On Abovethelaw.com, Kathryn Rubino was among the first to break the story of the fatal crane accident in Manhattan. It was news for a media outlet like Abovethelaw.com because New York Law School had been closed for the day.
As the day went on, the name of the person killed in the accident was disclosed. It was David Wichs. What the early coverage kept including was that he had graduated from Harvard University. Is that the measure of a man?
Later it was disclosed he was a math whiz. But should that detail be among those who we mourn the unexpected loss of a human life? Needless to mention, the sectors where math is revered - tech and finance - are going through a correction. Trillions of dollars will be lost.
When I was living in Manhattan, there was a former trader on my block. Twice he had been through the detox/rehab loop. Twice he had relapsed. He existed on handouts from liberals who tolerated the homeless.
But I always wondered: How would the media position and package his death? Given the severe winters on the East Coast, it was likely that he would freeze to death when drunk.
Was the measure of this man less because he was no longer a producer in capitalism?
One of the first poems I had to analyze in college was John Donne's on the common humanity of mankind. It was "No Man Is an Island." The loss of any one of us is a reason to pay attention. The bells tolls for all of us.
In my central Connecticut recovery group, a minister who was a member created a memorial service to honor the "hopeless drunk" who used to wander in for sandwiches and hot coffee. We had a hunch he also wanted to catch the message of recovery. The church was jam-packed.