No Silver Lining

July 21st, 2012

Inspired by the strange confluence between Melissa Harris-Perry’s show this morning and The Day After Tomorrow, which is on Spike today.
 

“But a little ray of hope in the midst of so much loss: the survival of the youngest among the survivors, a three-month old caught in the chaos who thankfully survived. Too often, our politics, our laws, our policies, even our national violence separate mothers from the children they love. But the little miracle among all the death in Coloradothis week is a reminder that not all is lost.” – Melissa Harris-Perry

 

I too am a sucker for an cathartic happy ending,

But it won’t bring us closer, this mass slaughter to ending.

Sure, we’re all glad that the three-month old survived,

But what about all the others of their loved ones deprived?

 

It’s like in The Day After Tomorrow, when the movie ends

And the hero rescues his son and his friends.

Never mind the millions whose deaths could have been prevented

If Republicans had in their opposition relented.

 

I’m not trying to equate Aurora and climate change—that’s not my point,

But I do think it’s another interesting and comparable data point.

We seem incapable of taking action on either guns or climate change,

Which given their destructiveness is pretty strange.

 

It’s a little more understandable with climate, since the science in complex

And it’s hard to pin down specific effects.

(Although, those effects are becoming increasingly clear,

As they become increasingly severe.)

 

But with guns, the denial is even more bizarre—

How can we have let things go this far?

How many more mass murders will it take

Before we a few tiny changes make?

 

I know, it’s hard—gun rightists have the upper hand,

And no politician relishes a courageous last stand.

But if we don’t stand up to the NRA

We’ll never stop what happened yesterday.

 

What happened then

Will happen again and again

If we keep on to supposedly superior political forces resigning

And consoling ourselves with a silver lining.

***

Here’s Melissa Harris-Perry’s7/21/12 wrap-up, including the silver-lining reference to survival of the wounded 3-month old at the end. Melissa, I love your show and I too love a good silver-lining story. But all too often, that attempt at self-consolation allows us to justify continued inaction in the face of immorality, as we have with our failed gun policies. I’m glad you ended with the call to action. Too many, unfortunately, leave that part out.
 

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