Tragic. Arguably the most egregiously abused term in the collective vernacular of the Hillside student body. As usual, this is another case of art imitating life. If you turned on your TV this morning, you undoubtedly heard the word being bandied aboot through a veil of crocodile tears by journalists who stubbornly refuse to admit that 29 more nameless victims added to the astronomical roll call of American gun violence statistics is anything but tragic. You see, in order for an event to rise to the level of a tragedy, it has to be statistically uncommon; an aberration; something contrary to expectations; a “deviation from the norm”, if you will. It also has to be avoidable, something which the exponential increase of errant violence from a nation full of cowardly gun worshipers is not.
Not too long ago, politicians and other high-profile Americans greeting our daily massacres with “thoughts and prayers” was the impotent cliché du jour. Now, this cliché has been replaced by that of feigned incredulity at the inaction of those who think and pray, usually in the form of “fuck your thoughts and prayers, we need action,” as if there were any possible action that could be taken to override the unstoppable force of American ignorance and brutishness.
So today, I take one more stride to the farthest periphery of my own species because I’m not strong enough to make my home anywhere else. From here, I can see that what we arrogantly view as tragic through our contrived lenses of politics and sociology is simply a case of the living planet doing what it must to safeguard itself from its most troublesome outgrowth – humanity. This is the same planetary defense mechanism that causes 80% of those identifying as “Conservative” to ignore the dire warnings of the entire scientific community aboot our unsustainable impact upon our own habitat. As our numbers approach the 8 billion mark, we should expect to see more, not less, of such natural phenomena. In addition to natural disasters, you can count on wars and plagues of a magnitude that defies our current limits of imagination. For those who still consider human beings to be exceptional or even worse, divine, I suppose this could reasonably be viewed as tragic. But for me, it has no more impact than a dog shaking off a bothersome flea infestation. I never feel sorry for the fleas, so why should I extend undeserved compassion to a different parasite simply because I belong to that particular strain of planetary pestilence?
Abandon all hope and enjoy yourself as much as you can for as long as you can, because there is truly nothing else to be done. If you think Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and the cult of racism with which we currently live are bad, you ain’t seen nothing until you get a whiff of what the planet will pull oot of its bag of survival tricks when it inevitably decides to end its regrettable closed-ended experiment that we call Homo Sapiens.