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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

today was one of my weirdest days ever

Woke to the news of the overnight craziness in Boston, was glued to Twitter and the Web and BBC News all day. Because I couldn’t not. Because I’m a news junkie. Because I have friends in Boston I was worried about. Because it really did feel, in the oddest way, as if I were there. At one point this morning, it seemed I knew more about what was happening in the manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev than did my friend Michael in Cambridge, who was mere blocks from intense police activity. And then tonight, while watching the leadup to Tsarnaev’s arrest in Watertown, I posted this to Facebook:

This Internet translocation thing is bizarre. I’m here on Facebook (and over there on Twitter) following what’s happening in Boston — while also watching BBC News, which is back with live nonstop video from Franklin Street — and when a bunch of sirens go by outside, I’m like, “Oh, something’s happening, the cops are making their move.” And then I snap back and mentally smack myself for forgetting that I’m thousands of miles away. Weird.

All day long I couldn’t shake an uncomfortable itchy awareness of the irony of the U.S. city most associated with the concept of a necessity of freedom from tyranny, as the place where the American revolution was sparked, on lockdown, in a state of near martial law, with the apparent total willing complicity of its citizenry.

All day long I saw people being idiots on Twitter, and people being amazing.

All day long I saw stuff like this weekend’s Boston Comic Con getting postponed because of the lockdown — terrorists win! — followed by stuff like fans MacGyvering an impromptu con in response.

I saw Spider-Man and Batman on their way to deal with the bad guys:

Spider-Man and Batman

I saw many pictures of cute baby animals being shared around for the mutual comfort of all.

sleeping kitten

I don’t know how I could have looked away from any of it.

I don’t know what it all means, except that on days like today — and there have been others recently: Hurricane Sandy hitting NYC; the riots in London — the wisdom and humor of the best folks on the Web are comforting to be around on a small personal level and reassuring on a larger scale. Maybe we’ll be okay?

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