It is very strange to be a quiet witness to catastrophe when you are so far away from home. Of course I am referring to the bombing at the Boston Marathon, which is just utterly insane. I turned to Andrew Sullivan's The Dish – the best blog in the Universe, where I found links to all the best coverage.
Bruce Schneier reminds us that feeling scared and powerless in the wake of such an attack is natural, but also plays right into the hands of the perpetrators: " It'd be easy to feel powerless and demand that our elected leaders do something -- anything -- to keep us safe.
"It'd be easy, but it'd be wrong. We need to be angry and empathize with the victims without being scared. Our fears would play right into the perpetrators' hands -- and magnify the power of their victory for whichever goals whatever group behind this, still to be uncovered, has. We don't have to be scared, and we're not powerless. We actually have all the power here, and there's one thing we can do to render terrorism ineffective: Refuse to be terrorized.
He adds: "We get our ideas about how easy it is to blow things up from television and the movies. It turns out that terrorism is much harder than most people think. It’s hard to find willing terrorists, it’s hard to put a plot together, it’s hard to get materials, and it’s hard to execute a workable plan. As a collective group, terrorists are dumb, and they make dumb mistakes; criminal masterminds are another myth from movies and comic books.
All very good points, particularly for me who loves myth, movies and comic books. Though I think criminal masterminds may have been invented by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.