Patton Oswalt Responds To The Boston Marathon Explosions Better Than We Ever Could

Every day, horrendous acts of violence and hatred take place on this planet in every country, and it’s disheartening, to say the least. With so much destruction, it can be hard to keep faith your faith in humanity, in the heartfelt knowledge that there are still good people who want to put love and kindness into the world. But those people do exist, and in much greater number than you might think.

Comedian and all-around wonderful guy Patton Oswalt understands the fear and doubt that enters our minds when things like school shootings or marathon bombings take place, but he brings up a wonderful point in an open letter posted to his Facebook page in the wake of the Boston tragedy: if we stand together, the light will always cancel out the dark in the end.

Boston. F**king horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”

But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.”

We’re with you, Patton. And more importantly, we’re with each other. These acts of violence will not win. We will stand together and be better, stronger, and to bring light to the dark no matter how long it takes.

  • Melanie Schmitz

    Thank you for posting this.

  • Vanessa Noe

    Wow, well said, Patton.

  • Jacob L. Grant

    He’s wrong though. Humanity IS inherently evil. More people are being murdered today than have ever been murdered in the history of mankind! When you look at the broad scope of history and the moral decline of the populace over thousands of years, the obvious observation is this: humans are becoming more and more wicked in thought and in deed.

    Patton’s response here is passivity at its worst. He’s basically saying, “Yeah, it’s a problem, but I wont’ worry about it because it will sort itself out.” To that I say, “BS! The world won’t change unless you make it, Patton!”

    • William Wishwellingtons Johnson

      There are more people being murdered because there are far more people on the planet, proportionally I doubt it has change a great deal. That isn’t the point the article was making, yes there are murders, attacks and bombings but there are away people standing in the way and running into help.

    • Dylan De Kantzow

      More people are being murdered because there are more people.
      You could say the same about anything.

      Here: despite the invention of bicycles, trains and automobiles, more people are walking now, than ever before, in the history of mankind.

      Not that I’m particularly inclined to think the Boston bombings are anymore wicked, or worth my attention than any of the other awful deeds being done about the world, and on balance, the suffering is just as keen for those in Boston, no matter how disproportionately the ratio between wickedness and newsworthiness compared to the other awful deeds that go on.

      I can only really grasp and change that which is within my arms reach. Perhaps someone who is within that reach can continue the good I hope to pass on, and someone within their reach, so on and so forth.
      You don’t have to be a star to add your ember, just do your part as best you can.

      and so Jacob, in the end, you, Patton and I can all write a little ditty on the internet and make a little club-o-passivity, or think of it like adding your ember.
      It’s up to you.

    • Patrick Lee Smallman

      Only the purely cynical would truly believe that humanity is inherently evil. If that were true (as Patton so aptly pointed out above) you, good sir, would be long-dead. Only someone feverishly desperate for attention would post something so negative in the wake of a tragedy, and to you I say: “Shame.” Pointing out humanity’s flaws now will only pour salt in the wounds of those affected. Take your selfish, undermining garbage elsewhere Jacob.

    • Bradley Nardizzi

      Oh, really, Mr. Grant? The world is more violent today than it ever has been, is it? More people are being murdered than ever in the history of mankind, are they? Bullocks I say. How much of history do you really know? If you knew even the slightest bit of world history, you would know your claim to be ludicrous. For thousands upon thousands of years people slaughtered each other for no other reason than they lived down the road from them and they weren’t apart of the same culture or the same tribe. Barbarian hordes rose out of both the East and the West respectively, and conquered swaths of land at the cost of enormous amounts of the blood of innocent folk caught in the way.

      Do you know of Genghis Khan, sir? Attila the Hun? Alexander the Great? How about Tamerlane? Hernan Cortes? Erik the Red? William the Bastard? The Emperor Napoleon? Saladin? The Conqueror Xiang Yu? Cyrus the Great? Ivan the Terrible? Charlegmagne? Robespierre? Mussolini, Hitler, and the Emperor Hirohito?

