Indignity Vol. 2, No. 55: Patriotic gore.
GIVE ME DEATH DEP'T.
How Much More Can the Country Extend Its Capacity for Slaughter?
"IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO imagine the pain of this kind of tragedy until it happens in your backyard,” the mayor of Highland Park, Illinois, said, after the massacre at the city's Fourth of July parade. What does it mean for something to be unimaginable, if it happens over and over again? That same night, Philadelphia imagined it, or experienced it, or something in between: a screaming, fleeing crowd, reports of gunshots, a still-confused account of a stray bullet ending up in a police officer's hatband.
There are so many shootings they've reached a state of indeterminacy. For every Uvalde, how many schools or shopping malls pop up on Twitter for an hour or two, only to be resolved as a false alarm or a not-too-newsworthy number of injuries or deaths?
It’s a commonplace now to say the responses to each shooting have become commonplace. But the public isn’t acclimated to mass violence. The situation has not stabilized. It is getting worse. The idea of slaughter presses in on every gathering. The public eyes the exits, marks the late-arriving and standoffish stranger. The public, as a public, is not going to survive much more of this.
It only feels as if there's nothing else to say. What could express more than the images of the tiny running figures under the blooming patriotic fireworks in the night sky on Independence Day? It is all, one might say bitterly, self-evident.
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