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La Vanguardia, Spain

The Slaughter

By Pilar Rahola

Translated By Sarah Booker


Edited by Eric Schallock

Spain - La Vanguardia - Original Article (Spanish)

There is no reason; all that remains is shadowy doubt, that which inhabits the dark corner of human malice.

The urgency of the story authorizes the team of 8 al día to take control. Everyone is trying to get the right information, and the number of the dead grimly escalates. “Two children have been killed in a school in Conneticut”, says a reporter, stopping computers. And the sound of clicking computer keyboards accelerates with the search of clues to what had happened. The program is about to start, and the news is its DNA, so the team goes to work to get the most accurate information. I see Joan Julibert assigning responsibilities, Marc Texidó multitasking his skills, computers, telephones, printers… We should know what had happened, two, three children… But then someone says there are more than five children, and then ten. Then, after checking with other news agencies, the number shoots into the horrific. There has been a slaughter, with the brutal burden of an enormous number of murdered children. And although it shows professionalism and fast emotionless work, the truth is that the whole world is shaken up. This type of brutal news, this massive and unjustified murder that brings news of children’s bodies from a faraway school, that insanity at the fingertips of some adults who kill for the sake of killing, whose one desire is to kill many. Who causes such death and emerges unscathed? And although the news will be impeccably shown on the program, and Josep Cuní will deliver it with the seriousness appropriate for the tragedy, we all know that there is some news that we never want to have to tell.

I try to think about it, with all the facts that are coming in. They say that the murderer is dead and that he was the father of a little boy; that there was a second adult who escaped; that there had been more than one hundred shots fired from assault rifles. They talk about an entire class that could have disappeared; words from the director of the school and the psychologist; they talk about 18 little massacred bodies… And despite being determined to find some sort of serene reflection that could possibly be useful for a story such as this, I find myself running again and again into the containment wall of irrationality. Not every question has an answer when horror comes knocking at the door, because death, sometimes, cannot be explained. Perhaps one could talk about the guns that abound in North American homes, about the violent culture that shakes our society, about this migrant and primal idea of self-defense, but all would be opportunistic and perhaps not entirely appropriate.

Because in reality, the absolute and immense majority of people do not go around shooting guns, nor do they view children as only objects. So it is illogical, and in the end all that is left is the shadowy doubt that inhabits the dark corner of human malice. And because of this, there exists the story, the information, the news, but an explanation still does not exist. One can only think about how these headlines keep coming only to end up leaving blood stains, and remember that the good dies when the bad decides to come out to play.



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