I have to say I really have been haunted by this crazy Arizona thing. And though in one way, I am not sure why, another part of me has always been sympathetically fascinated by tragedy.
And, that fatalistic idea of being here, healthy and fine one minute, and, poof, gone the next because of some quirk in timing (I am thinking wrong place, wrong time, and not even close to dismissing the behaviors of sociopaths as acceptable).
I have though, been watching the news a bit more than I like, or wish. And the reason is that the news is pretty much the same every day. The left bad mouths the right and the right bad mouths the left. And that is it, save the occasional clip of a roller skating chimpanzee.
And, even with last week's holocaust, I found the cable news stations just going over the same details and updates over and over. I also realized something the other night, while watching my station of choice, MSNBC.
Now I get that MSNBC is basically a left-wing version of Fox, but this week I have been trying to tune into Fox as well to understand their interpretation of the same incident or words.
And, I have come to the conclusion that they are the same in only one basic way: pandering.
For example, I am not a fan of John Boehner at all, and, I think too much of a deal has been made of his not attending the Wednesday Memorial Service in Tucson. I do think he should have attended, as I think that was the appropriate--and more important--affair to attend (as opposed to a fund raiser, and I am not making light of that affair).
But, he chose, for whatever reasons not to go. His issue. Not ours. So fine, mention it. But please don't spend a day getting all worked up interviewing a million people on whether it that is proper behavior or not.
Same with Sarah Palin's "blood libel" remark, and poor timing--and attitude--for releasing her somewhat defensive video the day of the Memorial Service. And, it would have been more gracious had Palin simply said, "Sorry if I said anything to contribute to the rancor, and my heart goes out to the victims." That would have been genius.
But, whether she misuses a phrase, or misinterprets it, so what. For writing--and she read a written speech--consists of metaphor. Sometimes literal, sometimes not. But, the problem is one can hide behind either path. However, again, spending days analyzing the phrase and its use, well, it is just silly.
I write the previous sentence as a Jew, who does not take attempts at our extinction or persecution lightly. And, Sarah can make the comparisons she likes, and tell us she is a victim. And we can make note, form our opinions, and move along.
On the other hand, so what if t-shirts were handed out as a memento to those attending last Wednesday's Memorial Service? For at least one Fox commentator said she thought is did not seem appropriate. Well, what difference does it make? The important thing is those attending--and those of us who watched--feel a sense of closure, and walk away feeling a little upbeat, so what?
I also heard Rush Limbaugh dismiss the hope of nine-year olds, as conveyed by the President. Limbaugh claimed he did not want to frame his life around the vision of a nine-year old. Fair enough. Although why not? For as kids, the world is still wide open. I think we could all do worse.
The thing is, and I tried to be fair above, selecting two observations from each side--none of this gossip, and that is what it is, has anything to do with actually running the business of the country. It has nothing to do with health care or schools, or hiring policemen or even owning guns.
And that is what we want our elected officials to pay attention to.
At least I do.