Monday, April 15, 2013

For Boston.

I had planned to post something today whining about how I broke my ankle last week and how much it sucks that I won't be able to skate for a couple of months. I'll still post it eventually, but not today. Today there are people who will never walk again because they lost limbs—or lives.

My heart goes out to all of them. It goes out to their families, and to all of those who are still missing loved ones. It goes out to the families of the Newtown victims, who were in a VIP section close to where the explosions occurred (the last mile of the marathon was dedicated to the victims of that recent tragedy). Though it doesn't sound like any of them were injured, I can't even begin to imagine what they are going through today—again.

The authorities don't know who's responsible for it yet. People who were actually there don't know, so I won't even pretend to have the first idea who is responsible for it. I've already heard people throwing around words like terrorist, and blaming it on various ethnic, religious, or political groups. If you're one of these people, please do everyone a favor and shut your fucking face hole. We don't need that shit right now, and even if any of those statements turn out to be true, you didn't know that, so you're still just an asshole. If you actually know something about someone involved, here's how you can do something useful: get the fuck off the internet and go call the tip hotline at 1-800-494-TIPS (8477).

I've spent a lot of time today trying to follow the story as best I could. I've seen a lot of graphic things and a lot of terrifying things. Some of those images will probably stick with me forever, but I'm not going to share any of that here. You can see all that shit on practically every news site in America. Probably, you already have. It'll probably be a while before we get to see much else.

BUT: I have seen a lot of things that I don't want to forget, and I'm afraid the mainstream media will miss every single one of them. Next time you see the footage on TV, don't pay attention to the explosions. Watch the people. Here's what you'll see: people scared, then people running. But not running away—running towards the explosions, to help people. No one knows what the fuck just happened, and there are still all these people running towards that unknown to help. I've seen stories about runners who had already finished the marathon going to donate blood, or journalists who had run it staying to cover the story.

I've seen every social media platform I use exploding with positive words and ways to help. I've seen about a million people sharing Mr. Rogers' words about looking for those people who are helping. I've seen people offering beds to complete strangers who have no place to go. I've seen people reminding us that even when this kind of shit happens, it's not all of humanity that's gone wrong. About a million people have posted Patton Oswalt's Facebook status as well:
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."
This. This is what I want to remember about today, about humanity.

There are lots of ways that you can help, or get help. Here are the ones I know about:

For finding people:
You can call the helpline for families of victims/to locate people at 617-635-4500.
The Red Cross has set up a website to check in, or to find people:
Google has one, too:

If you need someone to talk to:
You can call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.
You can also visit their website:

If you need help talking to your children about what happened:

And finally, if you need someplace to stay, or if you want to offer someone a place to stay, you can check out what is quite probably the greatest spreadsheet in the history of humanity:

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