This whole Boston Marathon thing has been a lot more distressing to me than I thought it would be. The other day, just thinking about it, I came near to weeping. Right now, in addition to sympathy for the victims’ families (and we’ve got more victims now), I feel extremely sorry for the suspects’ family. They’ve got the horror of dealing with the fact that their sons, brothers, nephews, whatever, did this terrible act, and that one of them is dead and the other might as well be. And they’re not going to get any support: in fact, everyone is going to hate them, and the cops are not going to stop grilling them for a long time.
Right now I’m kind of trying to stay off the internet altogether for awhile, just to avoid all the news. All the info I have is from asking my father what he’d heard, and looking at the Wikipedia entry for the bombing. I don’t want any more. This person who immerses herself in Holocaust literature and writes articles about executions cannot stand to read about this.
Instead I’ve been reading. One book was called Hammer and Tickle, a study of the history of Communist humor (and yes, they had it, an abundance of it actually). Let’s have a joke from Communist Romania to lighten things up a little:
Ceausescu, Reagan and Gorbachev are traveling together on a luxury liner accompanied by their bodyguards. One day they are sailing through shark-infested waters and Reagan decides to show off the skill and courage of his guard. He removes his watch and throws it overboard. “Go get it, John!” he orders — and like a shot the marine dives into the water and retrieves the watch.
The bystanders on the ship are amazed: “What courage!” they chorus.
Then Gorbachev flings his own watch overboard and instructs his bodyguard to get it. The KGB agent shows no less unquestioning devotion.
“What courage!” the crowd say, applauding.
Now Ceaușescu, not to be outdone, throws his watch overboard. “Go get it, Mihai,” he says.
But the guard does not move. “No way, sir,” he says.
And the crew roar louder than before, “What courage!”
Also, fun fact: on the 30th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic, aka East Germany, they put up a neon sign on the Berlin Wall saying “30 Years of the DDR, 30 Years of Prosperity.” But the electricity in East Berlin was really wonky at the time, and a few days later the second 3 on the sign shorted out, so now the sign read “30 Years of the DDR, 0 Years of Prosperity.” True story.
Anyway, I’ll be back. I’m just chillin’ right now.