When’s the last time you took a look something completely random that made you stop and think ‘now that’s just wrong!’ Today, I looked (I mean REALLY looked) at this mailbox that’s been in my neighborhood for as long as I’ve lived here (close to 15 years now). Yes, I’ve of course looked at it before because I’ve dropped mail into it a zillion times over the years, each time mumbling to myself about the stupidity of its placement.
I mean, look at it! Today, it really bothered me…enough that I took this photo. As I climbed back into the car where my husband was patiently waiting and wondering why I felt the necessity to take a photo of a public mailbox, I remarked to him about the incredible nitwit who must have installed this thing, wondering if he was in fact an employee of the USPS. Or, if after inspection of this mailbox installation, he lost his job.
Which then got me to thinking about all the things of much greater importance that are just WRONG in this world. Inexplicably WRONG. Like two normal looking guys, living a nice life in an amazing place where schools like MIT and Harvard churn out incredible brain powers, yet rather than assimilate into that incredible fold, instead they attempt to turn an entire nation on its heals.
This has been one of those memorable weeks that I’ll remember for decades to come. While the horrifying drama at the Boston Marathon was front and center, it played out in live coverage on every media format, reminding all of us who enjoy the liberties of our United States that life on this earth can be fleeting. In the blink of an eye, it can be over… or forever changed in the most profound way, perpetrated by the darkest of evils..times two.
WE THE PEOPLE…until last Monday, that included those insidious monsters who were living amongst us.
As I stared at that mailbox today, I wondered how it could be so obviously turned around backwards, and placed to the exact WRONG edge of the sidewalk, with zero proximity for a drive-by mail drop, yet remain credibly functional.
How is it that we can so easily overlook the WRONG that’s right in front of us every day? In the case of these two dastards, the media reports that there were in fact warnings. Warnings from another nation, no less. But, like a suspicious lesion, until it’s on the move, warnings can be taken too casually. Maybe mildly investigated, but often dismissed as ‘nothing’. Like cancer, once metastasized, it’s often too late. Criminals and cancer…they have a lot in common.
WE THE PEOPLE…Boston showed us the meaning of those words this week. I’d like to pop a letter into that backward cockamamie mailbox, addressed to that coward caught like a bloodied worm cornered inside of a parked boat. It would read:
WE THE PEOPLE OF THIS UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
WILL NOT BE TERRORIZED BY YOUR COWARDLY ACTS OF VIOLENCE. WE THE PEOPLE WILL STAND VIGILANT
TO PROTECT AND DEFEND OUR FREEDOMS.
WE THE PEOPLE.
THAT USED TO INCLUDE YOU,
BUT YOU HAVE LOST YOUR FREEDOM TO EVER AGAIN BE ONE OF US.
YOU ARE NOT ONE OF ‘WE THE PEOPLE’,
YOU ARE NOW AND FOREVER A COWARD,
WHERE YOUR SOUL WILL DWELL WITHOUT THE FREEDOM
TO EVER AGAIN CALL THIS GREAT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
without wishing to be rude, while nations continue to fail to try and understand the grievances of other nations, to dismiss those that move beyond democracy to express their protest in extra-legal means such as bombs and bullets as “monsters”, then the cancer as you call it will never be defeated. As a basic military logic, “know thy enemy” is pretty fundamental, but they are dismissed as criminals and terrorists, which interestingly is exactly the language oppressive governments in China and Iran use to persecute opponents agitating for democracy.
Yes their act is an outrage against decency, but then they would cite cases of military outrages against the civilian populations their relatives come from – the Russians in Chechyna, America in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am not saying one is right or wrong, but merely that one has to try and understand it, not necessarily to agree with it, but to understand it, even from a military viewpoint of defeating it. Then maybe the Intelligence services won’t ignore the tip off from the Russians, or the UK authorities might have realised our London Underground suicide bombers had gone to a terror trainign camp in Pakistan and not dismissed that either.
Your interest in my essay and follow-up comment are always appreciated. Thank you for taking the time to read it. I detect no rudeness in your remarks whatsoever (thank you!), and you express some valid considerations. “Know thy enemy”, as you point out, is a long time military credo, but in this particular case, it seems clear to me that the only ‘enemy’ these 2 brothers were intent on harming were the innocent marathon participants, friends, family members and general bystanders who were out to enjoy a beautiful holiday tradition in the very city these 2 called ‘home’ for many years. Their focus was not on any military installation, or individuals in military attire. Their focus became an 8 year old eating an ice cream cone, a 29 year old young woman who had an annual tradition of cheering on the runners, a Boston University graduate student from China, a police officer sitting in his patrol car at MIT, and another 150+ others who’s only purpose was to enjoy Boston’s Patriot Day and the Boston Marathon. Those who’ve managed to survive are forever changed. I wonder what their perspectives might be if and when they get to a point in their lives to reflect back.. What might they feel about the ability for these 2 radical extremists to “express their protest in extra-legal means” using bombs and bullets, and pressure cookers to cause as much destruction as they could cowardly muster.
With that said, do NOT take the assumption that I fully support the actions of our military or any other nation’s military who strike innocent civilians. The perspective I expressed in my essay is solely with regards to the Boston Marathon bombings and what we now know about the perpetrators (or at least what the media is reporting about them).
