Be Quiet

Does shooting down a civilian passenger jet and killing 298 people become a more terrible act because a third of those people were AIDS researchers whose work had probably saved the lives of millions of people? No, people’s lives are equal. Yes, some people are more equal than others.

This morning’s news carried information about the visitation and service for the 10-year old Milwaukee girl who recently died of gunshot wounds received in May while she was playing at her neighborhood playground, an obituary for the 20-year old son of a community activist who was shot last week, taken off life support during the weekend, his family having made the decision to donate his organs, and then the news that among the many dead in the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 disaster was Dr. Joep Lange, a renowned AIDS researcher and advocate for care for people with AIDS around the world.

The New York Times quotes a friend of Dr. Lange’s saying, “My friend always tried to be there where politics and humanity were at odds with each other.” I think that’s exactly where he was when he died.

I don’t have anything useful to say about this, nothing to add. I suddenly find blogging revolting with its precious photos and self-revelation; its preoccupation with the nuances of people’s feelings seems just puffery, without substance or import. I don’t have standing to comment on this event although I guess I just have. I’ve said in 200 words that I have nothing to say. Except to say that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everyone. I’m sorry for all of us.


#41/100: 41st in a series of 100 in 100

2 Comments on “Be Quiet

  1. “Yes, Jan,” I say through tears. I understand. There are so many things that disturb me, and so much I want to say about what I see and hear, but in the end I have nothing to say. Except yesterday I got on my soapbox about people littering – over supper with a friend. Yesterday I posted about going to the farmer’s market. Thinking about life’s injustices, living in the pain and sorrow of it all, experiencing the anger and helplessness, takes so much energy and leaves me feeling dead. I feel helpless to change the evil around me so I try to spread joy. And I can almost successfully push away the guilt.

  2. I think I know what you mean about fining blogging revolting. I live in Israel and for the past 6 weeks have struggled to write anything but poetry. Some of which I post on my blog but most I keep to myself. I find that just being in dialogue with people online I am having a difficult time. I think times like these call for real life conversations which we are starting to get really bad at

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