The eager innocent eyes are those of Martin Richard, 8 years old, first victim of the depraved bombers who desecrated the Boston Marathon. The marathon commemorates the horseback ride of Paul Revere to rouse his fellow countrymen on April 15th, 1775, at the time of the birth of the United States. April 15th is now celebrated as Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts. The Boston Marathon has been run since 1897. It has grown to be a joyful international affair; this year athletes from 90 countries of the world came to run, to compete, to share fellowship.

Who are these terrorists who choose such an occasion to kill and maim and destroy? It  really doesn’t matter whether they are home-grown or from abroad. Like all common criminals anywhere in the world, they share a mind-set.  They think they are “heroes,” they think they are “big men,” they think their ideas and desires override anyone or anything else in existence.

They are not heroes. They are not big men. They are in reality only little lice, crawling about the surface of the earth, cowardly, sneaking, sniveling. They are SOTE, a new category of vermin. Scum Of The Earth is what they are.

And are our hands completely clean? I think there is enough blood to go around — 

When T.S. Eliot wrote, “April is the cruelest month,” do you think he had April in America in mind? The Columbine shootings, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Virginia Tech shootings, and now the Boston Marathon bombings — all of them happened in April. 

Twenty-six people dead in Newtown, Connecticut, not by bombs, but by military style assault weapons. Twenty of them were younger even than Martin Richard! And yet the first tiniest step toward sensible gun control is still being fought tooth and nail at this very moment by billion-dollar arms lobbies of our fellow countrymen. What has happened to us?  The America I remember from my civics classes in grade school a thousand years ago — the land of opportunity, of equality, of liberty and justice for all — seems a long ago ideal, no longer “relevant.”

What can we do to turn things around? To bring our lived reality closer to our professed ideals? Comments are requested from those younger, more optimistic, less worn down than I am —

This entry was posted in Death, Democracy, Etcetera, Evolution, Failure, Happiness, Life and Death, Personal Essay and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. We need a revolution – just like the one Paul Revere roused us for in 1775. But a revolution means we understand that we have a common cause – WE have a COMMON cause. Sadly, I think we’re just too divided to see that right now – and the corporations, the media, the politicians will keep us that way because divided we have no strength. But, I’m probably too old to have responded…


    • Touch2Touch says:

      You are absolutely right, WE have a COMMON cause. And we are blind to it —
      It was Benjamin Franklin who said: We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. And he said that at the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
      We need a reenactment!!!!


      • Pauline says:

        I think that, unfortunately, we as a nation would have to lose everything before we could come together in a revolution. Just as long as we’re kept this side of comfortable and our rights and liberties are taken in small increments, we are content to plod along.


  2. Anonymous says:

    We have the combined struggles against the corporate establishments and a pervasive passivity. And the U.S. is a vast country. I think of viewing the movie The Singing Revolution last year at a local college. Local acts, but with persistence and determination.

    I have noticed lately how there are energizing efforts in the U.K. to overcome the pornography culture afflicting young people. Grassroots efforts gaining ground. It still must be possible to orchestrate a revolution in our times.


  3. SOTE. Unfortunately, that is a new word that is becoming a part of our everyday vocabulary.


  4. Patti Kuche says:

    Judith, beautiful words and I feel your pain but I am going away to ponder and will return, I hope, with more considered words and less fire in my belly. April is indeed a cruel month. Best wishes to you.


    • Touch2Touch says:

      I’m not a hothead in the ordinary way, Patti. Rather cool and detached. But when I am roused, and I am always roused by what C.S. Lewis archaically called “unfairness” — e.g., that innocents should be massacred for vanity and overweening ego — reason goes out the window. (My husband lives with this, sometimes with difficulty.)
      My head knows that actually it isn’t helpful or useful. But there it is. You may be relieved to know that no one has ever approached me to enter the Diplomatic corps.
      Thank you for your comment, and I look forward to the more considered words. I know they will be worth hearing — just as your photographs are always worth seeing.


  5. In the words of the Moody Blues, ” I’m frightened for our children…” I know this doesn’t help anyone, but I am at a loss. Who does things like this? What is the damn justification? There is none. SOTE indeed.


  6. Anonymous says:

    Our former rector and forever friend wrote the following as part of his Prayer for Boston:

    “… Deliver us from looking
    away because we are terror
    weary. Because no one we know
    was there. … ”

    This hit home with me because it described my reaction completely … I looked away and moved on. It’s a hard prayer.


    • Touch2Touch says:

      Yes, it’s a hard prayer, Meg. Really challenging.
      And we all, for our sanity, really do need respites from horror.
      For this one, though, I — who mostly turn away, from the homeless, from the mentals, from the beggars — have been impelled to look. It’s HOME in some unanalyzable way, and symbolizes something that goes very deep, even if I can’t identify it.
      The joy and the cameraderie — the meanness and the malice —-
      I don’t know. Thanks for writing.


  7. rebekah says:

    It’s Friday night now, so I’m a little behind here, but I’ve followed the manhunt all day on Twitter and CNN. I quite often lose faith in the human race, every now and then there’s a little glimmer of hope, but it vanishes as soon as I turn on the news. I don’t know what to say…

    Here’s a photo someone posted today on Twitter: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BINbgUwCAAAaVZ-.jpg:large


    • Touch2Touch says:

      It’s true — everyday in Syria — Bridgeport — Chicago — Israel — you name it.
      We live in hope though, because we have to! And there are things that lift the oppressed spirit. Music is the first I thought of, but I have another in mind for when I have the strength to tackle it.
      Thanks for commenting, Rebekah.


  8. Madhu says:

    Terror and divisions lines the pockets of too many. I don’t believe it is about religion at all. And these poor misguided souls are pawns in the hands of those puppeteers. Scares me too much to think of where we – all of us around the world – are headed. None of our intelligence agencies are squeaky clean either, and we reap what they sow I am afraid.


    • Touch2Touch says:

      There’s an old “joke” that goes, Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean my enemies aren’t plotting against me —
      I’m with you, Madhu, but for me, that way lies despair. So I think we just have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again.
      (A Fred Astaire song that would lift your spirits if it’s on youtube.)


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