What happened? Where did we go so wrong?
Don’t you remember those times of running around the neighborhood fighting imaginary villains? Exploring our forts in the hidden dangers of the dark woods? When did those villains become real? When did those dangers stop hiding?
Was it on April 20th, 1999? When two kids walked into their school and killed 13 people. Because I do remember things shifted. I was only 12, but for the first time in my life I saw that people began to divide and our guard went up. People who wore black, or trench coats, who listened to certain music, we pushed them out and made them something they weren’t. They were once kids too.
Was it September 11th, 2001, when I was 14 years old sitting on the gymnasium floor as our principle came on, announcing a plane had just flown into The World Trade Center in New York City. I called my mom as the second plane hit. She was in the building one month before buying us Broadway tickets. I stood outside and waited, fascinated with the plaza, the people, the hot dog vendors. I was just a kid, but I now had enemies in which we called terrorists. I wasn’t playing imaginary games anymore. None of us were. Everything had changed.
In John Milton’s Paradise Lost, he writes about the battle between God and an Angel, Satan. God wins the battle and sends Satan below the Earth, to which we call Hell, and once there he gathers other fallen Angels and rises to the surface and becomes what we know now as the Devil.
I don’t know much about religion, or history, or politics. But I know that something is clearly wrong. So I ask, please, what can we do to fix it? I was lucky enough to have 12 years of childhood youth without the realization of true evil – all I want is for my niece to have the same luxury as I. Yet already in her lifetime, she has heard of Sandy Hook Elementary, Colorado Movie Theater, Planned Parenthood, Paris, San Bernardino… In this year alone we have had 350 mass shootings. 350. More days than in the year. She is 4 years old.
So World, together, how do we leave the existence of this Frank Miller Graphic Novel and go back to something better? Let us fight Global Warming and Climate Change, Poverty, Cancer… but not each other.
We are tired of the the murderous updates sent to our phones in which we are beginning to feel numb for it is more normal than shocking. We are more instantly connected with one another and yet feel more distant than ever. I am not asking for us to hold hands and sing Kumbaya. I am not asking for religion or faith. I am asking for you and us to work together and simply be better.
Let us be good to you and to each other. Introduce kindness and respect and maybe we can work through this. Let us be smart and safe and find an answer. Let us be real and know that we are fucking everything up for the future and if we do not fix this now, we will surely parish as we take everything down with us. Please World, let us not be those fallen Angels.