Look, you got me.
Although I am a registered student at a school where horror unfolded on a scale you can’t possibly imagine (imagine it), I should’ve known I couldn’t keep up this charade for long.
You’re right. I am, in fact, a crisis actor.
I’ll admit, my first thought after, “Oh my God my classmates and coaches and a teacher are dead what is the point of anything” was “I wonder if there’s a way I could channel my trauma and debilitating grief, perhaps putting myself in front of cameras that are quite literally everywhere and express in an extremely articulate and earnest way the atrocity my school and community just suffered and, maybe while I’m at it, perhaps propose that something like this never happen again?” Additionally, I wanted to instantaneously become more effective and passionate than virtually any politician currently in office while also providing a nation with the first glimpse of hope they’ve experienced since, well, it feels like forever honestly.
Let’s face it, all that stuff is like catnip to the dark forces of the world who have deep, deep, deep pockets — like teachers, regular human parents, and people who aren’t goddamn idiots.
Honestly, who could blame me? Crisis acting is a pretty lucrative field these days. As one of your fellow geniuses mentioned on Twitter, my parents did tell me I needed to get a summer job and this really seemed to fit the bill. What better way to get paid while also traveling the country one gun control rally and/or “mass shooting” at a time, all while still trying to get my arms around the fact that by random chance I escaped my own death, seventeen people who were alive just last Wednesday morning are gone for eternity, and no matter what I do from here on out the trajectory of my life has been irrevocably altered?
I think what most people don’t understand is how vast the crisis actor network really is. WE ARE EVERYWHERE. While my fellow crisis actors and I are currently the most visible, I would also direct your attention to the less visible supporting crisis actors in our midst. For example, our parents who stand next to us, convincingly laying their hands upon our arms and shoulders to steady us while simultaneously looking shattered in about a thousand different ways. You gotta hand it to them on their performances. They’re really digging deep Method-style, in no small part due to the fact that: 1) their traumatized children are survivors of a mass shooting that we also could’ve died in, 2) their traumatized children are publicly putting themselves out there as highly paid crisis actors obviously, and 3) their traumatized children are also being attacked by grown human adults who still think the moon is made of Swiss cheese and that apparently this country is just one huge traveling repertory theater putting on one-act plays with a startlingly diverse cast — infants and the elderly, rural folks and city folks, people of every race, football coaches and geography teachers — while demonstrating the type of acting ability and gory special effects that seem, frankly, far out of reach for non-union actors.
But what am I saying, I’m just a child. A child! Remind me again, what is the definition of a child these days? Is it: Old enough to be sexually active with thirty-year-old men? Too young to have opinions? Old enough to be pawns in a vast anti-gun conspiracy?
Or are we just the perfect age to die? It’s a pickle to be sure!
Let me know what you and your fellow basement dwellers work out on those guidelines and get back to me at your earliest convenience. I will gladly take them to the next Crisis Actors United In Not Being Inhumane Morons meeting.
Anyway, just wanted to say congratulations again on really getting to the bottom of this one. There is definitely nothing else this country needs to be figuring out right now.
Nope, can’t think of a thing.
Before you freak out in the comments, stop. 1) This is satire, it is not real. Just like crisis actors. 2) I do not speak for any of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students (they seem to be doing a fine job all on their own), 3) Reminder: THIS IS NOT REAL. 4) Please consider donating to March For Our Lives, Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords, Sandy Hook Promise, Gun Sense Vermont, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, or Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
Kimberly Harrington is a copywriter and creative director, a contributor to The New Yorker and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and is the co-founder and editor of parenting humor site RAZED. Her first book, AMATEUR HOUR: MOTHERHOOD IN ESSAYS AND SWEAR WORDS, is out May 1st from Harper Perennial and can be preordered here. Follow her/me on Twitter.