Thursday, April 19, 2007

New Kid in Town

The song " New Kid in Town" by the Eagles features a line about talk on the street. Today the talk on the street and on the airwavs and on the internet is about the Massacre at Virginia Tech. After the first days of shock and horror have passed. new developments including the documentation of the crime by the shooter, have brought out a bevy of doctors, psychologists and specialists. speculation about Cho's mental health are unending.

But the idea of the New Kid in Town haunts me. It seems that the anger represented in the words and pictures left behind by the murderer points to a condition of isolation and alienation that is allowed to grow and fester until it becomes unstopable--resulting in heinous crimes of the nature we see this week. Newton's first law, an object in motion stays in motion...remains in play holds here. The motion, the unspeakable and unstopable activity of a new kid in town on the Virginia campus, seems to have been unchecked--only halfheartedly attended to, documented and studied with a casual nod to his uncertain mental condition. What about the systems for the new kid who comes to town, to the campus, to a new place to live. The kid who isn't making it, who is out of step...where are the tools, the processes that our campuses our communities need to provide in this current age of stress and depression that may help us see that the new kid in town is in trouble. The object in motion...the angry, the hate and distrust, grows, picking up momentum until it collides with other lives...forces in motion, and extinguishes these lives forever.

In the song, New Kid in Town....another telling line about "tears on your shoulder'...the image of those tears of family and friends for lives lost needs to inspire us to fix what is broken...where are the systems for saving the damged New Kids in Town?

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