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Sunday, March 21, 1999
By Paul Ford
The day after the Columbine murders
The jokes started coming early, "my cat's in the tortoiseshell mafia," read one email. Later in the day, I said to the project manager, "you know, it was a release, reading all of this. Did you spend a single minute contemplating your own life, your own problems, today?"
He thought for a short while. "No, I was just thinking about Colorado."
"Me too, and I wonder if the reason I'm fascinated is that even though it's painful, it's good to learn about something real, and evil, and big, something that has clear, morally unambiguous consequences. It's cathartic."
I paused. "Especially now, when we're in an ambiguous war. I hate to use the word in this context, but it's entertaining, or better would be involving, and it frees you from thinking about yourself or your fears, it brings you together with others to discuss and express sadness, confusion, doubt--all the feelings we usually don't talk about. Today is a much simpler day, emotionally, because of Colorado."
"Put that on your web site," he said, "about how it's entertaining, and see what people think."