Friday, December 26, 2008


i grew up in a sleepy southern town where violence lurked beneath the surface in the form of domestic abuse but rarely leaked out into the streets. here in new orleans, we have both. we have children being shot on christmas night. when i first moved here, i was shocked by the randomness of the city's crime. i was horrified to see people killed in front of my home and now...well, now i am just jaded to it all. yet, as i write this i know that i am in danger of falling prey to the idealization of my childhood in that i never once witnessed a murder or even heard gun shots. still, the violence was there in the dirt caked fists of someone's drunken husband or the ten plus lashes from and angry father's belt. in my home town a drive by shooting would appall the citizens and yet, they tip toed around the presence of the klan, showing up on the weekends at piggly wiggly to give horseback rides to white children. i have seen them burning their cross in the field and so i guess my childhood was no less violent. we were just better at keeping it under wraps. i am 37 now and all my years on this planet have brought me no closer to understanding mankind's propensity for hatred and violence and i guess that is a good thing. it wearies me though and it is easy to slip into a depression post-news but despite the horror stories, it is worth mentioning that most of the world is at peace. most people are not trying to slaughter each other on the streets or in countless battlefields. hope, it is ever eternal.

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