Since I need to be awake by nearly the same time every weekday, I have taken to setting my clock radio for nine in the morning and then listening to the morning news before I actually turn off the clock and get out of bed. This has proven to be both useful—in the sense that I listened past the news to a show about the latest book by Barbara Kingsolver that I might be able to use in a course—and subtly estranging, as I heard the news today.
This morning CBC led with the bleeding and leading news story of the day, the shooting in Las Vegas. I remember my friend tone one time telling me that unless there is a shooting in a church, press releases are best sent out on Sundays because Monday is such a slow day that the story is immediately picked up. Sadly, he may have to change his expression, for shootings on Sundays happen outside of churches after all.
I was lying in bed, I had just heard the announcer deliver the temperature in Winnipeg, which is dipping slowly every day now that we staring full into the face of fall, and then they told of the shooting. They knew the name of the offender, and reported some numbers, hundreds injured and many dead, but it was only when they turned to our own maniacs here in Canada that they used the term terrorist. A few days ago another lone killer-in-training tried to stab a cop in Edmonton and then, in their desperation, they plowed into some people with the vehicle they had stolen to effect their escape. That man, who happened to be a Somali-born refugee, was declared to be a terrorist.
This narrative of white=lone wolf and brown=terrorist, and plaints about it, are starting to be common, but what stood out was the news consisted of just those two stories this morning, as if nothing of importance happened other than lone people with very likely mental illness took it upon themselves to attack others. I know about some other news. My friend gave a TedTalk about physics which was meant to explain how our science attempts to expand on the limiting strictures of the human senses, the Nobel prize was given to three people who were independently working on unraveling the mechanism behind circadian rhythms in animals, and Rebecca Lolosoli is the founder of Umoja in Kenya where women are overturning the abusive tendencies of their traditional societies by becoming starting their own women-run villages. The movement is spreading, people are watching for telltale signs of sleep disturbances, and the slow movement of the stars above us remind that the passing squabbles on the surface of the rock are meaningless once measured against the wonder of time and space.