We had coverage last week about a George Mason University professor murdered, allegedly by his adult son, in their home near Vienna. Truly sad stuff on all accounts.
In the article, Fairfax’s police chief seemed mystified that, over the past couple of years, there have been a raft of adult males killing older family members in the county. The number, while not astronomical by any means, does seem to be high compared to historic norms.
I don’t think this is one it takes detective skills like those of the Hardy Boys to figure out. Stress levels are up, family dynamics are frayed, etc., etc., as we are now headed into the third year of the pandemic. The stressors manifest themselves in any number of ways; at the extreme, as murder.
Hopefully we are coming out of the pandemic era, which should help ease some of the stress on people. But there’s always the next variant that we will be told to fear, and there will be those who will want to lock down again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
NOT QUITE UGLY, JUST … UNINSPIRING: Driving to the Arlington Trades Center in beautiful downtown Shirlington last week to deposit some recyclables, I noticed that the Arlington government had gotten around to swapping out its old county flag for the new design on the flagpoles out front.
It’s not hard to tell that this flag was designed by committee. Lifeless and listless, it relegates Arlington to the status of an appendage to the District of Columbia. (And not a fun appendage, such like Florida dangling off the southeast U.S. coast.)
Someone crueler than I (wait, there is someone crueler than I?) would suggest that the flag is the perfect manifestation of A-town leadership these days. Uninspired and designed merely not to give offense. And it looks particularly flaccid up there next to the bold U.S. flag and the Virginia flag with the naked-boobie lady and “Sic Semper Tyrannis” emblazoned on it.
A TRIP BACK IN TIME: Out of the closet came … well, came my 8th-grade yearbook from ol’ Herndon Intermediate School … as I was rearranging some boxes and the contents therein.
I tell ya, no matter how big a local-media superstar — some would say “legend,” but I’m too modest about that 🙂 — one becomes, looking at a middle-school yearbook certainly brings you right back to those very awkward early-teen years.
And I wasn’t even in this yearbook: The McCaffrey clan had moved from Vienna out to the wild west of Fairfax County in the middle of the school year, so I was too late to have my picture snapped for inclusion. (Although one presumes I did make it into the Thoreau Intermediate School yearbook that year.)
At some point I’ll leaf through the pages, but for now, I’m a little nervous about suddenly morphing back to my 13-year-old self. Not a pretty picture!
- Scott McCaffrey