OPINION: Alice in Wonderland

Diane DeNapoli

May 26, 2022 By Diane DeNapoli

In the past two years I feel I have unwillingly become much like Alice in Wonderland. I have become almost numb to hearing about fatalities, brutality, and bombastic lies on a previously unthinkable scale.

Over a million American’s have died from Covid since 2020. It’s reported to be a “good week” in the state of Massachusetts when deaths from Covid are in the single digits. On the other hand, there are those who don’t believe Covid is even real.

A completely senseless war in Ukraine has murdered countless innocent civilians and the barbaric war seems to have no end in sight. The war has taken on a rather surreal element as the leader of a former Superpower, Vladimir Putin, is acting more like The Queen of Hearts. Making irrational claims about fighting Nazis and demanding complete obedience to Wonderland despite its rule of nonsense.

On a national, and local level, many people seem to be playing croquet with live flamingos and using hedgehogs as balls. Don’t mind that Rome is burning let’s have a tea party!

Being a Philosophy Major in college I was lucky enough to study Cicero at a young age. I, like many, including The Founding Fathers had a keen interest in the “fall” or the deterioration of the Roman past. In summation the fall of an empire, or a dominant culture, doesn’t usually end with just one major failure but a cascading series of failures, miscarriages of justice, and last an indifference to your own countrymen.

When I hear the news of “another mass shooting” I fear I fall further down the rabbit hole. Thinking about the pain and horror of the families who must bury their babies puts an acid pit in my gut. Maybe what is worse is having the haunting fear that nothing has changed since Sandy Hook and Columbine.

Pundits and advocates will go on the 24-hour news cycle saying things like “guns don’t kill, people kill” and that “we must do something about our broken mental health system”.  Next will come the Second Amendment experts, lawyers for gun manufacturers, lobbyists. Sadly, due to human’s nature and out increasingly declining attention spans most of us file this horror in our collective “too painful to think about file” and will go about their lives.

Let us learn from history that it will be a million little cuts that will eventually bring our great Democratic experiment to its knees. If you care enough about our world, our country, our communities or even just ourselves we must stop numbing our feelings, stop labeling complex human experiences with cunning tag lines like “Ultra Maga” or “Woke” and start valuing this one crazy, somewhat surreal life, we are all sharing as humans.

Submitted by Diane DeNapoli

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