Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Let the Dead Bury Their Dead

Could anything be more bizarre than the now nearly hourly updates on where Tamerlan Tsarnaev will be buried?  I listen to a college radio station for the music and have to suffer through the students' garbled accounts of what they think a person purveying "news" would say--they are almost always unable to stumble through their own terse press accounts and if they go beyond the headlines ("Markets were up, today, in up trading" ) they usually get whatever they are reporting on backwards or broken. I can't say that I leave listening to WERS stupider than before--that is an honor reserved to NPR and shows like Marketplace which actively deform the news. But WERS reports on "stuff other people are reporting on" so it does serve as a window into "stuff people are hearing because its stuff other people are reporting on."

Let me be the first to say that I do not care to know what happens to the corpse of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. I don't care not because the guy was more heinous than other mass murderers--I felt the same indifference to the fate of the corpse of Mother Teresa. Its simply not my business and I think we'd all be better off as a people if we rose, as one, and said as much. Its.Not.Our.Business.  If land could be contaminated by the touch of murderers then the ground where Dick Cheney walks would be radioactive already and birds would fall dead from the sky as they flew over his golf outings.  I resent having Tsarnaev's body's fate thrust on me  as if all of us subscribe to the same ritualistic magical thinking as some lowest common denominator tea party trogledyte.  Its a corpse. Not a zombie. Dispose of it and lets move on. Or at least can we stop reporting on it as though he's Franco and we can't believe he's still dead?

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