An explosion that appeared to be a suicide bombing killed at least 22 people on Monday night and wounded 59 others at an Ariana Grande concert filled with adoring adolescent fans, in what the police were treating as a terrorist attack.Two thoughts:
Panic and mayhem seized the crowd at the Manchester Arena as the blast reverberated through the building, just as the show was ending and pink balloons were dropping from the rafters in a signature flourish by Ms. Grande, a 23-year-old American pop star on an international tour.
Traumatized concertgoers, including children separated from parents, screamed and fled what appeared to be the deadliest episode of terrorism in Britain since the 2005 London transit bombings.
- Terrorism is always going to be an issue in a free society. Large gatherings of people, especially young people, make an inviting target, and even though there is no indication that security was lax in Manchester, it doesn't take a very big bomb to cause incredible carnage in an arena.
- The performer in this case, Grande, is politically outspoken. That doesn't matter, though -- Grande's worldview doesn't have anything to do with the motivations of a terrorist. Her only role in this event was being popular enough to attract a large audience. For those suggesting that there's some sort of larger meaning, you're almost certainly wrong about that. This video has over 900,000,000 views on YouTube; unlike most pop songs of this era, I've actually heard it before. She clearly has an audience. That's all that really mattered.