October 5, 2016
Syrian star swimmer Mireille Hindoyan, who swam for the Refugee Team at the Rio Olympics, has been killed in an airstrike in Aleppo, Syria. Her mother survived the bomb blast, finding her daughter next to her, legless and handless.
While Hindoya’s death is no more or less tragic than any other tragedy around the world, it was born of the same mindset which kills young, unarmed black men in America, that sanctions genocide of Jews and American Indians and Tutsis and Cambodians and others, which has slaughtered 200,000 people young and old in religious wars around the world, which made the twentieth century the bloodiest century of all time.
Ms. Hindoyan was courageous beyond explanation, to train and swim for events in which she had no chance of winning, as she was surrounded by well-trained and -fed American and Australian women swimmers. To merely get to Rio was a miracle for her.
Her death puts the Ryan Lochte story firmly in “The Ugly American” franchise of louts, spoiled brats, braggarts, commercial-endorsed and privileged white athletes (and black athletes), in a country in which Sport is the real God.
This senseless death is unnerving. I’d like to posit the hope, that we will learn from this. Ironically the only hope for saving Planet Earth is the complete extinction of humans. We are an utterly failed evolutionary experiment.
Bless you, Mireille Hindoyan, and a plague upon the bombers and upon religion. I hope you meet Kurt Vonnegut and that the two of you can fly hand in hand and comfort one another.
Enter butterflies, stage left.