The story of the young man who was stabbed to death while on a Greyhound bus is horrifying, without qualification. To me, there was a particular detail related in all the news accounts that has left me uncomfortable:
"According to reports, McLean had been listening to music and texting friends
and family, his cheek pressed against the window of the bus..." [emphasis mine]
It was this simple detail that brought the scene into a much sharper focus than I ever wanted to see it. I have assumed an identical posture on pretty much every bus, plane, or train ride I have ever taken. I think about riding home late on New Jersey Transit after a business trip, head against the window, headphones on, half-asleep and dead to the world...
I think I would find it particularly difficult to get comfortable now.
There are those, of course, that do not feel the same empathy for the fate of this young man. As always, where you see a tragedy, others see opportunity
"An animal rights group has posted an ad on its website comparing the
recent stabbing and decapitation of a young Winnipeg man to how humans
kill animals for food.
"...'PETA's ad...is meant to spur people to think about the terror and pain
experienced by animals who are raised and killed for food. The group
aims to demonstrate that animals -- just like humans -- are made of
flesh, blood, and bone and deserve protection from needless killing,'
said a statement on PETA's website, also posted Wednesday."
Looks like someone at PETA's PR department was wearing their Bad Idea jeans
"Hey, you know that 22-year-old kid that got beheaded by a psycho the other day? I was just thinking... we could exploit that for an ad campaign!"
Still, PETA gets a pass on this one, because they only got the silver in the Horrible Exploitation of a Tragedy derby this week. The winner? These guys
"A fundamentalist church group from the U.S. has announced it plans to
picket the funeral of Tim McLean Jr. in Winnipeg, declaring, "God is
Led by pastor Fred Phelps, the Westboro Baptist Church from Kansas issued a release saying they would picket McLean's funeral this weekend. Phelps' daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper, said about seven church members are expected to come to Winnipeg.
"What we're doing is trying to connect dots," Phelps-Roper told Sun Media last night.
"We're trying to get you to see that your rebellion against the
standards of God, your disobedience to the commandments - your idols,
your false gods, your filthy ways have brought wrath upon your head,"
That's right, Canada! You think you are so fucking great with your gay marriage, legalized marijuana, national healthcare, gun control, low crime rate, and hockey. Well, now you are in for it. You see, hurricanes
don't reach Canada, which is God's usual method of punishing sin. Instead, this time He had to be more creative. And boy was He ever! This is truly some of His finest work.
Remember Canada: from now on, anytime something bad happens anywhere in your country, it's His doing.