The children, the babies, are not yet buried and the “Mommy Wars” have started over blog post responses to viral posts. I have many other pressing tasks to do, including traffic court today for forgetting to register my car, and I don’t want to spend the day researching. I probably should because I am a damn good researcher, actually trained in both library and social science methodologies and could probably expound with amazing clarity about the main players in the drama over “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother,” a post that went viral (just Google the phrase and you will see what I mean) from a mother with a very troubled child. Now bloggers are saying that the writer of this piece is the one with mental illness, not her son. I didn’t help. I forwarded the link and the original blog address after I read a republication of the post. I should have done research before forwarding, but really now, does anyone really do research on the info every single time before re-tweeting something? I don’t know what the truth is. And neither do any of us outside of the situation, and from what I can tell there are several truths (perspectives) inside the situation.
And you know what? I don’t care what the truth is. Truth is a personally constructed value. There are facts. There are data. I cannot be the judge of others. I wrote another piece last year, A Cautionary Tale :: Blogs, Lies, and Screen Captures, on a different blog that discusses a different tragedy and the intense emotions that come into play when mothers attack via social media. (Wasn’t When Mothers Attack a B-grade Fifties Monster Movie? Sorry, but I need some levity in these sad, sad days in which the whole country is regrouping.) Everyone who can text is a writer these days. Folks skilled at the art of deception tweet, post and blog. Mothers who are at their wit’s end tweet, post and blog. People who hurt and want to find the reason for their pain also tweet, post and blog.
There are sessions at blogging conferences on the experience of having your posts go viral. Sometimes it is because you did your research, sometimes it is because you let your son and his best friend dress alike for Halloween just like they wanted to do, sometimes it is because you were “shot in the ass.” Memes happen. You cannot know your post, or blog, will go viral. You cannot know when you will become a celebrity.
Geesh girl friend(s), just lighten up. I know, I know, we can’t lighten up about the situation that broke the heart of a nation. But there is civility. Remember civility? Remember Tucson and our call for civility after January 8th, 2011? There is a fund for civility that grew out of that. The desire for a civil society, for people acting civilly, for build a true civilization is real.
I can be snarky, too quick to offer up my sharp tongue, but please, please know that I try to never be intentionally critical of an individual. I haven’t always been successful. My political posts can get very heated at times, less so than they used to be, but let’s just say I learned my lesson. After having lobbied and protested in my congresswoman’s office, met and talked to her at fund-raisers, written scathingly about her being propped up by big money and political machines and specific influence groups, and after seeing her chief of staff’s jaw drop when she saw and recognized me from DC at a local Tucson even, to have her, my Congresswoman fall victim to an attempted assassination that injured and took the lives of many others — well — let’s just say that I can now vehemently disagree with someone while still loving them for being who they are. I learned that even politicos with whom I disagree can be inspirational and have good motives.
I hope the Mommy Wars component of this hoopla fades away quickly. Nothing is more fierce than a woman protecting children. Yes, there are terribly disturbed children in our society. Yes, there are mothers who are mentally ill in our society. Yes, we have too long allowed politics fueled by profit to compromise the well-being of our citizenry. The lives of our children depend on actions, not our words. So let’s work to protect our children and not attack each other.