Apr 16

look for the helpers


What a truly sad day. My thoughts are with Boston and everyone impacted by the events at the marathon this afternoon.

I make my living in the entertainment industry. Sure, sometimes I get to write about issues that I think are important, but for the most part, I write to entertain people. My articles are meant to be read when you’re procrastinating, or standing in line, or during a commercial break. They’re meant to be fodder for tweets or Tumblr posts. They’re supposed to be fun. They’re about television.

I never know how to reconcile that when something hideous happens. Every so often, the darkest part of the human condition becomes topically relevant. It’s all-consuming; I can’t tear myself away from CNN, and all I want to do is connect with people via social media so that I can find someone who understands my understanding of the event.

But then, after some arbitrary period of time has passed, I have to go back to work. We all do. For me, that means I have to get back to posting “Vampire Diaries” spoilers or an update on Kim Kardashian’s baby bump. Today, I was jarred by a graphic photo someone posted on Facebook of the terror in Boston as my phone was ringing for an interview with the executive producer of “Supernatural.” I was unsettled and uncomfortable during the interview, but obviously, it’s my job, so… onward.

I felt so weird posting that article. Sometimes, things happen and you feel like time should stop for them. I saw people on Twitter today actually getting angry at other people for tweeting about things that weren’t the events in Boston. I admit that when an argument broke out in the comments of my “Supernatural” article, I kept thinking, How can you care about this shit? People process grief and empathy in different ways, but there’s a measure of discretion expected in today’s social media driven world.

It’s too easy to forget that in other countries, today’s events in Boston would have been just another Monday. When it happens here, you just kind of want to curl up in a ball and cry and call your mom.

I don’t know. There’s not really a point to this blog post, except to work through my guilt for writing and tweeting about silly TV shows while something so unthinkable was still unfolding in Boston. We say all this crap about how entertainment is important, and people need a respite from real life sometimes, art matters, yadda yadda yadda. But sometimes, I think, you’re just supposed to sit there and feel the awfulness of reality, without an easy distraction. Today felt like one of those times.