It’s hard to write about the latest movie trailer after something terrible happens in the world. It’s hard to write about anything. Everything seems silly and superfluous in the face of the deaths of children. I’m not even going to try to pretend I’m thinking about anything but the Manchester bombing, or that I’m anything but heartbroken and bewildered by the cruelty of targeting young girls in this horrific attack.
I think the best thing you can do in situations like this is find out what you’re best at and do that in a way that helps. Donate to the Red Cross or the families who are dealing with tragedy. Spend time talking to children. Hug your own children tighter if that’s all you can do. Here’s one more thing, since what I do best is talk about entertainment: Please keep seeing concerts. Please keep going to art festivals and music venues and movie theaters. Please keep supporting the arts.
Now, I’m very much hoping that all venues will use metal detectors and be stricter about security. Heck, I haven’t been to a concert where that isn’t the case in years. I’m hoping that everyone will be vigilant and safe, at least to the best of their ability. The thing is, this was an attack on joy, on what we love to do, on our way of life. To stop living with joy is what people who do this or plan this want for us. We cannot let them win.
I don’t talk about this much, but I was living and working in NYC during the 9/11 attacks. My boss lost her husband. I couldn’t contact most of my family for hours. Most of my friends lost someone. I was terrified to go back to work in Lower Manhattan. I made myself do it, because screw people who try to ruin what we love here. The thing is, like talking about movies and music and the arts, I thought people who came to the store where I was working to buy lipstick were silly and frivolous, until I asked one woman why she was there.
“I have to ask,” I said, “why in the world does getting the perfect red lipstick matter to you three days after a terrorist attack?” I’m sure I sounded awful. We all did back then. She smiled at me and said, “It’s what I would have done if this hadn’t happened. I would have spent money in New York City. I refuse to let them take away what is normal any more than is absolutely necessary. I’m giving my money to NYC and this store that is built here. I’m doing what I would normally do. In my tiny little way, I’m not letting them win.”
I have never forgotten that, no matter how many times we deal with terrorist attacks. So when a coward attacks children at a place that should have brought them joy, or tourists checking out Big Ben or people in Nice enjoying a celebration, it makes me more determined than ever to celebrate what we all love.
So sing and dance at clubs, go to concerts, buy lipstick, visit tourist spots. Be careful and report anything that seems wrong. But please, don’t live in fear. Don’t let them win.