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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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Pop Shots – Reflecting on the Ariana Grande Concert Attack
Monday, May 29, 2017

Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week Pop Shots is a little bit different, as I feel the need to take a serious tone. Normally I write this column as a way to poke fun at the goings on in the pop world, but with last week’s terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, I want to take a minute to discuss how we, as a concert going, pop music loving, people come back from this.

A lot of folks have written a lot of thinkpieces attempting to get into the mind of the suicide bomber who killed 22 people, and inured 59 more, when he set off an explosive at Grande’s concert in Manchester. Many have asserted it was an attacked on women, or girls, but I think there’s a much bigger picture to look at here when we pull back the lens and look at this in conjunction with another recent concert terror attack – the gunman who shot and killed 89 concert goers at an Eagles of Death Metal show at Le Bataclan in Paris in 2015.

Both were terrorist attacks that targeted concerts. Concerts that had wildly different audiences. The target, therefore, likely wasn’t a specific type of person, but rather, ideologies and emotions that were shared by both audiences.

The terrorists were targeting happiness, and normalcy.

The terrorists targeted the happiness of the concert goer, knowing concerts are a time when people are at their most joyous, as they’re usually seeing an artist they love, with people they love. The terrorists also targeted normalcy, knowing that such an incident can set off a chain reaction, cause people to act differently, and even inspire the creation of new laws that, while attempting to keep people safer, actually lead us ever closer to living in a police state.

I remember the night of the Bataclan incident vividly because as it was happening I was on my way to a concert at Webster Hall in NYC. A concert which I attended not knowing about the terrorist attack until I arrived home. The next day a write up about the tragedy mentioned Webster Hall as a comparison point for what Le Bataclan was, and still is, in Paris.

The Ariana Grande concert tragedy affected me in a different way, as not only am I fan of hers, but I know people who’ve taken their kids to see her in concert, and I couldn’t imagine those people losing their kids, or, on a personal note, losing those friends while they were doing something so great for their kids.

So what do we do in the aftermath of such tragedy, other than take whatever time one needs to mourn, which will be significantly more for those who lost a loved one?

Personally, I went to an intimate concert with friends the night after the Ariana Grande concert bombing, as did others, and with that in mind I say if you have tickets to a concert, don’t let this tragedy keep you at home. Staying at home would be succumbing to the attackers. They want you to alter your life to their whims. They want you stripped of your happiness, and living in fear.

Your joy, no matter how small the dose, is a giant middle finger to those who’ve so hurtfully tried to take it from you.

Live your best possible, concert hopping, pop music loving, life.

That’s the best advice I can give.

And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with, and with an onus on happiness, and normalcy, I’ll be back to giving you humorous shots on all things pop.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:00 AM  
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