18 April 2007

A Face Full of Clint Van Zandt: Part I

“I know you’re watching this. Can you believe it’s happening again.” It was Cameo’s voice on the other end of the phone, sparing cordials in an early morning call yesterday. I knew exactly what she was talking about. It’s the week of James’ birthday (April 19) and we’re glued to the TV watching yet another large-scale human tragedy unfold. April 19th has become synonomous with total disaster: Waco. Oklahoma City. We spent James' birthday in 1999 watching the Columbine kids fleeing their school -- hands on heads -- on all six TV screens at the Harvard Gardens. Since then, the third week of April has been all about retrospectives, anniversaries, and vigils. Now it's about Virginia Tech – unimaginably sad, and as horrifying as it is senseless.

I suspect we will spend the bulk of April 19th listening to former FBI Profiler Clint Van Zandt on MSNBC dissecting the shooter's mindset, his possible motives, and the warning signs everyone missed. One thing is certain: Had this tragedy taken place last week, Don Imus would still have a job. Van Zandt would have been sucking up all the airtime, diminishing Sharpton's beefy soap box. Lesson: Never screw up during a slow news cycle.

During tragedies like these, I always look for a distraction, something to quell the overall sense of self-loathing and uselessness I feel watching the news coverage, contributing nothing to the cause except my own morbid curiosity. So, I’ve decided to focus heavily on Clint Van Zandt these next few days. Really zero in on him and his profiling prowess. I'm mildly obsessed with this guy as it is.

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