…think using a dancing mythological numbskull to denote of all Hibernia is a little highfalutin, but as they say in meteorology school: “Let’s get this perfect, or totally wrong. It doesn’t matter really. People can just look out their windows.”
As I said in the book, remember your math: An anecdote is not a trend. Remember your history: The fact that something is bad today doesn’t mean it was better in the past. Keep some perspective. Not every problem is a crisis, plague, epidemic, or existential threat, and not every change is the End of This, the Death of That, or the Dawn of a Post-Something Era. Don’t confuse pessimism with profundity: Problems are inevitable, but problems are solvable, and diagnosing every setback as a symptom of a sick society is a cheap grab for gravitas.
I think there is some irresponsibility, yes. In giving such lavish coverage, especially showing the name, the face, and often the manifesto of the shooter, together with calling attention to the fact that a particular shooter, for example, broke the record for the number of people killed in a day, which is basically an invitation to the next shooter to try to break that record.
Maybe, at my absolute lowest, I might have believed them. Because then, I couldn’t blame myself for my problems and my inability to fix them. Affirmation, even the negative kind, can be soothing. You say things like “I’m beyond help,” “I don’t need to change,” and “The world is at fault, not me.” When you’re hurting, you look for ways to deal with that pain.
… his life playing chess and making the odd art deal here and there, was where the real meaning lay. Then a remarkable thing happened: she asked me about my writing and I told her a little about it and how I also edited a book or two ‘a couple of years ago’ and… his life playing chess and making the odd art deal here and there, was where the real meaning lay. Then a remarkable thing happened: she asked me about my writing and I told her a little about it and how I also edited a book or two ‘a couple of years ago’ and she grew quiet and let me talk and the more I talked the more I realized what failure sounded like and how the best thing to do was stop writing immediately.