Back in the day, 1988 I believe, my band – pseudonymously referred to as “Sergeant Pena and the Boys,” played New Orleans style jazz at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It was a happy time for us because we were working musicians, the runners were happy because they had just finished a grueling 26 mile race, and spectators were happy because it was just a great big party.
Today, Boston was a different scene. A sad one. A surreal one, full of confusion, panic, chaos, fire, smoke and blood.
Here in the US, most of us tend to live a fairly good life, with little worry about famine, unchecked disease or factional warfare. Sure, we can always use a little more money. And I for one have to settle for a bacon cheeseburger instead of a prime rib. But overall, in my neighborhood we are first world-ers existing in a pleasant environment with an unabashed freedom to write in any genre touching any subject, even the most controversial ones. Politicians are fair game for satire. There is no privacy act on stupidity. We all have our life and liberty, and we pursue our happiness in whatever form it may be, even if it means running a punishing 26 mile race.
Today, someone decided to usurp the wonder and glory of superhuman physical effort, instead pushing a personal agenda of some sort via horrific violence. I am sure we will find out soon enough what ill sense of logic wrought this carnage, but in my opinion they took the cowardly path, a trail of secrecy used by those who lack the intellectual means and or moral courage to publicly stand for their beliefs. Suck it up and join a debate, write an op-ed, or at least participate in the political process. Vote.
And while you are at it – read.
Learn from history. Study theology. Ponder the writing of Descartes. Mull over the validity of Carlos Castaneda’s tale of shamanism. Engage in civilized political discourse. Volunteer. Gain an appreciation for life. Human life. All life.
Do I think the perpetrators of today’s tragedy in Boston are reading my blog? Of course not.
But – we should all read, research facts, and use critical thinking to make our own informed decisions instead of following the opinion of television pundits. Perhaps we can use our writing to influence others, inspiring them to take the higher road of intellectualism vice relying on the base instincts of brute force.
To sum up: keep writing. Please. And be proud of what you write. Your efforts can and should stimulate curiosity, help bring new dreams, and cause greatness to occur.
Through your writing, be a part of the solution.
- 2 Explosions at Boston Marathon Finish Line (usnews.com)
- London Marathon security to be reviewed after Boston blasts (metro.co.uk)