Monday, June 13, 2016

Thoughts on the Orlando mass shooting

When I first visited the French Quarter of New Orleans in August 2014, it was during a gay community event called Southern Decadence. Lots of men were nearly naked, lots of men were wearing elaborate costumes, and lots of men were nearly naked while wearing elaborate costumes. People were throwing beaded necklaces from the balconies as they do in New Orleans, but the structure of heterosexual Mardi Gras nudity-for-beads transactions had been disrupted by the sheer oversupply of nudity. Most of the necklaces were flung wildly into the frolic below, guaranteed to end up around some scantily clad reveler.

Perhaps this is because I'm relatively inexperienced with gay nightclubs, but I tend to imagine them as full of the merry raunch that I saw at Southern Decadence. Mass murder anywhere is terrible. But what happened in Orlando, I think, is mass murder of people who were doing something awesome.