Thursday, December 29, 2005

Don't believe the hype

Yes, certain events in this city this past week were horrible, but methinks members of the media sometimes get a little carried away with their own mythmaking.
The year 2005 is no longer searching for a theme. Boxing Day made it clear. Not just another shooting, easily contextualized in a more or less normal year of big-city homicide -- whatever that is -- the horror on Yonge Street is brazenly symbolic. However senseless it was, however trivial the dispute that triggered it might have been, it can only be felt as an act of terrorism: a targeted wound to the open heart of the city, delivered on the one day of the waning year it is most vulnerable, and a pointed -- to the point of seeming deliberate -- confirmation of the truly wild criminality that now threatens us all.
I admit that I tend to be a little more skeptical of notions such as theme than the average person, but shouldn't John Barber, the author of this hysterical babble (and who normally seems okay to me as far as columnists go), be a little embarrassed?

By the way, in the interest of perspective, I'll bet that a Torontonian is far more likely to be killed by a car than a gun. Yes, let's mourn a life lost and work to control guns and give kids in tough neighbourhoods some opportunities (the latter is a worthwhile thing in itself), but let's maintain our sanity while we're at it. Otherwise we might be tempted to overreact.


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