THOUGHTS IN THE IMMEDIATE WAKE OF THE PATRIOTS’ DAY BOMBING

From Boston native Film Crit Hulk.

THOUGHTS IN THE IMMEDIATE WAKE OF THE PATRIOTS’ DAY BOMBING

IN TIMES OF CRISIS, WE CAN'T HELP BUT REACT. EVENTS OF TERRORISM. BOMBINGS. SCHOOL SHOOTINGS. HORRIFIC ACCIDENTS. NATURAL DISASTERS. THESE ARE EVENTS SO EXTREME THEY CLAW AT OUR SENSE OF MORTALITY AND PURPOSE. WE REACT WITH OUR GUTS AND BONES. WE RAGE. WE FEEL HELPLESS. WE FEEL IMPOSSIBLY SMALL. AND FROM THESE EMOTIONS WE ENGAGE IN A NATIONAL DIALOGUE OF SORTS. WE PRAY. WE CRY. WE YELL. WE BLAME. IT'S HARD BECAUSE WE ALSO KNOW THAT THE BEST THING WE CAN DO EVERY TIME THIS HAPPENS IS TO CONTEXTUALIZE THE EVENT. TO SUPPORT. TO LOCALIZE. BUT IT'S JUST SO HARD. THE DEGREE TO WHICH THINGS CAN FEEL PERSONAL IS SOMETHING THAT AFFECTS US A GREAT DEAL. WE CAN'T HELP BUT REFLECT THROUGH THE PRISM OF OUR OWN LIVES. THE IDEA OF LOSS OF A CHILD AT SANDY HOOK. THE NOTION OF OUR PLANE CRASHING INTO A BUILDING IN THE NAME OF SOMETHING SO MISGUIDED. AND THE MOVIE THEATER SHOOTING IN COLORADO WAS AFFECTING TO MANY CINEMA-GOERS BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE MOVIE LOVERS "LIVE" SO TO SPEAK. IT IS WHERE ONE GOES TO BE PHYSICALLY SAFE AND YET TO CHALLENGE THEIR MINDS. IT IS WHERE WE EFFECTIVELY GO TO LEAVE OUR BODIES AND ENGAGE IN THE ABSTRACT PROJECT. AND SO THE THOUGHT OF BEING UNSAFE THERE, TO THE AVID MOVIE FAN, IS TERRIFYING. NO MATTER WHAT, THINGS BECOME PERSONAL.

HULK GREW UP IN BOSTON.

HULK EVEN WENT TO SCHOOL THERE SO IT MADE UP TWO DECADES OF HEAVY LIVING, SO TO SPEAK. HULK LIVED ALL OVER THE CITY / NORTHSHORE.  AND FOR A TIME, HULK EVEN LIVED IN KENMORE SQUARE. HULK LOVES THE CITY. IT IS WHERE FAMILY IS. IT IS WHERE HULK'S FRIENDS ARE. IT IS A CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE. IT IS WHERE HULK BECAME THE PERSON THAT HULK IS TODAY. IT'S WHERE HULK HAD SOME OF THE BEST AND WORST TIMES OF HULK'S LIFE. AND FROM ALL THAT EXPERIENCE, HULK CAN TELL YOU A STORY ABOUT EVERY INCH OF THE CITY. BOSTON IS A LIVING, BREATHING THING TO HULK.

