Charlotte Bacon. Daniel Barden. Rachel Davino. Olivia Engel. Josephine Gay. Ana M. Marquez-Greene. Dylan Hockley. Dawn Hocksprung. Madeline F. Hsu. Catherine V. Hubbard. Chase Kowalski. Jesse Lewis. James Mattioli. Grace McDonnell. Anne Marie Murphy. Emilie Parker. Jack Pinto. Noah Pozner. Caroline Previdi. Jessica Rekos. Avielle Richman. Lauren Rousseau. Mary Sherlach. Victoria Soto. Benjamin Wheeler. Allison N. Wyatt.
Those are the names of the 26 people murdered two years ago Sunday, when a gunman loaded with way more powerful artillery than any one person should own, walked into Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. and opened fire.
Two years. Two years since the bloodshed, and two years when every politician talked about how nothing would ever be the same, how laws needed to be changed, how guns couldn’t be this available, how massacring children is something America could not stand for.
And yet here we are. Gun laws are basically the same. Mass killings haven’t slowed down, not in the least. The NRA is as powerful as ever.
It just makes me furious. And yet, listen to the Sandy Hook teachers in the video above, the survivors who vow to keep fighting. They give me a little bit of hope. But it’s still infuriating to know that two years after this unthinkable tragedy, America has marched on as if those kids had never been murdered.
What’s it going to take?
**Next up, Grantland.com continues to produce outstanding journalism and really fun stories; Sunday I finally got around to reading a sensational oral history of one of my favorite movies, “Boogie Nights.” (The scene above is 1/2 of one of my favorite scenes in movie history; unbelievably, I can’t find the whole uncut scene on YouTube; here’s the other half)
So much great information in this oral history, including that Albert Brooks and Warren Beatty were both in talks to play Jack instead of Burt Reynolds (Albert Brooks in that role? Inconceivable, as Vizzini would say); Reynolds and director P.T. Anderson had a fistfight on the set one day, and real-life porn star Nina Hartley, playing William H. Macy’s character’s wife, wanted to have actual sex scenes and couldn’t understand why that wasn’t allowed.
It was a transformative movie, brilliantly shot and written. The oral history shows that all involved realize how lucky they were to be part of such a landmark film.
**Finally today, some Week 15 NFL thoughts as my New York Jets continue to screw up their campaign for the No. 1 pick, beating the equally-wretched Tennessee Titans (seriously Jets, you can’t even lose properly!)
— So all those fans clamoring for Johnny Manziel to be the Cleveland Browns starting quarterback, how you feeling now? Boy was Johnny Football awful on Sunday, throwing two picks and passing for only 80 yards as the Browns’ were destroyed. I only saw highlights but Manziel looked awful. Only one game, but he was pretty atrocious.
— Ladies and gentlemen, your first-place Carolina Panthers! 5-8-1, and yep, they’re in first in the NFC South. What a joke it is that they or New Orleans will get to host a playoff game.
— Biggest win in a decade for Buffalo, beating Green Bay. The Bills are the Jets’ rivals so I don’t really like them, but they’ve been bad for so long, and that city deserves a winner, so I’m happy they’re at least in contention for the playoffs. With all Jim Kelly’s been through, and Darryl Talley, that team deserves some good karma.
— I know nobody cares, but I was in my fantasy football league playoffs Sunday, and had a decent shot to win if Matthew Stafford had just thrown one or two more TD passes, but he stinks and he didn’t and I lost a chance at $200. Just venting, I feel better now.
— Sure as hell looks like the Seahawks are coming out of the NFC, and the Patriots are coming out of the AFC. That’d be one hell of a Super Bowl, no?