Shallow Dance

by Matty Sullivan

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I Don't Buy It

I’m sorry, but I have no sadness for that man. He was a trained killer, an assassin. He did his killing at the command of a military official, so they call him a hero. I’m sure there are many people in Iraq who would call him a demon—not that they will ever know who he was or whether he was the one shooting them.

We have no reason to mourn his death. He made his name and his living by learning to kill people, and then killing whomever he was told to kill. We’re supposed to believe he did this for noble reasons, for the betterment and protection of society. I don’t buy it. I don’t trust the military—they don’t work for us and they don’t represent the will of the people.

This shit bugs me. Tell me again how many people he killed, how many claimed and confirmed. And then explain how terribly tragic it was when he was shot and killed by another assassin. But it was the wrong one? Oops! They were supposed to be friends!

I doubt I’m making any friends. In fact, the friends I do have will probably be angry at me for saying this. Many of them have updated their Facebook pages in honor of this person, but it’s not a tragedy. It’s not as if he went through life feeding the homeless and then got killed by one of them. He was a hit man. I have no doubt he did many good things and was good to his friends—but good people get killed every day, and most of them are not directly responsible for the deaths of a large pile of strangers.

Okay, I’m tired of that.

I have little to say about most things, including this. When it comes to trending articles and viral videos, I am genuinely unmoved. Maybe there are just too many of them. When scattered through the media of Facebook and Twitter, even serious topics and vital science tend to take on the nature of high school gossip. Oh, everybody’s talking about it? Big fucking deal. Most people have no idea what to talk about, but they want to talk about something—anything will do. It’s similar to having extra money and wanting desperately to spend it but not really needing anything in particular, so you wind up buying a bunch of useless shit. Makes no difference what it is—as long as it holds your attention long enough to make you reach for your wallet. So you buy it, and when you get home you throw it in the closet or stick it in some neglected drawer.

Six months later, while looking for something else, you’ll come across it again—and the only thing you’ll be able to do is pick it up and stand there for a minute, shaking your head, wondering why you spent twenty bucks on this piece of crap.