I agree with you fully that seeking to understand those who wish to do the United States harm is crucial. Our State Department has demonstrated the patience we’ve not seen from many prior administrations. But even with an increased understanding of the grievances carried by other nations towards our own, it doesn’t in any way give them a ‘pass’ on their heinous actions. And it certainly doesn’t prevent those who don’t have an interest to see any perspective but THEIR own from wreaking as much devastation and destruction as possible on fellow neighbors and innocent bystanders celebrating a great annual tradition in this free country of ours.
The Boston Marathon bombers remain monsters in every sense of the word for me. But, that’s only my point of view, and I do very much appreciate yours.
Ann, oddly enough, there probably IS a good reason that the mailboxes are placed the way they are. Think about it. If they were turned around the convenient way, but NOT on the sidewalk, some yahoo would occasionally drive up onto the sidewalk to put their mail into the box – perhaps knocking over a pedestrian or a kid on a bike in the process. If it were faced toward the road within easy reach of mail deposition, it would block the sidewalk, and some poor kid on a bike (or absent-minded pedestrian) would probably smash into it. So don’t blame the poor installer.
As for these Chechen/US kids, unfortunately, as their uncle said, they seem to be losers. But think about it. They’ve been abandoned here in the U.S. by both parents as teen-age or young-adult males–the most dangerous age for guys. They were no doubt teased unmercifully by cohorts for being foreign. Essentially every foreign person of school age is teased by Americans, as are many Americans who are “different.” It’s called bullying. And it arouses an intense anger in the recipient. In females, this usually results in depression; in males it leads to aggressive behavior. Think of it. How many times do you think “Dzhokhar” was called “Joker”? That’s essentially the way it’s pronounced in Russian. And they talk about him being a “drug” person, but in Russian, that means friend. No doubt lots of people made fun of that.
Add to that the older one’s obsession with fighting (boxing), and the suspicion, disrespect, and even contempt his religion (Islam) receive in this country, and you have a recipe for disaster. Many angry young native-born American men have done the same sorts of thing for what they perceive to be ideological reasons. Think of Timothy McVeigh.
I have lived abroad for five years in four different countries, and I know how angry I have gotten at what I experienced as hatred and disrespect. But I’m female and was able to keep that anger under control. Young males often don’t seem able to control their destructive impulses.
I don’t know what the solution is, but human culture has always been at the mercy of rampaging bands of young males. It’s called battle or war. And Americans men have been doing it in the Middle East for the past decade in the name of “freedom.” Like the Russians did with the Chechens. It’s truly sad.
Maybe if more women were in charge of things, and when more women are on the front lines of battle, world culture might become more civilized.
But don’t complain about the mailboxes.
Thank you so much for reading my essay! LOL…seems so silly for me to write about a mailbox, doesn’t it? This particular mailbox is an anomoly around here. The sidewalk is actually a ‘double wide’ right there, and the mailbox is of the type that was meant to be on the curb so a vehicle could pull right up, drop mail in, and drive off. (There are a bunch of identical boxes situated just that way around town). So, although you are absolutely correct about the concern for pedestrians and cyclists, the double wide sidewalk there was likely poured for that very reason, so they’d have the means to get around a mailbox that was actually designed for vehicles to pull right up. As it sits now, the only convenience to pull right up is if you’re riding an ATV across the field that the drive-up slot services. But, I don’t blame the installer…I promise. I just truly wonder about it each time I have to park my car and walk across that double wide sidewalk to use the pedestrian side of the box, all the while wondering who does use the drive-up slot…I never do see anyone on an ATV in that field.
I couldn’t agree with you more…women could certainly bring a different approach to the world stage. But I have to say that I don’t care what the trigger mechanism was for Timothy McVeigh, Adam Lanza, or these 2 perpetrators at the Boston Marathon. Bullying, abandonment, anger…it doesn’t matter. We can understand the behavior as a result of exposure, but that does NOT in any way give them a ‘pass’ in my mind. THEIR actions…that took consideration, planning and thought, were not the actions of an individual that has any sense of humanity. And I don’t believe that gender necessarily plays any role outside of the fact that traditionally it’s men who go off to fight in a war. (Maybe there are studies, however, that would prove me wrong). I’d say there are plenty of men (whose numbers far outweigh those who’ve resorted to extremism) who do know how to handle their anger and manage their pain, having lived through a multitude of circumstances that could easily have turned them into terrorists. Yet, we don’t hear about them because they DIDN’T use heinous acts of violence to express themselves.
Human nature runs both lanes…good and evil. For me personally, the Boston Marathon bombers will remain monsters in every sense of the word.
I appreciate your insights and I promise not to complain any more about that mailbox. I might just shake my head a wee bit next time around, but I’ll think of you and promise to say nothing further about it! Sending all good wishes..
L.A.O.T, I appreciate your good-humored response to my commentary. It’s just so sad that so many out there are so lost and directionless.
Being young is hard. They say that being old is not for sissies, but I’m there, now, and I much prefer it to the turmoil I suffered in the younger years.