While i don't defend my response as appropriate (and I certainly wouldn't recommend it i do very clearly understand how it happened. . And I do forgive myself. Thankfully though, a twist year after Madalyn died, my wife and I were blessed with a healthy, living baby girl. She is the light of both of our lives. A light to find our way. Read Mortons essay in full below. "Life imitates art far more than art imitates life." - Oscar Wilde. About 12 years ago, i began writing a song that i instantly knew was special. The sinewy, meandering, groove-laden riff the open, expansive landscape chorus the cycling, hypnotic lead hook they all presented themselves to me in a way that we songwriters often hope for, but rarely get to experience.
In an essay for noisey, morton said, we gazed lovingly over every plan detail of our daughter's face, every freckle on her skin, cataloging every sound and smell the way all new parents. . The difference was that our child had developed an infection during delivery. . She was very, very sick and her prognosis hadn't yet been determined. Later that day, our daughter Madalyn Grace morton died in my arms. . We were walking through Hell. . Life was imitating art. He went on to say, for me, grieving took the form of a rapid and immediate free fall into an abyss of drug addiction. .
But sometimes it's hard to resist an even darker suspicion: that the crucial difference between what we call "spree killers" and "terrorists" isn't race or ideology or armament, or even the power and influence of the pro-shooter lobby, but that our government, photo-op condolence hugs. Lamb Of Gods Mark morton has penned a beautiful, moving essay on the death of his baby daughter, madalyn. The band recently premiered the video for their new song Embers, after a traumatic few years. Vocalist Randy Blythe was tried for manslaughter after pushing a 19-year-old fan off stage at a gig, resulting in the teens death. Blythe was eventually acquitted, with the liability being attributed to the promoters and security members. But while this was going on, guitarist Mark morton was going through his own, less high-profile, difficulties. His daughter, madalyn Grace, died shortly after being born.
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Was it the lesser number of resume casualties? That it didn't take place on tv, or in the capital of the. Or is the only real difference the one so obvious its taboo to mention — that "terrorists" are by definition born in foreign countries and have dark skin and funny-sounding last names? Some people called Boston the first major act of terrorism since 9/11, apparently not counting the white guys who shot up a school, a movie theater or a temple full of sikhs. The best-deserved fate of terrorists and mass killers alike, as well as the most effective deterrent to them, might be that of that Baltimore fugitive in the '90s — to be forgotten as soon as possible, buried in the unmarked grave of ignominy, just another. I've often harbored the heretical thought that the bravest and best thing we might do as a nation in response to terrorism might be nothing. Refuse to cede a single clause or bylaw of our liberty, to become a crueler or more fearful country.
No lockdowns or Code Oranges, no submachine guns in the subways or strip-searches at the airports, no hotboxes or dog collars. I know how unserious and irresponsible a suggestion this must sound. But let me ask, in all seriousness: could doing nothing possibly have been any more stupid and ruinous than what we've actually done? Perhaps, as is depressingly often the case, the most cynical explanation is the correct one: Our nation's school shooters have a highly organized and well-funded lobby backing them, and politicians, now as ever, are easily bullied or bought. Which is why it's just as easy to buy a bushmaster rifle as it was before the slaughter of toddlers at Newtown, but since the boston Marathon bombing the feds have begun investigating people shopping online for some of the more lethal forms of cookware. (Maybe if al-qaeda spent some of its budget on k street we wouldnt have to put up with increased airport security.).
Almost always they are young men, out of their minds on testosterone, a drug as dangerous as pcp. Combining adolescent levels of aggression and an absolutist ideology is like mixing pcp with crystal meth. It's surprising not that this toxic synergy produces killer maniacs, but that it produces so few. Both terrorism and mass killings have become a kind of evil fad. Disaffected young men now know that one way to express their rage is to kill a lot of strangers in a public place, imagining, perhaps, that this will grant them some sort of posthumous tabloid apotheosis.
Now that such atrocities have become what William James called "living options it's hard to know how to make them unthinkable again. It seems strange to me that what is still the most powerful nation-state on the planet should treat a crime as an act of war, and an impetus for major overhauls of its laws and morals and way of life, depending on which brand. If someone kills a dozen people because he wants the infidels out of Mecca, we're willing to repeal the fourth Amendment and forfeit our birthright as free citizens without so much as a public discussion, but if he kills a dozen people because he stopped. How come after one guy tries to detonate his own underwear on a transatlantic flight we're all expected to acquiesce to full-body scans at the airport, whereas, after Newtown, when the citizenry overwhelmingly called for reform of our gun laws, the government ultimately decided the. (I also note that the nra has not launched a massive lobbying effort to follow up on its suggestion about posting armed guards in schools.) Is it just a matter of equipage — that somehow guns, no matter how high-tech and military-grade, are still. Except if it's just a matter of choice of weaponry, why didn't Tim McVeigh's Oklahoma city bombing induce the same convulsions of governance as did 9/11 — the patriot Act and prism, guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, Afghanistan and Iraq?
