Monday, October 08, 2007

The Times In Which We Live

A week ago I was looking at the news back in Rhode Island on the Providence Journal Online when I saw that the ProJo had a big, multi-part series on a kid from my hometown who joined the Marines. The face and name were familiar but commonplace, however when I saw the photo of his parents I knew that Corporal Murray was the same age as my brother - I went to school with his older sister and our families attended the same church for a while. Pat joined the Marines after his sophomore year at URI; he was soon deployed to Iraq as a machine-gunner. Last September his platoon encountered a roadside bomb. They sustained casualties and Pat lost his right leg. This story includes a lot of interesting first hand accounts from combat and makes me wonder how I would react if the urge to enlist had traveled just a few streets over and struck my brother. This story is heroic and quietly inspirational in a way that makes you feel like shit for everything you complained about today.

Via Projo, this is a video Pat made and posted to YouTube before he was injured.

RI Update: When I went back to the Providence Journal Online a week later, the "Big Story" in the multimedia section of the website was about "the construction of a secret studio apartment in a storage area in the Providence Place mall, where he and others stayed on and off for nearly four years." The artist of this piece of performance art was arrested for trespassing. The artist/trespasser Mike Townsend is best known for his "tape art" that has graced Providence and Manhattan, and sites all over the country sometimes commissioned, sometimes illegally.

Uh, yeah. That's what's going on in your neck of the woods.

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