Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech

The horror of the Virginia Tech slayings is still dominating the headlines.

(Or should I say, the media is milking it?)

But I’ve heard so many people say that this is a sign things are getting worse in the world.

I don’t think it is – we’ve had many massacres over the centuries. We just have better communication so we see it more.

The killings are truly tragic.

At the same time, I am not overwhelmed by pessimism.

I was reminded of a brief bit of verse by Chesterton.

In “The Hollow Men,” T. S. Eliot had written:

"This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper."

Chesterton, not subject to the pessimism that infected so many of his age, responded to that verse –

Forgive me if I say in my old world fashion, that I’m damned if I ever felt like that … I knew that the world was perishable and would end, but I did not think it would end with a whimper, but, if anything, with a trump of doom … I will even so indecently frivolous as to burst into song, and say to the young pessimists:

Some sneer; some snigger; some snipe;
In the youth where we laughed and sang.
And they may end with a whimper
But we will end with a bang.

So instead I will celebrate that professor who blocked the door and gave his life to buy time for his students to escape.

No whimper there.

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