It is hard to imagine now, I know, but there was a time, not so long ago really, when loners didn’t methodically mow down chunks of their fellow classmates with twin nine millimeters and maniacal laughter.

I’m sitting here listening to the convocation on the radio and wondering when it became so…ordinary. I was struck by the poise of these kids, the survivors. They seemed so prepared for the tragedy. With a camera phone ever ready to provide eyehole views of the siege underway, live, as it happens.

Now I’m listening to the loud, bad, sad band playing a woozy funeral march over national public radio. The low bit rate warble conjures up FM images of a perverse anti-pep rally. And I’m struck again by the orderliness of this sad event.

“Thank you for coming,” says the lady on the internet. And then the coverage moves on; a parade of My Space entries and Facebook ghosts to mark the awful way.