Thursday, November 27, 2008

Havoc for the Holiday

The Mumbai massacres undermine our shaky faith in human nature as American families gather for loving celebration in the safety they always took for granted before 9/11.

The identity of the killers matters less than their purpose--to "cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war," in Shakespeare's phrase--to attack civilization itself in bloodthirsty rage and hate.

As grievous as the slaughter of innocents is the knowledge that these acts of darkness, planned with precision, are abetted and amplified by the technology that has done so much to improve modern life, that computer and TV screens which create community can also be used to convey chaos.

It's hard to turn our eyes away from the carnage and concentrate on our good fortune without feeling that, no matter who these murderers turn out to be and whatever their "cause," we are living in a world where their like will be with us for a long time to come.


Ron Davison said...

It's true that we still live in a age of vulnerability. And it is also true that in this age of computers and TV we're made aware of that vulnerability all the time. It is certainly made to seem worse than it is; the good and the bad news is that we're more acutely aware of what happens half a world away.

Capt. Fogg said...

Safety is only a state of mind. It's many orders of magnitude more likely that I will be:

Eaten by a shark
Hit by lightning
Have a stroke or heart attack
Be run over by my neighbor's SUV

and a very long list of other things than that I would be shot by some terrorist. More people were killed by people robbing Dunkin Donuts stores in South Florida this week than died in Mumbai.