Thursday, February 18, 2010

Comfortably Horrified


I was walking through the reception area at work when I saw the news about a lone pilot's suicide attack on a Texas IRS building.  At that time, the broadcast was reporting that the suspect's house was reported to be on fire and I was afraid that he had annihilated his family in the process, but later was heartened to learn that the lunatic had only killed one other person.

Only.

I didn't even bat a lash at the fact that someone had attacked a building with a plane; he's just another psycho with a grudge, you see them in the news almost every day, after all. If it hadn't been a plane at the IRS, it'd been a gun at the campus or a hunting knife on the bus...it's unnerving to think that I've become accustomed  to murder and numb to any real shock when hearing of it,  feeling instead only a mild sense of relief : "it could have been worse".

Relief.

I should be horrified but I'm not.  I'd be horrified all the time if I allowed commonplace events like mass murder or random , wholesale slaughter to bother me, and it would be pretty damned difficult to function if I were in such a state. The only surprise I felt is that death toll wasn't higher, the attacker had a long time to get ready but in the end he died the way he lived- a total loser. There are girls that are better suicide bombers than Joe Stack can ever hope to be.

A low bar.

Of course, the word 'hope' doesn't really apply to suicide killers, but I see a vast difference in the total hopelessness born of living in wartime conditions in a  desolate,third-world setting and the total hopelessness of being able to afford to buy a private plane and a quarter-million dollar house such as the one owned by the Texas airplane killer.  I'm glad I can't afford to live that hopelessly.

*****************************************

Meanwhile, my old job is in the news with this headline:
  
Census workers who did no work were paid


The article doesn't even scratch the surface. At one point I was the Help Desk Supervisor for a Help Desk that had no incoming lines and no personnel in the field to support, I had to have four clerks sitting in front of computers that didn't have internet access, waiting for phone calls from people that hadn't even been hired and trained yet-  when the operation actually began, the software that worked the phones crashed , which reduced our calls to a trickle at best. We were getting paid to do nothing, but what were we supposed to do? Quit our jobs in order to save the government some money?

I mean, it wasn't long ago that we were giving billions to the banks, so just consider the extra Census jobs as a sort of  "bail-out" for average people who are in hard times...the Census could be a great vehicle for developing a jobs growth plan if handled properly- jobs that did real stuff like rebuild our infrastructure - but instead it's just another political football, something else for lunatics to blame their problems on. It's a shitty job and it doesn't last very long, so don't begrudge the folks who do it...and it's better for the economy than unemployment.

It's a shame about Title 13, it really is.

9 comments:

angel said...

Oy, its sad that we've become so jaded...

Allan said...

JS- It's too early in the morning for blog, I accidently deleted you with the spam. Sorry.

secret agent woman said...

I also have that sense of relief when "only" one person dies in an event like that - and then I imagine how the family of that one person is doing.

Anonymous said...

Do you have copy writer for so good articles? If so please give me contacts, because this really rocks! :)

Allan said...

Anon- Thanks. I write my all my own posts and I work cheap.

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