They say it’s been a summer of violence, in the papers. But you’ve gotta wonder if it’s any different, or if our eyes are just open wider. Are we only seeing afresh the thousand little violences that make up life in a place where there is no middle? Maybe the difference is that lives are getting chewed up quicker, chalk outlines on what should have been a safe floor instead of husked-out rinds beaten down by years of violence spring, fall, summer, winter. No one could–no one would–lift a hand against threats muttered on sultry air, unjust blows rained down behind doors closed and locked. No one can–no one does–lift a hand against machines of death chewing up supermarkets and festivals. By the time they got to the perpetrator, there was never anything left to punish. The people are the same, the misery is the same, it is only death that has become more efficient, stalking us all on copper-clad wings. When no one stands against it, great or small, fast or slow, nine millimeters or the width of a thumb, is it all the same?

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