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Tinderbox USA

“Zijie was a wonderful human being. And I also know his family, so as a father as well. I start with that because it was indicative of how he interacted with people,” said Dr. Norbert Scherer, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Chicago, where Zijie underwent his postdoctoral training… Zijie absolutely as a young scientist was certainly on a great trajectory to become a dominant person in his field,” said Scherer… Another postdoc fellow who worked alongside Yan remembered him as “a great researcher, always positive, smiling, and full of new ideas.”

In China Zijie’s jealous insane shooter would have had to content himself with private rage against a more successful (professionally; personally) human being; in Tinderbox USA he jest moseyed on over to the gun store, ammoed up, and blew his better’s fucking head off. No muss, no fuss, and he feels SOOOO much lighter on his feet now.

Just remember: “A New Yorker is just as likely to be robbed as a Londoner, … but the New Yorker is 54 times more likely to be killed in the process. … The discrepancy, like so many other anomalies of American violence, [comes ] down to guns.”


Then there are the emergent social attitudes on the part of Americans as they come to accept their primary existential condition as Sitting Duck.

“It’s been heavy around campus. Physically mentally and everything else we have experienced,” [one student] said. “It’s sad that that this happened on our campus but this is also a reality for us especially growing up.”

Point One: SD is a structural reality, which is one of the most important things you learn growing up in this country.


“I think we’re just very lucky it wasn’t more than what it was, we’re lucky to have each other, we’re connected well as a team,” [a soccer player] said. “We felt the support and love of each other, just prayers go out to the family.”

Point Two: Coulda been worse. He didn’t rampage through classrooms killing dozens like the guy at Virginia Tech. Plus, this has brought us together.

Looking at the bright side is part of the drill now, too.


Point Three: “I feel the same anxiety that I believe the students and faculty, other community members feel. The fear of not being able to send our children to school and not worry about them having to face senseless gun shootings,” said Congresswoman Valerie Foushee, a Chapel Hill native and UNC graduate, who represents the district.

A nearby elementary school was also locked down, which gave parents an opportunity to remember the pulverized children of Uvalde, and students the opportunity to start learning the ins and outs of SD at a very early age.

Margaret Soltan, August 30, 2023 5:23AM
Posted in: guns

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2 Responses to “Tinderbox USA”

  1. Dmitry Says:

    The United States research training system is highly productive but also very high pressure. This is especially true in the physical and life sciences Some people react very badly to it.

    This humorous article nevertheless has truth to it according to my associates who have gone through it. Some see the mindset as bad but others accept it as reality in a competitive, global scientific world.


  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Dmitry: Love the letter.

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