Silver Bullet Points’ Gots Questions

Written April 17th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Lotta stuff rattling around the ol’ brainpan the last couple of days… sometimes it’s good to have a bit of distraction from the harshness of our realities. Here’s the song that’s been stuck in my subconscious

Buckeye 411

Commentary- Asking The Right Questions

Once again we find ourselves here. “Senseless” actions are literally that- we can make no sense of them. And this time, the “distraction” that we usually turn to is the heart of the matter; the refuge of recreation is taken away, and sport is not a sanctuary. A joyous tradition of the simplest competition, running, is a moment of terror.

Courtesy J. Seemann

Courtesy J. Seemann

Monday’s incident in Boston is still, at least at this reflection, unexplained. And once we know the “who” and make guesses as to the “why”, I don’t think we’ll ever have the heart of our confusion and fear answered.

How someone could choose to engage in behavior that impacts innocents is beyond my ability to understand… and yes, for me that means innocents in Boston and New York and Oklahoma City and Tel Aviv and Bahgdad and Kidal and way to many others to mention. And that’s part of the problem.

There are people smarter than me who have wrestled with this question before, the nature of evil. There are whole arenas of philosophy and theology and ethics whose sole purpose is to study and explain and posit as to the foundational question- “Why?”

I was watching the entertaining if not incredibly historically accurate television show “Vikings” on the History Channel on Sunday evening, and saw this question surface several times. As an explanation as to “why is my wife having a child sired by someone else?” and “why are these northmen attacking our city?”, the characters sought to make meaning of it all via whatever explanations fit their understanding. In the last question, three different answers were provided- “Maybe they’re punishment from God for our wickedness”, “Maybe they’re persecution by the devil, because of our righteousness”, “Maybe they’re just greedy and want our gold”.  In the show, the final answer ends up being the one that’s correct.

It’s not my intent here to vary from our “don’t talk politics or religion” policy, other than our loyalty to St. Woodrow of Columbus and Urban his servant. Instead, it’s my hope to normalize the questions that we all have when these types of things happen and when we feel jumpy at any and all possible unknown. And, it’s my hope to be able to shift those questions to ones of… well… hope.

Many have pointed out that these moments help us realize the good that also exists; the good that cannot and will not allow evil to win. Be it in the words of Patton Oswalt or even in the photos of first responders running toward the explosion on Copley Square, we see what we truly are: Broken, yes… but filled with hope and courage in a way that often calls us beyond ourselves to something greater.

Put another way:

On Monday, I also lost a friend following a long bout with cancer. I fly out this weekend for the services and to spend time with an extended family that seemingly on the other side of the world from where I find myself daily. It could be that this is the reason that the Boston incident has hit me the way that it has; I’m struggling a bit with the meaning and frailty of it all.  As someone who is allegedly trained to be a crisis responder and a “meaning-maker” in these types of situations, I still find myself confused and lost and flailing about more than I’m comfortable with. And, in that vein, I appreciate you letting me process this a bit as a part of your usual Wednesday randomness.

But one thing I keep coming back to is that the answers that we need to find should not end with our discovering “Why?” Instead, we must find ourselves asking “Now what?” Not that meaning-making is not an important part of the process in these types of situations, but for us to discover meaning from a crisis or tragedy or other requires that we move forward, hopefully changed for the better. While we want to understand the past, we certainly can’t live only there- we must take what we’ve learned and press forward with hope.

Or, as a wiser man than I once said- “You can never pay back, but you can always pay forward.”

This Week In Controversy

  • Meanwhile, In Indianapolis

    It’s Coming…. Duck! The “news” out of Eugene late Monday/Early Tuesday was that documents revealed a little about Oregon’s upcoming conversation in Indianapolis, and (as you can imagine) there’s some discrepancies. Initial reports indicated that both sides had agreed on “major” violations as a part of the Willie Lyles situation; the phrases “failure to monitor” and “repeat violator” were used, although it seems as if Nike U will miss out on the “lack of institutional control” charge.  The documents revealed above were a part of the “plea bargin” process that has already been rejected by the NCAA- Oregon had recommended a two year probationary punishment as well as a one scholarship loss over three years. Instead, the NCAA will continue through the full process of hearings and sanctions following these meetings.  Former Coach Chip Kelly gave the standard “Sorry, I can’t comment” from his cushy landing spot in Philadelphia… it will be interesting to see if he receives the same sort of “You can’t run from justice” punishment that Jim Tressel and Terelle Pryor were handed from the NCAA.

  • Headed For Trouble- Helmet maker Ridell was found responsible to the tune of $3 million dollars for injuries suffered by a Colorado high school football player this week. At the heart of the decision was the fact that Ridell did not do enough to warn players of the potential consequences of this contact sport.  While many who actually follow football will certainly respond with a rousing “duh”, this situation is one to keep an eye on- as more is found out about the impact of the game (no pun intended) on participants’ gray matter, many see the writing on the wall for the sport’s demise under the weight of litigation compensation.
  • Unless, Of Course- College football is killed off by the death of “amateurism”; with the O’Bannon case high on the list of those axes being sharpened.  Folks in Higher Education see the NCAA’s defense as untenable, and even the fellow profiteers seem to be aware that their actions were more than they had initially presented. That the NCAA is a joke should not be news to many educated fans, but when South Park and then The Daily Show bring the inconsistency to the masses, you know there’s trouble afoot:

Around The NCAA

And Finally

I’ll admit, I was always more of a Marvel Comics guy… and if I read DC, it was Batman.  That being said, this looks amazing:

Especially if they can ensure Russell Crowe won’t be singing.

1 Comment

  1. KenNo Gravatar
    April 17th, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Quite the potpourri this week.

    Enjoyable interview of Urban by Reece and Spiels. Mark May has really developed into a caricature, good entertainment. If things don’t work out at ESPN, there’s always ‘The Onion’ for him.

    When I saw The Daily Show’s riff on the NCAA, I figured it’s over for them.

    Re your Commentary: first, my sympathies for the loss of your friend. I think that often enough there is no answer to the “Why?”, but we continue to press forward and move on with life.

    Any reference to St. Woodrow of Columbus and his sidekick, Pope Urban the Magnificent is totally appropriate.


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