weep.

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