Yesterday, resulting from a savage and soulless act, two bombs went off during the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring hundreds. The implication of this attack, along with many others, is that this is simply the kind of world we live in now, one in which random acts of hateful violence take the lives of people the perpetrators never even knew. Before too many are stirred into ruthlessness and desperation, I would like to call that idea into question, not by proposing an alternative but by bringing the totality of the event into scope.
Let’s look at the for Massachusetts. It was, as of 2011 (I don’t imagine it has changed much since), 2.8 murders per year per 100,000 people. The state population, as of last July, was about 6,600,000. So, this implies that per year, there are 180 murders in Massachusetts. Three people—just three—died in the blast, people I respect and honor the loss of. However, you will note that adding three to 190 does not even break the significant figures. It was an acute act of hatred that injured a lot of people, but, in the grand scheme of things, this is scarcely a blip on the map. Life in Boston will go on, life in Massachusetts will go on as ever, and in the greater scheme of things, the world will not change.
Except of course for the perpetrators, who will be imminently captured and subjected to undeniable horrors in prison. Hey, they made a lot of people angry. Additionally, I wonder what is going on with the security for the marathon; while I recognize that it’s a particularly backwards choice for a target, and they may only scarcely be at fault (believe me, I appreciate them), they might consider going over their event schemes.
Thus, while I am mad as hell at a few specific individuals, and extremely mournful over the loss of innocent people—one of which was an eight year old child—I fully expect the world to move on, and hope the rest of you will as well. Do not allow hype journalists, opportunist marketers, and God-only-knows-how-many-photoshopped-internet-posters stir you from a sound mind.
Addendum: The words of Patton Oswalt