, Newburyport, MA


April 20, 2013

Marathon tragedy has us glued to screens


“There has to be a back story here,” I said. “Apparently they can’t find anyone who knew him who didn’t know the 19 year old to be a sweetheart of a kid.

“But if that’s true, how come he follows the lead of his big brother to bomb the marathon?”

“You’re saying he’s a victim?” Freddy asked.

“Probably, brothers being brothers, but who knows? It turned out to be a shocker to some of those who knew him,” I said.

“Well, unless he turns himself in he’s a dead man running who can’t hide because the whole world’s watching,” Freddy said.

“Incredible,” I said.

“Not in this world,” Freddy said. “Nothing’s incredible any more. The world’s the stage and everyone’s either an actor or a witness. There are all the tools out there to watch just about everything that goes on, and where there aren’t, somebody will figure a way to do it.”

“So much for privacy rights,” I said.

“You want privacy rights for something like this?” Freddy asked.

“No,” I said. “This was an indiscriminate attack on innocent victims. Our rights to privacy have shrunk for the common good in our lifetime. Living in what the world has become has been much more complicated than the one we were born in.

“What we have been watching is reality up close on fast forward, and It’s comforting to witness the effectiveness of the responders.

“But it’s frightening to witness how easy it is for those who would do evil without a great deal of effort while we watch it being done.

“It puts a much more worrisome meaning on ‘Made for TV.’”

Bill Plante is a Newbury resident and a staff columnist.

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