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What possible sense could any professed agenda make? I realize that mental illness and ideological fervor are not quite the same thing, but I'm not convinced that shooting up a theater because the voices in your head told you to is any different from blowing yourself up on a bus to please god. (Oxford science writer and researcher Kathleen taylor has suggested that religious fanaticism, especially indoctrination by cults, might one day be treated as a mental illness, which has no doubt endeared her to fundamentalists of all faiths.). If investigators had found a quran in the newtown shooter's bedroom, would we now have federal troops interests standing guard with automatic weapons next to the construction-paper bulletin boards in the halls of every elementary school? What makes the brothers who detonated the bomb in Boston "terrorists" and, say, the dc snipers just a couple of criminals? The older of those two brothers — the"-u" mastermind of the plot — turned to militant Islam after being involved with a street gang, but he never really changed allegiances; a dirtbag is a dirtbag no matter whose colors he wears. Terrorism is ostensibly perpetrated by fanatical cultists, and mass shootings by nihilistic pariahs, but these types would seem to have more in common than they do differences.
It's essentially what Job asked the whirlwind. (The whirlwind's answer was rhetorically impressive but still, to my mind, ultimately unsatisfying.). We all knew the instant the boston explosions happened who had perpetrated them: some dirtbag. Everyone immediately ascribed blame to whichever genus of dirtbag they prefer to project evil onto: the new York post immediately misidentified two vaguely middle easternlooking bystanders as suspects; a missing Indian-American student was confidently named as one of the perpetrators on the popular misinformation site. As if whatever dingbat faith or crackpot ideology behind an inherently meaningless act could ultimately validate or refute anyone's position on anything. Even disordered thinking has to seize on some conventional content, and mental illness often presents with distorted imagery or ideation from religion or politics — the Antichrist or Obama, demons and black helicopters. This paragon doesn't make it a legitimate religion or political position to be taken seriously, much less negotiated with or warred upon. To seek to understand the motives of such people is, in a way, to cede them too much credence and dignity. Who cares what was going on in someone's head when he decided to blow up a parade or shoot up a grade school?
magazine of al-qaeda, the difference between a terrorist "cell" and a couple of dirtbags with ambitions is indistinct. At this point, being a member of al-qaeda is sort of like being a member of Anonymous — if you claim you're in it, maybe you are. The initial reaction of a lot of victims, onlookers and commenters to the boston bombing, before anyone knew who was behind it, was an anguished. There are of course some sensible reasons for needing to know this; if the perpetrators had accomplices or backers who might be planning further attacks, the police and government should know about it as soon as possible. But I don't believe the real, reason behind the public's urgent need to know the motives of the bombers was a practical one. After Boston, i wanted to know. Why too; what I still don't understand is why we needed to know why. Rationally, this question doesn't make any more sense when asked about a terrorist attack or mass shooting than it does when its about a tornado, or cancer.
That lunatic in Baltimore killed one more person than the bombers in Boston, yet that was strictly a local story, now remembered only by those who lived in and around Baltimore circa 2000, while the boston bombing made headlines worldwide. I know that the boston bombing mangled and maimed hundreds more than it killed, and yet if it had been a balcony collapse or a ferry crash it would not have haunted our imaginations in the same way or endured for weeks in the media. I felt the same way everyone else did when I heard about the boston bombing. But I still can't quite make rational sense of our reaction. Part of what scared and enraged us all about it was that it was a random attack, which made it impossible to pretend that it couldnt have happened. Part of it is the seemingly motiveless malice behind such a plan, the calculated perversity of the evil evident in contriving to inflict mass agony and grief at a fun, celebratory event. In some strange way its the intention behind the crime, rather than the act itself or its casualties or effects, that make it so terrifying and offensive, therefore newsworthy and politically powerful. But the taxonomy of evil is getting messy. There is a critical difference between organized terrorist networks like al-qaeda and lone wack jobs, and it makes sense for the government to reshape its laws and take military measures to oppose the former, and for the latter to be way treated as criminals by the.
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One winter 13 years ago, when I was living in Baltimore, that city was riveted by one of the longest armed fugitive/police standoffs in history. A man with a history of mental illness, domestic abuse and arrests, whose name i won't repeat here, went on a rampage, killing four essay people, and then took his ex-girlfriend's mother, her boyfriend and their son hostage in a house in the working-class neighborhood. The city was glued to local tv for those four days. Id come home and ask my housemate, "What's up with our guy?" "Still in there he'd say. Ever since the boston Marathon bombing, i've found myself thinking of that episode again, for the first time in years. I've also been thinking of Newtown, and Aurora, and Columbine — all the other innocent place-names that have become a ghastly synecdoche for the plague of random violence in America. I keep wondering: What exactly is the difference between spree killers and terrorists? Why are the former only good for a few days' headlines, while the latter cause us to make major changes to our laws, our national policy and our values as a people?