It's been a year since the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City was turned into a graphic wallpaper image for every TV newsroom between here and Saskatchewan, and perhaps needless to say, the media attention is once again at a fever pitch. Three local television stations have set up ostensible news bureaus in Denver, site of the trial of the two chaps charged with the bombing — their attorneys argued sucessfully that they couldn't get a fair trial for their clients anywhere in Oklahoma, to the annoyance of the victims-rights crowd — and about half the merchants in town, it seems, are selling some sort of Murrah-related merchandise.

Obviously nostalgia is not a factor here. So why are we dredging it up again? The touchy-feely types prate on about the need for "healing", and maybe they're right, but I've noticed that if I sprain my ankle, dwelling on it won't make me feel any better or walk any faster. Inevitably, someone brings up the Holocaust, which killed a lot more than 168 people, and points out how we need to remember. Well, okay. But there are some substantial differences here. For one, there has yet to appear any idiot revisionist to insist that the Murrah bombing never actually happened, a situation the Holocaust survivors are constantly facing from the new breed of Nazi apologists. And for another, while Oklahomans are often ridiculed and mocked — and given the doofuses we've elected over the past couple of decades, deservedly so — there isn't any organized anti-Oklahoman movement, except maybe for a couple of weeks in the fall, centered on Austin, Texas.

Maybe it's just burnout on my part. At my age, I'd be surprised if I weren't burned out about something. But I'm definitely sure that I wish all of this would go away. And if McVeigh and Nichols are convicted of the bombing, it's only a matter of time before things get worse, as the local hack politicians go into their usual see-how-tough-we-are-on-crime act and the regulars from the Professional Victims League start angling for televised executions at the Lloyd Noble Center. I can hardly wait.

The Vent

#1
9 April 1996

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 Copyright © 1996 by Charles G. Hill