It has been a rough weekSubmitted by Michael Nystrom on Sun, 04/21/2013 - 02:57
Starting with those bombings.
I know that most of you aren't from Boston. I am. Every single place you guys heard mentioned on the news - from the bombing site to the neighborhoods in Watertown - I know intimately. I have an emotional connection to this town.
How many times have I been by that 7-11 that got robbed? Whichever one of the three the news has been reporting - the one in Central Square across from Life Alive? The one on Prospect Street last summer where I met Lindsay that one morning to give her a ride to our Reiki training -- in Watertown? Or the one in Kendall - the modern, empty one, in Boston's new boom town. That misplaced one, right at ground zero of the commercialization of the biotech revolution. Ground zero of brand new buildings, luxury apartments and condos, of the biggest pharmaceutical & biotech companies in the world.
Kendall / MIT on the Red Line is where the officer was shot. Right near the Microsoft building, the freaky Frank Gehry building that puts Kendall on the map as part of America's new Avante Garde.
Kendall is in a building boom, but there are other boom sites scattered around this town. There is Allston, spurred by Harvard's Expansion. There are the plans for Union Square - an 80+ unit hybrid development of affordable and market rate apartments and an extension of the Green line, not to mention a gleaming new steel and glass library. In downtown Boston, there is the new high-rise dorm for the Berklee College of Music (where Psy went) . Not to mention Assembly Square out here, and the new Orange Line Stop. But the granddaddy remains - Kendall/MIT, on the Red Line. There are 4-5 high/midrise developments for the emerging biotech cluster at Kendall.
Kendall is a place of relative wealth, in a country experiencing a generalized decline. It is driven by the next boom industry, driven by aging baby boomers: biotech and pharma. The search for the fountain of youth will drive the next round of stock market fortunes.
And ground zero is right here, right where that MIT cop got killed by those angry young men.
- - - -
The bombers lived not a mile away from my house, in Cambridge, on the border of Somerville, aka Slumerville. We bought a condo here because we could afford it. Somerville is "up and coming." That is, ready to be gentrified.
You know the story: There must be a "hot" "up and coming" neighborhood in your metropolitian area. They all have them. Slummerville has recently its been getting the table crumbs from the increasing good fortune of Harvard and MIT and nearby Kendall Square, and has been feeling somewhat flush. Big plans - big plans for Somerville - and make sure to build more "affordable housing," to maintain the "character" and keep Slummerville Slummerville.
And it is in this context, that the brother bombers moved to the U.S., to Cambridge, Massachusetts, less than a mile from my house, right across from that unsightly junkyard. Right between Cambridge and Somerville. In a corridor that amounds to a micro slum in one of the richest cities in the nation.
There was no place for him - not the older one. After his boxing dream died, he was finished. He did nothing but rot inside of himself. His soul rotted while his body stayed alive. He was a bad influence on his younger brother, who had a better chance at getting a leg up in the 'American Dream.'
We'll never know. The one thing we do know is that those boys experienced America in a way that is fundamentally different from the way most of us do. They were strangers here. Tbey didn't feel like they belonged. And they were dissatisfied with the raw deal they got (from their perspective).
This made the ripe pickings to whoever was running them. Angry + Dissatisfied = Easy to manipulate. We should all remember that, and examine our own hearts for signs of anger and dissatisfaction.
While we can guard over our own hearts, the question arises: How many more out there are there like them? What is the problem? How can we help? How can we shower the universal energy source - love - on the wounds that need them most? Is it possible in your heart to love your enemy?
What does it mean to love your enemy?
- - - - -
I fear that this is the beginning of a trend.: School shootings are over. The new terrorism is to hold an entire city hostage. Next time, coordinated. With an escape plan. Like a Hollywood movie. The news is all just entertainment anymore anyway.
The powers of the state are awesome, but they couldn't do what they did in Watertown at five places simultaneously in the city. If it has been noticed by me, it has been noticed by the terrorists.
- - - - - -
The reaction against this will be telling. It will, like everything, quickly become politicized. Everyone will use some angle of this event as "proof" and therefore justification for their ideologies / beliefs / political crusades.
But the logic from the other side is clear: The Americans bomb their innocents - in Pakistan, Afghanistant, North Africa. What is the difference if they bomb ours?
Can their logic truly be faulted?
Their actions, yes. It is never right to kill, least not the innocent. But there is a rule to war: The rule is that there are no rules. The rule is: Use any means necessary to win. If you abide by rules in war, you're not fighting to win.
But what we need now is not more fighting.
What we need is love. I know there are a lot of Christians here on this board. I am too. I am like Gandhi was:
The message from that clip: Do not divide. Unite. Heal with love.
Who here is up to it?