I've been pinged by several people via DW and LJ asking if I was okay following the bombings on Monday.
Me and mine are fine.
I work 30 miles or so outside of Boston and live about 12 miles or so outside the city.
I was at work, safely 30 miles away when the bombings happened.
Ironically enough, I was controlling a teleconference at the Jolly Green Giant (my employer) that had an International Audience. Throughout the morning, said International Audience kept asking me to interrupt the flow of the meeting so I could broadcast updates from the Boston Marathon. This basically meant beaming the front page of Boston.com
via Adobe Connect around the globe so people could see the headlines.
Once the winners of the women's and men's races were announced, we all went back to our teleconfrerence with no interruptions.
Until someone came in and told us what had happened at the marathon's finish line a half-hour after it happened.
Immediately the room erupted and insisted that I go Boston.com to get the news.
I kind of forgot I was still internationally connected (as did everyone else in the room), so more than a few folks in Europe got a face full of those horrific images from the marathon finish line.
Thankfully, the folks in Europe (seriously, I'm really, really sorry guys) were very, very understanding and raised no fuss at all about inadvertent exposure to the bloody aftermath.
Everyone in the room pretty much knew someone who was running the marathon, or was waiting for a loved one on the Boylston Street closing stretch, so the panic was...okay, there was some panic. Controlled panic, but still low-level panic. People hopped on the Boston Athletic Club's Website to check transponders of people they knew were running in the marathon, hoping they were still a few miles away from the finish line, others were discretely texting for news.
Luckily, friends-of-friends, family-of-friends, all co-workers-of-friends are fine. About the worst that happened is everyone in these concentric circles got trapped in the city and had to work their way out over the course of several hours.
It's...hard to describe my feelings about what happened. The current marathon route runs very close to where I work and live, close enough to disrupt my life not just the day of the marathon, but up to a week before as people from all over the world flock to the area so they can line the marathon route.
Hell, even during my Boston college years that marathon and its route was a rite of spring. I've stood in crowd watching the runners pass along that closing mile stretch of the marathon, yes, even on Boylston Street itself.
I've walked those two bombed spots on Boylston Street more times that I can count, and I know like the back-of-my-hand the areas where the bombs were planted.
It's strange, stranger, strangest to see alien images in such an intimate place.
As always, Boston-based writer Charles P. Pierce over on Esquire
, has been pumping out the best writing about the marathon bombings. I highly recommend that you read everything under his Boston Marathon tag
But nothing, nothing at all, tops this particular blog entry today, where he rails against the shit-weasels already coming out of the woodwork, especially
the right-wing shit-weasels who've decided to make political hay over what is pretty much guaranteed to be an act of terror perpetrated by a homegrown nutjob.
Seriously, this made me cry because, yeah, This is Us:
We are not what they think we are. We are not the myths they've made of us. We are what we are, the Commonwealth Of Massachusetts, God save it, goddammit.
To all my fellow denizens of the People's Republic of Massachusetts in my online social circles: I'm glad you're okay, and I hope all of your friends and family are, too.
Let's hope the FBI kicks some nutjob ass.