I have a lopsided smile; what can I say? And if that message flters down to some girl looking in the mirror who feels she’s not completely symmetrical, then I am glad to have helped in some small, albeit ridiculous, way.
Editor’s note: Tribune crime reporter Peter Nickeas posted a version of this to his Facebook page Wednesday, hours after news broke about the on-air killing near Roanoke, Va., of a TV reporter and a cameraman.
The difference between the shooting in Virginia and every other act of gun violence is that the Internet had to see the fear on a woman’s face as she realized she was about to die.
Chicago alone has more than 2,000 shootings a year. Go to a crime scene and ask kids if they have seen someone shot. And the answer will be, “Well, the first time …” What the Internet is going through right now is almost a rite of passage for kids in urban areas.
Kids see the “Oh s—” look on someone’s face right before they get shot. And the video doesn’t cut off. They hear the gunfire, see the body, see the police, see how the family reacts. Soaking it all up. And we wonder why a percentage of kids end up violent or starving for adult attention when they have to internalize all that anger and grief that the Internet, collectively, felt Wednesday.
Kids in urban areas don’t have the option to turn off social media if they don’t want to see violence. They can’t just say, “I’m going to stay off Twitter.”
For them, it’s real life, not a video on the Internet. It’s a relative who was shot or beaten or stabbed. Or worse, it was them.
I love when your feet take you to strange places on long traveling days. Going to sleep in one state and then eating lunch in another. Haunted cemeteries on late summer evenings and wandering paths by national monuments. Life can be as fun as you allow it, just say Yes.