New York City subways are a mixed blessing. I’m thankful that I don’t need to own a car here, and can get pretty much everywhere by train or bus. But sometimes the rush hour subway platform feels like a microcosm of condensed urban agida, what with the heat, the crowds, the pushing, and the shoving. Only very rarely are there tragic acts of subway violence, despite the key ingredients being in place.
Today’s the 10th anniversary of September 11th, and we continue to ask why this kind of horrific tragedy can happen — what does it say about us? A variation of the question that helps me put things in perspective: Why doesn’t this kind of opprobrious violence happen more often? There’s certainly more violence — on the international stage and on the streets — than we should have to bear. But I truly believe our default condition is peaceful, cooperative interaction.
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