Nick Hornby says someplace that after he had kids he couldn’t read Thomas Hardy anymore, that “we are too many” takes on an inexpressibly higher level of horror when you have your own children. Similarly, only worse, pictures of injured children from wars. I stumbled onto images of Iraqi baby ‘collateral damage’ online. I have no words for this. I wish I were religious so I could believably imagine the people responsible in hell. I know my ability to choose not to see these images is a mark of my relatively privileged position in the global scheme of things. The only ways I know to respond are to use literary allusions as a coping mechanism, to file this in the angry parts of my brain and gut where the grapes of wrath are watered, to briefly entertain angry fantasies, and to set this aside in order to keep on keeping on. Motherfuckers. Evil, evil motherfuckers.

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