It was a very strange weekend in the news, and yes I know that in America, 2018, that is saying something.
There were two events that dominated the headlines and many of my thoughts, two events that absolutely, positively, could not or should not be linked in memory.
But I’m going to link them here because this blog is nothing if not a collection of things that occupy space in my brain, and the horrific shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas and the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Markle were on my mind these past few days.
First, the shooting. Not much more to say other than this, which was a headline in The Washington Post:
“Texas school had a shooting plan, armed officers and practice. And still 10 people died.”
That’s right. A school in Texas, where I believe babies are given guns as soon as they’re out of the womb, a school that had armed security officers and all kinds of drill practices for just such an emergency, still saw 10 people murdered and 10 more injured.
You can do all the drills and arm all the people you want, but these awful incidents keep happening, because the one thing that would REALLY, actually stop them, limiting access to guns, is never going to happen.
How bad has it gotten? Listen to these quotes from the chief of police in Houston, Art Acevedo, in a message he posted to his Facebook page. I remind you, this is a chief of police in Texas:
“I know some have strong feelings about gun rights,” Acevedo said, “but I want you to know I’ve hit rock bottom and I am not interested in your views as it pertains to this issue …
“Please do not post anything about guns aren’t the problem and there’s little we can do. My feelings won’t be hurt if you de-friend me and I hope yours won’t be if you decide to post about your views and I de-friend you…
his isn’t a time for prayers, and study and Inaction, it’s a time for prayers, action and the asking of God’s forgiveness for our inaction (especially the elected officials that ran to the cameras today, acted in a solemn manner, called for prayers, and will once again do absolutely nothing).”
Pretty stunning for a police chief to say such strong things, but this is where we are in America.
I was depressed about the shooting and feeling totally helpless, of course, and then I had TV and the Internet screaming at me about the Royal Wedding and quite honestly, I couldn’t stand it.
I have written and spoken before about how ludicrous I find the Royal Family, and all the pomp and circumstance that goes along with it. I mean, who really cares? Why in 2018 is there still even a Royal Family, and why do they deserve such attention?
But then I watched a few of the news clips, and looked at some of the gorgeous photos like the one above, and I changed my mind. In this time of such horrible news, a constant drumbeat of sadness, maybe a beautiful wedding that gives joy to so many isn’t such a bad thing.
And that maybe it’s a lovely moment of happy amid so much grief that we all need right now. I admit it: I looked through some of the wedding photos, more than I thought I would. And even if I don’t care about Megan Markle and her new prince of a husband (see what I did there?), it was nice for a few minutes this weekend to just see two people happy.
It’s late and I’m rambling a little, but hopefully my point has become clear as this: The worst of humanity and the happiest moments for others sometimes collide in your brain at the same time.
And you have to deal with them at the same time, and I guess I just always hope that the joy can outweigh the sorrow. For me, you and everybody.
**And finally today, the Vegas Golden Knights. The Vegas Golden Knights! The most improbable pro sports story in maybe forever, or at least a very long time, is happening right now in the NHL. As I’ve written before, nobody but nobody goes to the playoffs in their first year as a pro sports franchise, and nobody but nobody keeps going like Vegas is doing.
But Sunday afternoon in Winnipeg, a collection of castoffs nobody else wanted, a top-shelf goalie the Penguins just couldn’t keep, did the impossible: They advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Folks, I know most of you don’t care about hockey. But this franchise is incredible. I mean, just watch their pregame entrance entertainment (above), which is the best I’ve ever seen. It’s over the top and glitzy and ridiculous but that’s what Las Vegas is, right?
An expansion team playing for a championship in its first year is bananas. What an incredible story. Go Vegas Go.