Tragedy

Editorial: A Note About Boston

Boston

We say snarky things about movies and TV shows here, but in this instance, when reality has forced itself upon us all in such a violent and everlasting way, what more can we say besides, we are speechless and saddened by today’s horrific events in Boston and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.

With all of that said, here are some smart words from a fellow nerd and a very smart man, aka Patton Oswalt, who shared the following on his Facebook page earlier today.

Boston. Fucking horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”

But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

Hug your loved ones.

-The Editorial Staff

In those moments after the panic but within the pain we search for answers. Suddenly we think more guns would have been the solution, or we imagine that security guards within every theater would have thwarted a true life villain that was hell-bent on human destruction.

There is no solace or remedy because that which has been done cannot be undone but these thoughts sometimes help. Someone has pierced our world with their actions and momentarily robbed us of our innocence. It has happened before, it will happen again, and as we sit red eyed and stunned, watching over and over again, as the same horrific headlines flash across the screen, we need to not forget about dreams, fantasies, and escapism.

Yes we need time to grieve but we should also, perhaps, have hope for a calmer day and a rescue from the horror show — that hope is something of value and that rescue is something worth seeking.

I’ve seen a few people say today that they’re going to stay clear of theaters for a little while, that they’re going to avoid them when they are at their busiest. I don’t blame them and if that gives them comfort, if that gives them a sense of security, then I urge them to follow through on that, but I went to see The Dark Knight Rises this morning and I’ll go see another movie tonight or tomorrow. I do this because it is what I need to get through this heartbreaking moment and no one is going to take that from me.

Life is terrifying at times and it is also rapid and painful — sometimes we need a time out, and that’s what movies are. They’re magical not just because of what they can take us away from but for where they can take us away too. Right now I think we need to mix in a little fantasy with the hard truth of this moment.

A night of fun and escapism has turned tragic in Aurora, Colorado. According to the Associated Press a 24 year old man walked into a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises this morning, set off a smoke bomb that had some people thinking that it was a special effect and began to open fire. 12 are dead and 59 are injured.

Federal authorities have identified the suspect as James Holmes, an Aurora resident. Little is known about the suspect or his motives but officials are saying that there is no indication that this attack is connected to any terrorist organization or plot. Authorities are saying that this is the worst shooting in the state of Colorado since the infamous 1999 High School shooting in Columbine.

Directly from the AP report: “I told my friend ‘we’ve got to get out of here,’ but then he shot people trying to go out the exits,” Jennifer Seeger told NBC’s Today. She said the shooter made his way up the aisle, firing as he went, saying nothing.

Holmes was detained outside the theater following the attack. Police say he did not resist.  A gas mask, a rifle, a handgun, and another weapon were found. He reportedly mentioned something about explosives after he was detained and a bomb squad truck was seen outside of an apartment complex in Aurora. CNN is reporting that “items of interest” were found in the attackers home. We will update this story as details come in.

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It is not yet known if James Holmes is insane or evil. What we do know is that as millions of people gathered around the country to press pause on their problems and fall into a movie and a fantasy with a character adored by children and adults alike, something happened in Colorado that was shockingly real and painfully tragic, something that will weigh heavily on our minds for quite some time. We take these things lightly in fiction but this is not fiction.

The thoughts and prayers of the entire NerdBastards staff go out to the wounded and the families of those slain and those affected by this. Our thanks also go out to the heroic first responders whose actions during the evacuation of the theater likely saved countless lives.

Update: The number of people injured now stands at 59. According to the Aurora Police (via The AP) the suspect, James Holmes, entered the theater at approximately 12:38 AM with a bulletproof vest, helmet, and a military-style semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun and a pistol.

Sources: EW via the AP, CNN