Yesterday, the hunt for the Boston Marathon bombers ended with the death of one and the capture of the other. Because the two young men have Chechnyan “roots” there’s a lot of assuming going on. They must be Muslims. They must hate America. They must be part of an international conspiracy.
Call me whatever you want, I would like to see some actual evidence before I decide what all of this means.
Does the ethnicity of the brothers have anything to do with their insane murder spree? Or is their ethnicity irrelevant and their motives stem from a far more personal cause, like the voices in their heads, drugs, or some other yet-to-be-identified source?
Thirty years ago, I had recurring cramps in my gut so awful that they made me unable to breathe. They lasted from a couple of minutes to half an hour or more. Anyone seeing me in the throes of these cramps would be seriously alarmed. I wound up in the hospital several times because it mimicked a heart attack exceptionally well.
The third time I was hospitalized, they wouldn’t let me go until they found a cause. After a lot of testing, they found stones in my gall bladder. “Aha!” they cried and removed the offending organ. A week after I came home, the cramps were back. It turns out I get gastrointestinal spasms. Cause? Unknown. Cure? None. Relief? Nitro-glycerin, the same stuff they use for heart spasms (angina). They looked for a cause. They found something. They assumed it was the cause. It wasn’t, but it was so logical. And who needs a gall bladder anyhow?
I’ve been guilty of connecting apparently related events because it seemed logical, obvious. Two events occurred almost simultaneously. Ergo, the events must be related; event A must be the cause of event B. Unfortunately, there was no relationship and the result of assuming a connection where there was none was devastating.
The essential different between reality and fiction is that fiction is all about cause and effect. There are no coincidences. In literature, television, movies, everything has a cause and nothing is coincidental. In real life, many things happen for no discernible reason. And there are plenty of coincidences.
It’s in our nature to look for reasons, to look for cause and effect. We want things to make sense. The idea of genuinely random events is terrifying. Religion is one of the ways we make sense out of chaos in our lives. It doesn’t make sense? God must know why it happened even though we can’t see it. Maybe He does. Then again, maybe not. But regardless, we will try to make sense, to connect dots even when we have to create dots to connect.
I don’t have answers. I have a lot of questions and I hope we get answers. But I won’t assume I know without any solid information. I’m glad they got one of the kids alive and I hope he stays alive long enough to talk.
- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Captured: Alleged Boston Marathon Bomber Arrested Following Manhunt (wakinguphumanity.wordpress.com)
- Boston marathon snapshots take on new meaning (connect.dpreview.com)
- Shots fired in Watertown during manhunt for Boston Marathon bombing suspect (bangordailynews.com)
- Chechens and the Boston Marathon (brobrubel.wordpress.com)
- Uncle Of Marathon Bomb Suspects Calls His Nephews “Losers” (praiserichmond.com)