There’s a piece from last week’s Atlantic that’s been going around, about the MSU situation. It’s well-written of course, but I thought it was way, way too sentimental; I mean, if the time for thoughts and prayers is over, so too is the shocked I-never-thought-it-could-happen-here-in-this-very-special-place piece. I mean, how many times does this have to happen before we stop being shocked? And I wrote a long-ish blog about it. However, I decided #toosoon, and decided to, what’s the word, extend some grace to people who are truly suffering, and spiked it.
See? I do have a heart. And that’s why no third blog last week.
But I will save this one paragraph toward the end, more or less as I wrote it five days ago:
Every teary tribute to the Specialness and the Majesty of MSU or any other institution struck by violence or sexual assault or another tragedy puts it in a unique category, i.e., one that is so special to so many that it must be protected at all costs. Then, when someone like Larry Nassar comes along, the people charged with defending it promote the interests of the institution over those of the people who suffered in it. How many times have we seen this in the past 20 years? Many. Many-many-many.
And I also want you to see two images that received lots of play last week. Like many campuses, MSU has a boulder that students paint for various occasions. Here was the MSU boulder the day after the shootings:
And here it was a day later:
College Republicans, a raiding party up from Hillsdale or townies? You tell me.
And one final note: It turns out I had a brief encounter with one of the Grosse Pointe MSU kids who died, on New Year’s Eve, 2020. Five of us had gathered for a pod celebration at one couple’s house. Their teenage daughter was having her own celebration in the basement. There’s a bathroom down there, but it must have been occupied, because one of the boys came upstairs and very politely asked to use one on the first floor. We were having a really good time, and the host said, “Only if you can name one of the Beatles.” He waited a beat, and blurted out, “John McCarthy.” We laughed and laughed and directed him to the loo. His name was Brian, but I’ll always think of him as John McCarthy. Gone at 20 years old, our sacrifice on the altar of the Second Amendment.
But life goes on, and a new week begins. Hope yours is swell.