      Pick any period other than the 20th century, go back in time, and tell me it’s less violent than today. I dare you. I double dare you. We are living in the safest, most peaceful time in human existence–the fact that it is still violent is on account of our history of violence being carried over and up to the present, not because we’ve suddenly manifested a bloodthirst for killing other people suddenly. If anything, our violence is paltry compared to many of the brutal displays of violence that would take place under any of the aforementioned murderer’s and conqueror’s times on a daily basis. Your fearmongering is palpable and utterly dismissed by the fact that you know little of what you speak. You wish to seem wise, but instead only look foolish.

      I’ll admit that this isn’t Patton necessarily giving us a call to arms to rally around him so we might change the world to a far more peaceful one, but you’ve missed the point and utterly dismissed his sentiment which is that, despite the hundreds of years of violence and destruction we’ve waged against each other, we still have people willing to sacrifice themselves for the sake of other people, for no other reason than they believe human life is precious. And that’s a beautiful thing. It’s something to be cherished, and to be praised, and to be glorified. Which Mr. Oswalt has done. You, on the other hand, hide behind jaded cynicism and talk of change without understanding the nature of the beast. “More people are being murdered today than have ever been murdered in the history of mankind.” Pfft.

    • Barthel Zieba

      You really don’t have the slightest clue about history. The Romans let people fight until death for the amusement of the masses, the first Christians were torn to pieces in the arena by animals and 6000 slaves were crucified along the Via Appia after Spartacus lost his final battle. I think we have evolved very much since then…

    • Alanine Rhenylalanine

      I understand that you’re upset. In times like these, it is easy to despair and become cynical and hard. I just want you to remember that in the face of darkness on Monday, first responders, runners and perfect strangers fought back with kindness. Our humanity, compassion and propensity for good are the best weapons we have and should use rather than guns and bombs. On the advise of Mr. Fred Rogers, you must look for ‘the helpers’ – and indeed in every horrific photo of the wounded in Copley Square yesterday, I saw people helping. For every act of depravity and ‘evil’, you will find acts of heroism, goodness and love.

  • Werner Griesel

    We needed this! Thank you Patton!

  • Stacey England

    Humanity is not inherently evil. Humanity as a whole is becoming increasingly apathetic, but it’s not inherent. This is something that has happened over time. You said it yourself it has been a “moral decline of the populace over thousands of years”, this implies a worsening of the moral state of humanity over time and not a pre-exisiting inherent immorality. This increasing sense of apathy has allowed the “wicked” to flourish. The only thing evil men need to triumph is for good men to do nothing. The world is only going to change if we DO SOMETHING. Retaliation is not the answer. We have all seen the out come of that choice in the past. An eye for an eye and the whole world becomes blind. We need to stop seeing ourselves as separate from one another. There are no races, nationalities or sexes. There is no socio-economic status or sexual orientation. There exists only people. There exists only humanity as a whole. We are all people with the same blood in our veins, the same air in our lungs and the same joy and sorrow in our hearts. We are not lost yet. The proof of this can be seen when you watch the footage of the bombs going off. There are people almost instantly running toward the site of the explosions to help other people. People running towards danger to aid strangers, to aid their fellow human beings in a time of need. Those who seek it, will always find hope, even in the darkest of places. Immorality, apathy, and evil are a choice and to say they are inherent is cop out as if it is something to simply be accepted. Apathetic attitudes like that are the root of the problem.

  • Sean Johnstone

    Some people don’t seem to think do they,evil never wins,people who follow this will always be on the losing side,they will be found and punished as history has shown,its only a matter of time.The people of Boston will become even stronger not weaker,America will find these cowards,The world has been slow to respond to violence of this kind,but we are awake and will defeat them wherever they hide,they are nothing but fools if they think they’ll get away.The masses will overcome!

  • Katy Littlejohn

    I think it’s so important in this day and age to focus on the children who are growing up with so many examples of evil around them, whether in their personal lives or on the news. Every kid should have a champion teaching them right from wrong, encouraging them through discipline and cheering when they make mistakes, and talking them through these disasters. If every kid had that support system, maybe when they grow up we’d be that much closer to eliminating such violent acts of senseless hatred.

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