"In recent years, politicians and commentators from across the political spectrum have responded to mass shootings with an invocation of the phrase "now is not the time"…[A]s the shootings continue and the body count rises, the inevitable counter-argument becomes: if not now, when?" - The Washington Post, 7/27/2015
Now, I think we can agree, is not the time to talk about it.
It just happened; we can’t talk about it now. It wouldn’t be right to talk about it now. Now is not when we should be talking about it. Of all the times to talk about it, now isn’t the time. We should talk about it later.
Later is a better time to talk about it.
You want to talk about it one hour? Oh, that’s much sooner than I thought we would talk about it. When I said later, I was not imagining one hour. I thought we were talking about it much later than only one hour. One hour simply won’t do. One hour is basically now: If we’re going to talk about it in one hour, we might as well talk about it now.
And now is not the time to talk about it.
You want to talk about it tonight? Oh, that’s still so much sooner than when I thought we would talk about it, and when I think we should talk about it. Let’s be reasonable about when we should talk about these things! When I said later, I was envisioning at least a day before we talked about it. If we’re in the same day, on the same date, it still feels like it just happened. Talking about it tonight is like talking about it now: If we haven’t turned the page on a calendar, it’s basically still now.
And we simply can’t talk about it now.
You want to talk about it tomorrow? Oh, tomorrow still seems far too soon.
Later in the week? Surely we should at least take a weekend before we talk about it.
Next Monday? No one wants to talk about these things on a Monday.
Next Tuesday? We’ll already be far too long into the work week by then.
Perhaps it’s best if we enter the next month before we talk about it. And, really, next month looks so busy, what with the holiday, and the political rallies, and our other obligations, and what have you, so maybe we push it back to the month following, or, just to be safe, the month following that one. And honestly, by then, the seasons will be changing and everyone will be on vacation so maybe we should let the year roll over, adding a few weeks at the beginning of January, so that we can talk about it then with a renewed sense of purpose and a fresh set of eyes?
Look, I know this is a radical suggestion, but: What if we just didn’t talk about it? Have we considered that option? What if we just crossed our fingers and rubbed our rabbit’s feet and wished and prayed that it never happened again? What if we, collectively, as a society, agree that this was a bad thing that happened, and that we just shouldn’t talk about it, that we should never talk about it, that this isn’t a thing we really want to talk about, and just silently hope that this is the last time it happens?
What if we talked about something else?
Okay, fine. If you really want to talk about it, we can talk about it. I think we agreed to reconvene in seven months, on the third Sunday of that month, at seven minutes and thirty six seconds past the fourth hour in Central Standard Time. We will talk about it that time, unless something else comes up, or we decide to talk about something else, or it turns out that time it is also not the time to talk about it.
All right, sounds good.
Now, remind me: What were we talking about?