The Daily Kos has asked me (and everyone else) to write a blog on their space about our reactions to Orlando. I tried to log into their damned web space but it turned into a huge hassle. So I decided to write my blog right here.
It seems endemic of American culture that there are certain events that can become a single word that everyone understands. No need to say I’m blogging about the massacre that occurred at a gay bar in Orlando, Florida. Everyone knows from the word, “Orlando,” what I mean.
I first became aware when a dear old friend posted about it in Facebook. She expressed shock and grief. She wrote, “My heart hurts so much over the loss of these lives. May God bless them and hold them close. Tears. I can’t think straight. This is so wrong.” My unemphatic heart was a bit nonplussed by this extreme expression of grief for people who she didn’t even know. But this was followed by many, many similar statements. Another dear old friend posted, “Anderson Cooper cries while reading names of Orlando massacre victims on CNN.” Some people changed their profile picture in solidarity with the victims. The most interesting statement was “The moment exactly 49 birds flew over the Orlando memorial site during the vigil for the 49 lives lost. They were not released as part of the vigil; they showed up on their own. God truly is wonderful. 49 souls flying free now. May they have God’s love and caring eye on them in their next journey. (Tears for those killed.)”
It all made perfect sense to them. I was relieved to hear from fellow psychopaths that others could be just as puzzled about this as I was. I understand that sometimes a particular case will grab someone’s imagination more forcefully than another, possibly worse case. But a personal connection that person has to something in that particular case, might react cause him/her to react more powerfully to that case. For example, any case of injustice involving blatant hypocrisy bothers me out of proportion to the actual harm or pain caused by that case. What I can’t understand is so many people reacting so personally and emotionally to this one case regardless of the individual differences between the people having these reactions.
One thing I’ve noticed, or, rather, sensed, is a kind of feeling of solidarity among the folk who are pulled together with their mutual grief (if grief is the right word for a sorrow that doesn’t involve an actual loss of a loved one). There seems to be a big, cozy “we” feeling among them. The closest think I have experienced was right after 9/11 when I actually felt a surge of patriotism and unity as “our” country had been attacked. I even put up a flag and enjoyed the unfamiliar consciousness of being united instead of alienated from a large portion of my fellow humans. (This didn’t last as the combination of the way Bush used the event as an excuse to enact draconian policies and the increasing evidence of “inside” involvement evaporated the feel-good solidarity.)
The fact that the enormous group hug is taking place around an attack on gays is certainly something new. It could be a sign that the mainstream is finally letting go of homophobia and actually seeing gays as human beings. As a bisexual, I am cautiously hopeful. On the other hand, new forms of bigotry are rising to the fore. The shooter has been identified with Muslims. Donald Trump is trying to use it to justify his anti-immigrant ideas although the perp (Omar Mateen) was born in New York. Many, many others are using the occasion as an opportunity to push for gun control (as they do after all mass shootings).
Most understandable is the reaction of the gay, lesbian, transsexual community. It was their (our?) own people who were attacked. Homophobia stands front and center as the culprit, although there is evidence that Omar Mateen was, himself, gay. Since Islam (like Christianity) considers same-sex relationships are sinful, Mateen may have been torn by self-hatred. His personality might be interesting to study but this blog isn’t really about him. It is about the emotional outbursts of grief from relatively uninvolved people.
I wasn’t planning on writing this blog. Frankly, I felt intimidated by the emotional insistence of all who claimed this tragedy as their own. It was only through the encouragement of other psychopaths who admitted they were not transported by grief either that I found the courage to admit the same. It reminds me of what I have felt all my life: that I was surrounded by volatile, emotionally unstable and, frankly, crazy people. Something to be endured.
This is from Facebook:
Thom Prentice posted 12 updates.
- Allegedly, people inside the massacre location made cell phone calls and texted. But no one took photos or videos? Are there no security cameras? No doormen to notice a heavily armed person enter?
With 50 people killed and 50 or more wounded and reports of oceans of blood, there should be plenty of evidence Have any of you seen any of it?
As far as I know, dead bodies, other than those of the perpetrators themselves, seldom if ever emerge from the terrorist attacks. No dead bodies materialized from the Paris attacks except those of the alleged perpetrators. No dead bodies ever emerged from the Sandy Hook shootings. The only dead bodies I recall from the San Bernardino shooting were the husband-and-wife-alleged-perpetrators, and their hands were handcuffed behind their backs. Do police handcuff dead people who the police have shot to pieces? I don’t remember dead bodies from Brussels, just reports of dead bodies.
One could say that the media is averse to invading the privacy of dead people and their relatives by showing dead bodies, or that the media doesn’t want to show gruesome scenes—except for the videos of Muslim terrorists cutting off people’s heads.What is most troublesome about these shootings is that the story seems already prepared by the government and is immediately set. We are fed the story before there is time for investigation by government or media. The media never investigate. The media just repeat the government’s story over and ove…shar.es
OMYGOD! Is anything real? That would explain the unified response. Careful orchestration.
- Mourning Orlando.
- Orlando Shooting: Just Days After Orlando Mourning Begins
- Orlando Shooting: world pays tribute to victims with vigils and rainbow flags
- Pastor refuses to mourn Orlando: “The tragedy is that more of them didn’t die.” Haters will be haters.
- Omar Mateen on Facebook
- Paul Craig Robert. Skeptical Take on the Orlando Shooting
- Understanding Others’ Feelings: What is Empathy and Why do we Need it? The Conversation