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How Violence In Public Places Shapes America's Psyche

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The Boston Marathon bombing sent me back to Don DiLillo's novel "Underworld," in which he describes the experience of watching a shooting be replayed frequently on the news.

"There's something here that speaks to you directly, saying terrible things about forces beyond your control, lines of intersection that cut through history and every reasonable layer of human expectation ... Seeing someone at the moment he dies, dying unexpectedly. This is reason alone to stay fixed to the screen. It is instructional, watching a man shot dead as he drives along on a sunny day. It demonstrates an elemental truth, that every breath you take has two possible endings."
 
Does it seem to you that we live, right now, even closer to that truth? A trip to school or to a cherished sporting event could be the last trip of your life. What does that do to us, deep down inside?
 
Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

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Colin McEnroe is a radio host, newspaper columnist, magazine writer, author, playwright, lecturer, moderator, college instructor and occasional singer.

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