A lot of people died last week.

I live outside of America at the moment and have not been able to watch the media coverage of the Virginia Tech Massacre. Despite constant media coverage, inexplicable seems to be the most constant word on everyone's lips. The murders are just something that happened, and it baffles the mind that anything can be so horrible. Mr. Cho claimed to have his reasons, but most everyone seems to find his reasons incomprehensible, certain groups of Americans have found their own reasons, but none of these reasons seem to touch upon the fact that people have actually died. That the people used to be alive...

I was in High School when Columbine happened, and I think what was so horrific about the event to me was how quickly the victims became "the people who died," and the killers became "the people who killed." The Christian girl became "the Christian girl," and not a living breathing thing . The black kid became "the black kid," so the nation could discuss racism in relation to the trial. The killers became "the trench-coat mafia," so we could analyze young people's dressing habits.

As I said though, I have not followed much of the media surrounding this massacre. I read a few articles in the Washington Post which went between pieces that were respectably to the point, and horrendous pieces of exploitation. All of the coverage, even the self coverage the killer made of himself, belies a certain anxiety to narrativize this event, to replace the living breathing thing that has potential with an idea; silent isolation, being with god (the comments not the memorial), and of course 'tragic'. All the memorials though point to the illusive fact that all of these people were at one time living. That all the victims of the massacre made someone happy at one point, and other people made them happy at one point, the person was not an idea of a person, a person who has the attribute of 'being quirky' or 'loving Jesus' or believing in this or that issue, but that there was once an authentic human connection between this person and another person, that there was something like love, that there was something worthwhile, which is inexplicably absent now.

Moments like these, particularly the media coverage, deepens my belief that good and evil, and right and wrong are nasty concepts. There is beauty and there is horror, beyond that there is nothing.

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