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About Boston.

I woke to a small explosion this morning, a mother-son dispute about laptop use. We worry about how compelling is our young teen’s attachment to headphones, computers and his PDA. Our little sense of post-dawn peace was – well, I can’t say shattered, just can’t, because my own little electronic window just told me about Boston.

Victory and crisis, crisis and victory.

When you love sport as I do, there is something especially horrible when evil visits the home court of dreams and persistence and the desire to surpass oneself, one of the places we go to believe in human goodness and greatness. This year’s Boston Marathon, 26.2 miles of tradition, where Tom Longboat brought honour to his Grand River people and thousands have found deeply personal victory, was dedicated to the 26 who died at the Sandy Hook elementary school. Now there is disbelief and pain where there should be only exhaustion, exhilaration and the giving of one’s all.

They are scrubbing more blood off the New England streets tonight (this morning, where I sit and impotently tap). At least two dead, reports say, with many dozens badly hurt. The bombs must have been on the ground, as many in the crowd, who had gathered to holler encouragement to the weary legs of the four-hour marathoners, are said to have lost theirs.

I first knew of this sickening profanity because I get Dave Zirin in my Inbox. I wrote this because it’s how I deal with shit, he says at the head of his piece, one that chronicles the disgusted horror of a writer who relentlessly calls for justice and enlightenment in the world of sport that he loves so well. He has written about Katherine Switzer before, the brave woman who broke the strict gender barrier at the Boston Marathon. To Zirin’s credit, he is able to summon her inspirational achievement as a contrast, maybe even a hopeful antidote, to the insane cowardice that plants two bombs next to an annual celebration of human endurance.

Bastard(s).

Yet you know, as I do, that as families mourn, as our society gets ever more fearful, as the inconvenience of security measures increases as a fact of modern “life”, that those behind this chicken-shit stab at political influence – or maybe just blind and stupid resentment – are on the wrong side of history. There’ll be a Boston Marathon in 2014. It will inspire even more people than before. The painful sacrifice of the good-hearted will be honoured. And someday, my kids and theirs will look back on events like this, times like these, and say, God, it was so crazy back then! Why? And maybe there will be better answers, too.

Unstoppable.

 

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