Boston – The stuff of fiction
This morning TV news was awash with braying Boston college students mugging for the camera ‘Boston, Boston, Boston’ to news of the capture of the 19 year old who partnered in the Boston excrescence. My first reaction was to be appalled – the deaths and underlying boil of global politics which resulted in the slaughter of innocents in a pornographically public series of bomb shots should somehow deserve more gravitas than a bunch of inebriated students cheering at what would seem like a sports victory.
But my reaction was soon muted. How else to celebrate the lifting of the curfew, the success of the security apparatus, their speed, their competence? These are students after all, any excuse for a party, and this was a big one.
If one had dreamt up this story, a scaffold of plot (3 acts – disaffected immigrant, turns to a the stern edges of religion, enlists and manipulates his adoring younger brother, commits an act of public horror, whereupon the FBI, presumably led by a craggy Bruce Willis extracts swift justice, leaving a lone and bewildered 19 year, barely beyond his first shave, facing the wrath and cackles of a pissed off nation), one would presumably write just as it happened.
It is a rare sight this. The homily of life imitating art is a usually cringing cliche, a one-liner of little consequence.
But here we have it. The last chapter (or camera shot), a pale-faced bewildered boy, his life over, both driven and felled by forces beyond his youth and ignorance, his name destined to fade into footnote, while Boston college students shriek and perform and drink in the ample bosom of American freedoms.