AND IN THAT SPIRIT, HULK CAN TELL YOU THAT PATRIOTS' DAY IS A HUGELY IMPORTANT EVENT. IT'S A HOLIDAY THAT'S UNIQUE TO BOSTON IN SO MANY WAYS. FOR ONE, SINCE IT'S AN OFFICIAL HOLIDAY, HARDLY ANYONE WORKS OR GOES TO SCHOOL. IT'S A DAY THAT CELEBRATES BOSTON'S SINGULAR HISTORY AND ROLE IN THE NATION'S INDEPENDENCE, BUT IT'S ALSO FULL OF ALL SORTS OF GREAT EVENTS. THERE'S ALWAYS AN EARLY RED SOX GAME AT 10 IN THE MORNING. BETTER YET, THE MARATHON EFFECTIVELY SHUTS DOWN THE REST OF THE CITY AND PEOPLE CROWD AROUND FOR 26 MILES TO WATCH SOME OF THE MOST INCREDIBLE RUNNERS ON THE PLANET. LOTS OF FAMILIES GO. LOTS OF SUPPORTIVE FRIENDS CHEER ON THEIR RUNNERS. BUT THE PLACEMENT OF A DOZEN COLLEGES ALONG THE MARATHON ROUTE MEANS THAT A BUNCH OF YOUNG PEOPLE GET DRUNK AS HELL STARTING AT 9 IN THE MORNING AND CHEER ON PEOPLE DOING INCREDIBLE FEATS OF ENDURANCE. THE IRONY IS NOT LOST ON ANYONE, BUT IT'S ACTUALLY A HELL OF A TIME. WHEN YOU PUT ALL THESE THINGS TOGETHER, PATRIOTS' DAY IS A REMARKABLE CELEBRATION FOR BOSTON. IT'S EQUAL PARTS PRIDE AND HISTORY AND DEBAUCHERY AND SPORTING ATTITUDES. AND MOST OF ALL, IT FEATURES A KIND OF SPECIALIZED HAPPINESS FOR ALL. UNLIKE SO MANY OTHER OF THE CITY'S EVENTS, THE THING THAT HULK ALWAYS LOVED ABOUT PATRIOTS' DAY IS THAT EVERYONE SEEMED TO GET ALONG. IT WAS LIKE WE WERE ALL JUST SO HAPPY TO BE A PART OF THIS RIDICULOUSLY FUN AND UNIQUE DAY. IT WAS LIKE WE KNEW IT WAS JUST FOR US.

AND WHEN HULK THINKS ABOUT COPLEY SQUARE, HULK ADMITTEDLY THINKS ABOUT RICH PEOPLE. ABOUT THAT GLAMOROUS MALL WITH STORES HULK COULDN'T HAVE AFFORDED IN A MILLION YEARS. HULK THINKS ABOUT THE INSANE COSTS OF THE BROWNSTONES JUST A FEW BLOCKS NORTH. HULK THINKS ABOUT THE VENERABLE INSTITUTIONS OF THE RESTAURANTS LIKE L'ESPALIER THAT HULK WOULD COME TO ADMIRE IN LATER YEARS. AND THE THING ABOUT PATRIOTS' DAY IS THAT IT IS THE ONE TIME EVERYBODY COMES TOGETHER IN THAT SPACE TO CELEBRATE SOMETHING THAT UNIFIES US. TO CELEBRATE THESE TITANS OF HUMAN APTITUDE. NOTHING SUMS UP PATRIOTS' DAY MORE THAN THAT... PEOPLE COMING TOGETHER.

AND THAT'S WHAT HULK IS THINKING ABOUT NOW. WHO WERE THOSE PEOPLE WHO STOOD IN FRONT OF THAT BOMB?

HULK PERSONALLY KNOWS COUNTLESS PEOPLE WHO WERE RUNNING THAT RACE OR COULD HAVE BEEN IN THE STANDS. IT'S A DECEPTIVELY SMALL CITY AND HULK IS STILL WAITING TO HEAR BACK FROM SO MANY... THE THOUGHT IS HAUNTING. A HORRIFIC TRAGEDY IS JUST A PHONE CALL AWAY. IT COULD BE ANYONE. AND IT'S A TIME SCARIER THAN ANY OTHER MOMENT OF ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE. SO IN A WAY HULK WANTS TO SAY ALL THIS NOW, STILL FEARING A BIT OF NEWS THAT COULD MAKE IT TOO PERSONAL TO BARE.

