Nobody knows why it happened to those twelve people. Just a summer diversion, connecting up with a little of the super hero vibe. The people who got on that roller coaster at Six Flags in Vallejo, California didn't expect to be stuck up in the air for ninety minutes while rescue workers scrambled to bring them down. What sort of thick and chewy irony can be taken from having to be rescued from Superman is most certainly mediated by events in Aurora, Colorado two weeks ago. It was hot. It was scary. And everyone made it home alive.
Such was not the case for the twelve victims of the "Batman Shooting." There is little doubt that the dozen men, women and children who were gunned down that night had some of the same escapist impulse that the folks who stood in line to ride the roller coaster named after the Man of Steel. Investigators are poring over every inch of the amusement park ride, searching for a frayed cable or broken sensor. They want to figure out how the ride broke down so that they can get it up and running as soon as possible. "The Dark Knight Rises" continues to draw crowds to the theater, but the frayed cables and broken sensors that set off James Holmes may never be fully understood.
In the meantime, we all search for answers. We want to relax as we go about our summertime fun. We shouldn't have to fret as we stand in line for what ever blockbuster or thrill ride awaits us. My brothers and I used to joke with one another as we waited our turn on the roller coaster: "How long has it been since somebody died on this thing?"
"Died? Oh it's been a while. Injured? Not as long."
"I heard they put in nets to catch the body parts that fell off."
We did this with our outdoor voices, to make certain that everyone around us got to share in our funny bits. Professional comedian Dane Cook took his chances on making a joke about the Dark Knight massacre. He apologized, but who knows what made him want to make a joke about such an ugly topic?
I know. We want things to go back to normal. We want it to be safe. We want it to be fun again. We might have to wait for that.