Another terrorist attack in formerly Great Britain. A suicide bomber detonated a bomb at an Ariana Grande concert. Children and teenagers blown to pieces, bled out on the cold concrete. Cries of agony and fear filled the air. Devastated families and ruined lives. Mutilated and maimed youth, lifelong physical and psychiatric therapy.
Pop music is about fun and forgetting. It’s comfortable catharsis. You go to a pop concert to release energy and feel free, uninhibited, and careless. You dance and sing along, you submerge your identity in a thronging mass and release the pressure of being a self. And then you return to your normal life. You go home with memories of a few moments when everything was light and fun, unlike the world.
The world is heavy, it’s dense with tragedy and misfortune, teeming with corruption and malice. We don’t want to think there are people out to get us. We don’t like the idea of violent ideologies preaching our destruction. There’s no way one group could be inimical towards another because people in general are good.
There’s no such thing as evil. There are only misunderstood, excluded individuals, failed by the system. When they lash out, it only means that we need to try harder to include them, to open our hearts and love them.
Terrorist attacks should be understood as natural disasters. They happen the same way a tornado rips through a trailer park or a tsunami washes away an entire village. The price of modern, urban life in a western country is an occasional nail through the frontal lobes.
But don’t worry, there are stats to soothe your fearful soul. Did you know you’re far more likely to die in a car accident than a terror attack? In 2016, 1,180 people died in car crashes in the UK. Way fewer people were killed by terrorists. Nothing drastic needs to be done; a show of solidarity is enough.
We don’t want to live without cars, so we accept the risk because the convenience is worth the possibility of pain and loss. We like to drive, even if it means that every now and then one of us will drive into a guard rail or an oak tree. Just as we bravely drive our cars, so we should bravely ignore threats to our safety and invite more resentful aliens into our lands. The key to dealing with terrorist attacks is in the way we view them, and what we say or don’t say about them.
We must become more stoic. When we’re powerless to change the course of things, we must change our thoughts and feelings. We can’t stop earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, car crashes, or terrorist attacks. These catastrophes are all the same, all inevitable. We must not give in to fear.
Or hate. Never, ever, under any circumstance should we feel a flicker of hate. Terrorists attack us because they want us to hate and fear them. Murdering our children is just strategy. Their game is making us feel negative emotions, and we’re not going to let them win.
The real danger whenever terrorists dismember our sons and daughters is right wing reaction, of course. If we should fear anyone, it’s the extremists on the right. They use natural, normal, unavoidable events like terror attacks to whip people into fits of destructive rage. We won’t say that right wing extremists are evil, but they are sick and ignorant.
They feel genuine, deeply embedded, long-standing human emotions when hostile foreigners with alien, murderous ideologies target their families and lands. And that’s unacceptable. That’s not who we are. We allow feelings of sadness and grief, but we’re not going to stop going to pop concerts or change our loving, slaughter inviting way of life.
The only thing worse than a pile of British corpses is a muslim man feeling uncomfortable on a train. We must be vigilant and denounce islamophobia with every breath. We must come together now to expel hateful bigots from our ranks. People who are more concerned with protecting their blood than assuaging the feelings of foreigners should be censored and silenced.
Pop and rock concerts are symbolic targets. These events represent western excess and decadence. A mass, materialistic society without spiritual mooring needs a constant supply of spectacles to stimulate and energize a disaffected, degraded populace. Entertainment fills in the hollow core of our lives. What we consume is more important to us than self preservation.
So the terrorists strike at our celebrations of meaningless distraction. And we react by saying that we won’t stop distracting ourselves, because we refuse to hate people who want to murder and enslave us. The terrorists can incinerate our children, but they’ll never take our amoral, crass entertainment.
For a suicidal, corrupted west, the show must always go on, free from hatred for poor, murderous minorities. We won’t stop loving diversity, even if it means getting eviscerated by shrapnel to the tune of drivel.