After Boston, Life Goes On

Boston Police officers stand guard at a makeshift memorial set up on Boylston Street in Boston, Massachusetts on April 16, 2013. Security is still high in the city after two bombs detonated on Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon killing 3 and injuring 150. UPI/Matthew Healey

It’s always difficult to pen a column in the wake of a nightmare like the Boston Marathon attack earlier this week. On the one hand, it would be relatively easy to write about the righteous fury I’d dearly love to drop like a wrecking ball on the skulls of the perpetrators. That would give me an opportunity to explore the further reaches of my inner avenger. I could rhetorically bellow at the top of my lungs, using lots of similes involving words my mother taught me to avoid and seriously improper use of construction equipment. But any shrieking I might do would be wasted. The victims have bigger worries. The perpetrators either don’t care or enjoy the effect. And life would go on.

I could scratch out some maudlin lament bemoaning the tragedy of innocent lives cut short or damaged forever. I could wail about the damnable unfairness of a world in which such monsters are allowed to prowl. But any crying I might do would be wasted. The victims know how much pain they’re in. The perpetrators think it’s marvelous. And life would go on.

I could point fingers at suspects. I could pick out ideological differences and make wild, cruel, defamatory and even stupid guesses about the identity of those behind the abominable deed. But only a fool would allow his own partisanship to blind him to the real suffering of real people. And only a complete boor would take advantage of such misery to press an unrelated agenda or bloviate about his own bigotries. That’s almost as bad as celebrating a crisis as a chance for self-aggrandizement rather than being respectfully somber. And life would still go on.

Instead, I’ll focus on the heroics of the people at the scene. I’ll cheer those who selflessly rushed toward the catastrophe. I’ll express my wishes that the perpetrators are identified, apprehended and punished in short order. I’ll offer my prayers for those who grieve and for those who suffer. And life will go on.

And I’ll say to those who commit such dastardly acts — and to their fans and enablers — only this: Laugh it up, scumbags. Whether on this plane or the next, you’ll get yours. And it will make ball bearings, nails and forced amputations look like 71 virgins. And despite your best efforts, life will go on.

–Ben Crystal

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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  • Nadzieja Batki

    I am going to start with a weird question. Why is there a policeman guarding the makeshift memorial on Boylston Street? Are they expecting vandalism, theft or what exactly? Are they just keeping people skittish deliberately?

  • speedle24

    Well said Ben. While we should take care and do what we can to discourage this sort of thing, we have to be aware that this is not the last time something like this will happen. It’s a bit trite, but we have to reiterate that we cannot trade freedom for security. In the long term the casualties will be far greater.

    Just as the anti-gun morons use Sandy Hook as an excuse to strengthen the state and weaken the individual, there will be those who propose radical security measures at sporting events. Imagine TSA type agents working any public gathering deemed large enough for a terror target. No thanks. I will take my chances rather than live like a zombie from Logan’s Run.

  • JCfromDC

    I could think of no hell WORSE than spending it WITH 72 virgins.

    • Jeff

      Remember the Star Trek episode where the bad guy was condemned to stay on his ship with at least 72 android replicas of his wife that couldn’t be quieted!

      • The Snarf

        Harvey Mudd. That is the kind of ‘paradise’ the terrorists really deserve.

  • JCfromDC

    I could think of no hell WORSE than spending eternity WITH 72 virgins.

  • Duane

    I am not making light of this travesty (Boston Marathon Bombing). But I want to warn the people that the nanny state will think about confiscating your pressure cookers next. They have nearly succeeded on gun control. So those who have pressure cookers, hide them, Those who don’t have pressure cookers go out and buy one; used properly they are a great way to cook food which is healthy.

  • hungry4food

    Why are all Saudis cleared of all suspensions of being involved in the Plot of terror in Boston ?

  • mattzweck

    god bless america.