The New Normal

the claw

So this is what it’s come to.

Thanks to terrorists roaming the earth, we are slowly developing an almost strangely heroic tolerance for random, mass murder.   In this perverse new world, Western bravery is now seemingly measured by our willingness to stoically accept the risk of our own death at an outdoor café, while (conveniently) the terrorists measure bravery by their willingness to shoot us in the head while we’re sitting there.

My fear is that this twisted, fatalistic resignation to the reality of random killing will not only invite further chaos, but eventually matastisize into a callous barrier that protects us emotionally from the agony of the innocents who are in fact increasingly and indiscriminately being picked off (or permanently maimed) by this band of religious dementors.

As all the world’s attention was focused on France and Mali this past week, it struck me how quickly we moved on from  the over 200 victims in the Russian plane that exploded in mid air thanks to a planted bomb…those vacationers returning home; remember them?

Somewhere there’s a despondent Russian grandmother who hasn’t been able to eat since the loss of her son and his entire family in this horrific attack. She cannot sleep as she wonders if he suffered or had time to hold on to his young wife and those precious grandchildren as they fell out of the clear, blue sky. But the press isn’t listening to this grandma as she wails in her little corner of hell; it has moved on to the next story..and maybe we have too. There aren’t enough candles in the world to lead this poor woman out of the darkness she’s trapped in no matter how many vigils we organize… so we look away with a resigned sigh and get back to what we were doing.

A beheading here, a  suicide bombing there..hey, when your number’s up – maybe it’s simply your time to go.  This new fangled “philosophy” will certainly help take the edge off as you board the subway and ride to the Macy’s parade this Thursday. After all, you gotta live..

“… we are not going to give in to fear.  We are not going to submit to terror.  We will carry on as before, use the Metro, visit bars, see friends. Otherwise the terrorists win.” – Vivien Bouffard, 42, Paris.


So I guess living our lives ‘as normal’ has suddenly morphed into a patriotic act of defiance and bravery.  Who knew that going out to eat would ever be characterized as an adequate response to terror.


  1. Beautifully put. It occurs to me that the US barely even registered the horrific attacks in Tunisia several months ago.
    We just shake our heads and move on.
    I have no idea how we’ve fallen down this rabbit hole, nor have I any idea how to get out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey momshieb, I just got back from picking my daughter up at college for Thanksgiving. While I was there I woke up to the “breaking news” of a world-wide-travel alert. I had to laugh, I mean what does that even mean? I guess if something bad happens, (anywhere) the government can say “we told you so..” Who knows? I’m with you, I have no idea how to put this craziness back in the box. I was watching CNN the Sunday after that terrible Friday and one of their announcers said “Paris was starting to heal.” That statement stuck with me for days, I thought it was crass and obviously premature, I mean the blood had barely congealed on the sidewalk at that point, but for real..”things are getting back to normal folks”…2 days later!! We Westerners just don’t want to deviate from normal..we crave it, cling to it, and now we are patting ourselves on the back for living as if nothing has changed. I’m not saying we should stay home and hide, but the implication is that we somehow “win” or “beat them” if we take the metro and meet our friends for a glass of wine. That’s just silly, all we have beaten are the odds, not ISIS.

    The other day I was checking out of a busy Target here in Charlotte and there was a dad with his two little girls checking out next to me. He had a holstered gun clearly visible in his belt. Truthfully, I was shocked, BUT I was also comforted because I thought if the doo-doo hit the fan here, I’d have a fighting chance because I was near this man. Maybe it’s come to that..


  3. I have to pretend things are normal, because selfishly, if I dwell on the ability that human beings have to do truly awful things, my anxiety would never let me leave the house. Sometimes my head needs to be below the sand for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy Thanksgiving Katie.. I hear ya on this, I do. I just think we are slowly coming to a point where we will be driven to focus on it and take some kind of coordinated, extreme action with other nations. We need a sustained, all hands on deck, Ebola style, response..after all this phenomenon is nothing short of a soul-eating disease. On a TOTALLY different subject, I made my famous apple pie in my “restored” stove and it was a disaster… I almost cried. I’ll post pictures… Needless to say, I’m ordering a new stove. 😕

      Liked by 1 person

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