RIGHT NOW HULK DOESN'T KNOW HOW MANY WERE INJURED OR DEAD. AS HULK WRITES THIS THERE ARE REPORTS OF A THIRD INCIDENT AT JFK LIBRARY. HULK DOESN'T KNOW WHO PERPETRATED THE INCIDENT OR WHY. AND QUITE FRANKLY HULK DOESN'T REALLY CARE. IF IT'S THE SURE WORK OF AN IDEOLOGUE OR A MAD MAN (AND THEY'RE THE SAME THING REALLY), THEN IT DOESN'T MATTER TO THOSE WHO DIED. NOT REALLY. INSTEAD, HULK KEEPS THINKING ABOUT WHO THEY WERE AND WHY THEY WERE THERE. BECAUSE THOSE STORIES MATTER SO MUCH MORE.

HULK KNOWS THAT SOMEONE IS PROBABLY GOING TO PIPE UP THAT A MARVEL CHARACTER SHOULDN'T BE TALKING ABOUT REAL LIFE TRAGEDY OR SOMETHING... THAT THINKING NOT ONLY SEEMS SMALL, BUT THE TRUTH IS HULK COULDN'T POSSIBLY CARE LESS. THERE ARE FAR MORE IMPORTANT THINGS THAN "THE APPEARANCE" OF SINCERITY. THINGS LIKE ACTUAL SINCERITY. THINGS LIKE CONTEXTUALIZATION AND PURPOSE. THINGS LIKE THE DESIRE TO COMMUNICATE SOMETHING ONE FEELS IS IMPORTANT.

AND HULK SITS HERE FEELING HOPELESSLY INADEQUATE TO DO THAT. EXCEPT TO SAY IN THESE MOMENTS THAT IT'S OKAY THAT OUR GUTS AND BONES WRESTLE WITH OUR HEARTS AND BRAINS. IT ALL COMES OUT AS ANGER AND FEAR AND INCALCULABLE SADNESS. IN THE DAYS THAT COME WE WILL HAVE THE WHOS, THE WHATS AND MAYBE EVEN SOME OF THE WHYS (THOUGH YOU CAN NEVER REALLY HAVE THEM ALL). WITH WHAT LITTLE WE KNOW AND UNDERSTAND NOW, THERE IS ONLY A SHADOW THAT HAS BEEN CAST.

THUS, THE ONLY THING HULK HOPES TO COMMUNICATE TO YOU IS THAT PATRIOTS' DAY IS A SPECIAL THING TO THIS CITY. IT MEANT A LOT TO US. AND NOW IT SEEMS HELPLESSLY INTERTWINED WITH SOMETHING HIDEOUS. SOMETHING THAT REPRESENTS EVERYTHING THAT PATRIOTS' DAY IS NOT. SOMETHING DARK AND VILE THAT TAPS INTO THE WORST THAT HUMANITY HAS TO OFFER. CASE IN POINT...

THE LAST MILE OF THE MARATHON WAS DEDICATED TO THE VICTIMS OF NEWTOWN, CONNECTICUT.

THE THOUGHT OF WHICH IS SOMETHING SO IMPOSSIBLY WRONG THAT IT FEELS LIKE THE UNIVERSE IS PLAYING THE CRUELEST OF JOKES.

HULK DOESN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THAT THOUGHT. IT STRANGLES THE SOUL. SO ALL HULK CAN DO... ALL WE CAN DO ...IS REACH PAST THE ANGER AND FEAR AND FIND EVERY INCH OF BRAIN POWER AND LOVE AND COMPASSION WE HAVE TO OFFER. THAT'S ALL WE CAN EVER DO.

AND JUST KNOW THAT HULK IS SENDING YOU EVERY LITTLE BIT THAT HULK CAN MUSTER.

THIS IS DEDICATED TO EVERYONE WHO RAN TOWARDS THE EXPLOSION.

<3 HULK

Categories: Tags:
Film Crit Hulk's photo About the Author: FILM CRIT HULK WAS CREATED IN A CHAOTIC LAB EXPERIMENT INVOLVING GAMMA RADIATION, TELEPODS, AND THE GHOST OF PAULINE KAEL. NOW HULK HAVE DEEP AND ABIDING LOVE CINEMA.
t