Funny, how things seem connected sometimes. Yesterday, I was at work when David, who sits in the cubicle behind me and has a constant newsfeed running into his laptop machine, announced that there was another school shooting up in Colorado. I quickly flipped to my browser and cnn to check out the information on what happened.
There it was on the front cover at around 4pm in the afternoon. There was a shooting in a high school in Colorado. A suburb named Littleton. Since I was off to the theater last night, I shoved the information about the shooting away from myself and kept myself away from the news. It was bad news and I didn't want to think about bad news. I think about bad news, I can get myself into a snit and then I won't enjoy my day. So, I shoved it away. I was going to go to the theater, enjoy myself, miss the evening news... so I didn't have to deal with this until tomorrow. Tragedies like this always get me down and I didn't want anything to spoil my evening.
Yes, I know it's such a selfish and superficial reaction. I wanted to push it away and not think about it and not let my mind prey on it. If I knew too much, my mind would turn and think about it and in the middle of the Lion in Winter, my distracted mind would stop paying attention to the stage and would turn inward. I didn't want that. I had time today to read up about it, so I put it off. I'd do my penance today.
I got to work early. I realized after I came home from The Lion in Winter that I had a 9 o'clock client meeting. So, I left for work early and got to work early. The meeting wasn't to start for another fifteen minues, so I fired up ye olde browser window and read CNN. Really read it.
I ended up being one of the last people into the meeting. I couldn't tear myself from the monitor. Like the scandal-grubbing masses, I couldn't read the stuff fast enough. Details about the two teenage shooters and the conflicting reports of how many people were killed. 12? 25? 15? The number kept zig zagging up and down as I read report after report in reverse chronological order. I sat silently in the corner throughout most of the five hour meeting, trying to pay attention to the reports but at the same time, my mind on Colorado. I thought about the timing. It would be around the end of the school year, yeah? The students are all going to proms and planning on graduations. They are looking to the future, to the time when the bonds of high school would be lifted from their shoulders. And then to be dragged kicking and screaming back into high school.. it seemed all so cruel.
I thought about myself and my own frustrations in high school. I read how they targeted athletes. I was jealous of the athletes when I was in high school. I hated how I was ostracized from them. How the football team would get front page news when activities that I was involved in would get 18th page billing in the local newspaper. Here was the Human Relations Club trying so darned hard to promote understanding and a better environment for all students when we would get shoved into the background because Nutley beat the football rivals. Winning a football game seems like such a superficial thing. We wanted to change the world. But it's hard to change the world from page 18. It didn't seem right or fair. It didn't seem right that our science books were years old... and yet the school spends thousands of dollars on brighter flood lights so that games could be played at night instead of needing them to be played during the day. I admit to being selfish. I am looking out for my own interests. But in the big picture, is my jealousy justified? I think so. I think my frustration is justified as well.
However, I don't think I'd put a bullet into anyone's skull for it. I was creepy in high school, obsessed with horror and death and all other creatures of these kind, but I wasn't going to go out and shoot classmates to death over it. It seemed like too much effort and I wasn't willing to pay the consequences the law would hold over my head (score one for the arguments that stiff penalties would act as a deterent for crime). I wonder how psychologists would see me in high school. Would they have targeted me as one to demonstrate the same behavior as these two kids in Colorado?
Frighteningly, I conclude that they probably would. They would probably point to the fictional pieces I submitted to the school newspaper. Horror and splatterpunk that nearly got the editors in trouble for publishing it. An essay on hatred from the perspective of a homophobic, racist, and sexist individual that suggested that all people with AIDS should be quaranteed and perhaps, eliminated to conserve on money (boy, were many students shocked when they discovered that I, an asian female, wrote that essay). I was trying to increase conciousness in my highly conservative school (amazingly enough, the teacher that helps publish the newspaper liked my work and writing and was eager to publish my writing. Strange, how that all seems. Here I am struggling to improve my writing and there I as in high school being pushed by others to write). I'm sure it's the kind of stuff that some people would look at and see those two students in it.
I pondered it quite a bit through the meeting. And all through the day. And into the evening. I saw these similarities between me and other frustrated students that end up killing their peers. Am I to end up like that? Do I have those tendancies in me? I know that I get frustrated... and that I have quite a temper... but do I have enough rage in me to do what they did?
I hope not. I hope I never go to such a depth emotionally. I might never return.
Like those two kids in Colorado.
The dancing totally turned me on. I love the Fosse style and the precision of the performers. I was impressed by the one actress who wore practically nothing on stage except a skimpy bikini and a very sheer body stocking. How she could dance the way she was dancing with so little support for her shapely body was amazing. I want to see Fosse now. I know that the actresses in the leads weren't as tight as the performances I've seen with Bebe Neuwirth, especially the dancing. I want to see Fosse to see those dance sequences clean and precise. I'm normally not one for dancing like that, but the style appeals to me. It's localized and exacting... not too wild and I can follow and appreciate the movements.
This is the first time in a long time that any kind of dancing has peaked my interest (not since seeing The Nutcracker years ago). The last dance sequences were so engaging that I forgot about murder and death for those few minutes. I forget about the killings in Colorado while watching the dance sequences of two murderesses in a musical about their exploitation of their murderous deeds. Isn't that just terrible? Ugh.