I’ve recently returned from a few weeks “off grid”. I like to unplug from time to time. You might like it too. The world did fine without me. It’ll continue without you. Also you should eat your vegetables. I’m just sayin’.
Unfortunately (and predictably) stupid, evil shit went down in my absence. I’m talking about Orlando. I carefully avoided the media frenzy and ensuing Facebook shitstorm. My only regret from June is I didn’t spend more time fishing. That last sentence is the whole point of a life well lived (or at least the best I can do). Also I may go fishing this weekend so there’s that.
Back to the topic at hand, I had the benefit of distance and had a single point I wanted to make. I let the dust settle. I took my time. I wasn’t out for more hits or whatever passes for blogger cred. I just had something to say.
I wrote a post and deleted it. Wrote another and deleted that. I wrote again and it’s on a hard drive somewhere but I’m not posting that either. My single simple observation eludes my feeble writing.
Fuck it. I’ll try again.
Please: don’t be someone else’s political puppet.
Somewhere in your head you’ve got a list. I’ve got one too. We’ve all got a mental list where we store our memories of terrorism and evil. There are so many attacks that nobody remembers them all. A comprehensive list requires a spreadsheet and proves what Stalin said about the death of millions.
So we winnow it down to a few key points. For just the last year or my memory dredged up several instances; Paris 1 (Charlie Hebdo), Paris 2 (November), Nigeria (several events that blur into the single idea that Boko Haram aspires to Nazi/Stalin/Pol Pot levels of evil. Also Boko Haram reminds me that I was embarrassed by our first lady using social media to it’s full irrelevancy.) Domestically recent years have included Chattanooga, Sandy Hook (caused, apparently, by magazines), San Bernardino, Charleston (caused, apparently, by Confederate flags), and now Orlando (which has variously been attributed to Republicans, the NRA, homophobia, and the AR-15).
But what’s the point? To what purpose are we sticking these data points in our precious (and lets face it, limited) brain cells? Are we learning? Are we adapting? Are we, as individuals, getting better at handling evil?
Ask yourself this. “If I am not formulating or improving my world view and personal plan of action from this information, is it nothing more than a horrific political sporting event? If so, should I participate in something that gross?”
I notice that nobody in politics or the media did anything other than what was expected:
Obama can’t say the words “Islamic Terrorist”. He’s that fuckin’ indoctrinated. How can we take seriously a Hogwarts schoolboy that can’t speak the name Voldemort. Obama also hasn’t presented a novel idea in decades. As a human wind up toy he did what he always does. He blamed Republicans and explained that if he aggregated more power to himself things would be perfect.
Hillary Clinton isn’t as dumb as Obama but, like him, she hasn’t had a new idea in decades. She has an insatiable lust for power and never liked Americans’ messy insistence on self determination. We should exist as game pieces on her chessboard. Thus in 2016 she’s pitching the same solution she supported (and was enacted) 22 years ago. Almost reflexively, she insists that if she had Godlike powers (which is what she misconstrues from the office of the president) she’d solve all our problems. She’s a grim reminder that hubris is deadly to the soul. She’s the third act of a Greek tragedy. She depresses me. I’d like to think that 22 years from now I’ll have 22 years more thinking upon which to draw. I aspire to grow and learn. She reminds me it’s not a sure thing.
The hairball from New York surprised me by unexpectedly failing to wow the press. He’s the king of verbal judo. Long ago I presumed that somewhere under that plastic wig of his was a planned response to the near certainty of a terrorist attack. I expected him to stride up to a podium and say something that seemed off the cuff but was finely tuned to make Hillary shit herself and rocket him toward the big chair. Instead the hairball described no new ideas. Just the usual blather about illegal immigrants (Orlando guy was neither illegal nor an immigrant). The Trumpster seems hunky dory oppressing those on a secret list of people too dangerous to fly but not dangerous enough to arrest… so long as he keeps the secret list.
The press… well nobody expects them to think so I’ll skip them. OK so the one guy that shot an AR and flipped out was kind of funny. We should give that guy a huge book deal. Anyone who’s smelled his own shit that deeply is comedy gold.
Bernie is a commie and commies never have ideas so I didn’t bother with him. (If he said something other than “give the government more power and I’ll fix your sorrows” tell me in the comments.)
I was disheartened by folks with whom I largely agree. There’s a small but dedicated section of the Citizenry that’s law abiding, well armed, and self reliant. Go team! We’ve already considered terrorism and planned as much as one can plan for such things. Even so we largely reacted exactly as we always do! Obama (and his pet press) made the usual noises and we went apeshit. I presume AR15s are flying off the shelves again? The usual discussions ensued; “it’s a magazine not a clip you gun grabbing nitwits”. Some folks pushed the whole “there’s no reason you can’t be gay and properly armed” angle. It’s a positive message but anyone willing to listen already knew that. People who think gun owners are homophobic morons is just stupid and regurgitating NPR press releases. Yet we tried to join in “a conversation”. Distance allows me to see that it’s pointless and repeated. How does it happen? Self reliant people become a marionette on a string whenever an evil fuckwad shoots innocents? Why?
We should avoid playing their game. Both the game of terrorist (who would kill us) and of politicians (who would oppress us). If someone on Facebook really wants to know if an AR15 has accursed evil abilities then by all means help them with the details… but if they’re just bitching about a Glock with lots of clips or begging for God or Government to unleash the Precrime Division then they’re still lost. Only they can find themselves.
You cannot help find those who want to stay lost. Leave them to their internal contradictions. When (or if) the contradictions open their mind, greet them with a smile and welcome them to reality. But don’t try to pry open a clam and insert reason. If a mind never opens it’s not your fault and there’s nothing you can do about it.
The next time a terrorist commits evil (and there will be a next time) consider going fishing as an alternative to the nationwide post tragedy emotional scrum.