I have very little to add to the accounts of the Boston Marathon bombings, but it also feels weird and silly to write about anything else, as this column’s purpose is to summarize and give perspective to the news of the day. Here, then, are random observations about the tragedy and the coverage of it from a Dallas perspective.
Stacey Yervasi was a friend before she left D Magazine years ago. Even though I haven’t seen her in some time, it was still frightening to see on Facebook that she crossed the finish line just a minute before the blast. She says she was fine but shaken. She wanted to walk toward the end but pushed herself to keep running. Yervasi told Debbie Fetterman of the Dallas Morning News:
If I had walked for even 30 seconds, I would have been right there. I was fast enough.”
Two things about this: One, it shouldn’t take knowing someone who could have been affected by such acts for me to cross that line from worrying concern to real empathy, but I guess that’s just human nature. I never stopped my life upon news of an IRA car bombing or a random attack in the Middle East.
Still, it feels important to listen to those who are affected, find someone you know who can relate the pain and fear, so you can better feel that horror and anger in your bones. Seems to me that is the only way we collectively will take whatever small steps we can toward a meaningful reaction. (Not that I’ll pretend to have any idea what the best reaction is.)
The other is, wow, how much better is social media in a crisis than traditional news media? (Well, sometimes better and worse at the same time.) The DMN threw everything it could at the story, flooding its homepage with links about the marathon. (I count 19 as of 7:45 am.) But most of what I’ve read or seen that has stuck with me came from Facebook accounts of friends, or famous comedians, or videos and links posted on Twitter.
It’s also a great way to filter out the bleating from all corners and find the mainstream media accounts worth viewing. Like this piece from former DMN reporter and current Wall Street Journal writer Colleen McCain Nelson, on what it was like near the finish line, which for once was “the saddest place to be” at a marathon. Or Charles Pierce’s eloquent take on what this meant to Boston. Or this amazing post on Carlos Arrendondo, the Costa Rican immigrant who is an unquestioned hero today.
Again, no larger points, no pithy way to wrap up the column. The marathon bombing was horrific and terrifying, I don’t know what lessons can or should be taken from it if any, and I don’t know what I should or shouldn’t do today other than praise those brave people who helped those in need.
The fact that EFH was engaged in pre-packaged bankruptcy talks isn’t a surprise, but it was made official by a filing yesterday.
I know I’m a dork, but something about new terminal gates at Love Field actually excites me.
Have you noticed Steve Blow is writing more substantive columns about politics and issues and stuff? I have. Makes me happy.