I apologize if anyone finds the timing of this blog inappropriate, but I felt I needed to address the Colorado shooting. If you don't want to read a blog about this I don't blame you. It's a video game site, after all. For those of you who choose to continue, I firstly hope you will trust that I am not trying to exploit the situation just to get people to click on the link. Second, this will be a lengthy post. I just need to get this out of my head.
I don't know everything that happened. No one does and it's possible that not every detail will reach us. I have to say, when I woke yesterday morning, the world didn't feel any different, though I guess it never does in these kinds of situations. My biggest concern was "I hope my roommate doesn't think my Mario bedsheets are childish." Even as I walked through my college's dining hall and saw the news report about a shooting at a Batman midnight premiere, I was more concerned about what classes I was going to select. That's not to say it wasn't distressing, but it didn't seem directly relevant at the time.
I went home with my brother and he turned on the TV--he hadn't yet heard what had happened and when he heard the news story he was shocked. I decided I should get up to date on the situation too and sat down. We watched for thirty minutes, learning horrifying detail after horrifying detail. And then they mentioned the six year old girl who had been killed. At that moment my thoughts did not go to that girl, but rather to the two young nieces that I have. One of them cannot pronounce my name and just calls me CaCa, and despite the unfortunate implications of the nickname, it's adorable to hear every time--the other is perhaps the most eloquent three-year-old this world has ever known. In that moment I imagined that it was not that six year old girl who had died, but these two precious children close to my heart.
I heard my brother choke up and I knew he was thinking something similar. "What if it had been them?" But for me it was more real. As if reality suddenly changed, and they were there, and they were gone. I visualized gruesome things and tried to shake it away--it wasn't real, just my mind being ridiculous. I know I can't possibly imagine what those families are feeling right now--but in that moment it really felt like they were gone. There's one of those cynical sayings, something along the lines of "you don't care about something until it happens to you." I guess it's true. Sad, but true.
It's not the "right" reaction to have, and I realize that; I do. Just like I also sympathize for Christopher Nolan in this situation. My heart should belong to the victims and only the victims, but to think that this man who only wanted to create something worthwhile and meaningful, not only to comic book fans but himself and the public at large, now has a work that is tarnished by the actions of one disturbed individual... it's terrible. I have to wonder how he's getting by with the knowledge that his passion project is now labeled as the movie associated with a shooting. Last night should have been earth-shattering in a good way. Instead it destroyed the worlds of innocent people.
I guess all this goes to show is that people don't know their own feelings. Yeah, you can identify a general sense of "I feel happy, I feel spunky, I feel hungry" but there aren't exact words to describe how opinions form. You can say it's ethics, you can say it's "just because it's right." But how many of us claim to feel one way until we discover the exact opposite is true? "Sunshine of Your Love" is a classic rock song. Growing up, I always accepted that classic rock was not to be questioned or disliked, so I sat through "Sunshine of Your Love" on car rides up and down the highway. I hate that song. I hate it so much. But it wasn't until someone else said it was bad that I realized it was okay to not like it.
It took a six year old girl to show me that I do care about these people in Colorado I have never met, despite my nonchalant attitude earlier in the day. Sitting in front of the TV was depressing. Scrolling through facebook was even worse--some people apparently see fit to make jokes about this. I needed to share my thoughts and I thought I would do so with the online community I know best. Because maybe it will help reconnect my thoughts. I guess I've just been feeling the "wrong" emotions all day, and now I want to feel something right.
So I think I can speak on behalf of Destructoid as well as myself when I say that my heart goes out to all the families of the deceased and injured. May they rest in peace.