When bad things happen, we look for silver linings, just not right away. For those directly affected by events like 9/11 or last week's theater shooting in Colorado, finding a silver lining takes years, if it happens at all. Some might justifiably choose not to bother looking at all.
For the rest of us, we soak in the news, we grieve, we blame, we pray for the victims and their families, we theorize, and we wonder what's become of our society, our world.
Then we move on to those silver linings. In these times, that usually means things like increased vigilance among the public, a greater appreciation for life, more awareness, improved, tighter security. We still tread carefully and we might look over our shoulder more often, but we move on nonetheless.
These kinds of events where innocent lives are lost for no apparent reason change things. They change the way we travel, they change the way we look at other people and, in some internal, sometimes even subconscious way, they change the way we go about our lives. The theater shooting is small-scale terrorism compared to 9/11, but domestic terrorism that results in any loss of life still leaves a footprint.
After the shooting, some people swore off going to the theater, at least for the time being. We can't blame them for that - paranoia and anxiety are things we've lived with since Sept. 11, and now those feelings have seeped into such elementary and simple pastimes as going to a movie.
This week's TV View, which the Independent publishes every Friday, includes a movie review by an Independent staffer who has been writing them for months now. This week, the reporter reviewed "The Dark Knight Rises," the final installment of the widely-popular Batman trilogy that will now always be linked to last week's tragedy.
We had some serious reservations about running this particular review given the circumstances, but chose to, if for no other reason than to try to keep things as normal as possible. While we're quite removed from the tragedy in Colorado, we're still deeply saddened by what happened and want to remain sensitive to what others are going through.
Unlike those who live in or near Aurora, Colo., our sense of "normalcy" hasn't been disturbed too much, which is why we published the review, but the shooting still made us think and reminded us that life is short and that these kinds of things can and do happen anywhere. Scary thought, but one we would be foolish to ignore. Its impact was far-reaching enough to make us think enough to pause before publishing something as simple as a movie review in a small-town supplement.
Movies are meant to be a pleasant diversion from our stressful lives, so take this week's review as just that, and then resume looking for any silver linings you can find.