We don’t understand what happened in Spain.
Politics promotes a certain emotional viciousness, which consists in the immediate assimilation of an event into an intellectual scheme. And that scheme gives us, automatically, villains and victims. The scum who did it – always scum, always the name hurled after the bomb.
We don’t understand why the train station was bombed. We don’t understand why instant understanding is conveyed in the reports of the bombing, as if we already knew all about it, as if we already knew that ETA did it, as if we already knew the bombs were there, as if we already knew the number of victims and their names, as if we already knew about every wound, as if we already knew all about the shock, as if we had already read the script, as if we were already bystanders and survivors, as if we already knew all about surviving, as if we had earned any of this.
We already know so much about 9/11 that we have no interest in knowing about 9/11 – and so the story of how that happened, and what happened, and how they did it, a story that has deviated more and more from what we already knew (as in, for instance, just what weapons Mohammed Atta’s group possessed) doesn’t concern us.
And so we will already know in the weeks ahead all about the bombing in Madrid. Such endless knowing, such endless ignorance, such an endless train of ghosts.