Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Madness rears its head again

HISTORY ADDED an unexpected footnote to its chronicle yesterday. It took the form of the terrorism that marred the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. The only silver lining is that it could have been worse, much worse, though that is of little comfort to the dead and maimed. It is also sad that news coverage rapidly descended into tragedy porn, bookended by the endless video-loop of the first bomb blast and the morbid fixation on the resulting amputees. But fretting over this is pointless. Periodic suffering – sometimes great suffering – from the madness of a few is the unavoidable price of being alive. In the post-9/11 world, perhaps the best tonic for facing these events is the stoicism famously displayed by the British during World War II: "Keep Calm and Carry On." For come what may, as Macbeth said, time and the hour run through the roughest day.

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