The Boston Bombing, Compassion, and Entertainment

It’s been a tough week for America. A few days ago, the Boston Marathon was bombed. Then, yesterday, a Texas fertilizer plant blew up. At the time of writing, we know the Boston bombing was deliberate, but we do not know who did it. It killed 3 people. We do not know the cause of the fertilizer plant explosion. It may have been an accident or it may have been deliberate. We know it killed 14. In both cases, over 100 were injured. A lot of people said that the stories of heroism and compassion in response to the Boston bombing reinforced a positive view of humanity. I have come away with the opposite impression, and it’s not directly due to any element of the response to the Boston bombing–so far, that response has been, as far as I can tell, quite good. No, this reinforces a negative view of humanity for me not because of the reaction to the Boston bombing itself, but because of the comparative lack of reaction to the Texas explosion. Let me explain further. Read the rest of this entry »