Seriously. The older I get, the more and more I appreciate the hell out of this movie. If you haven't seen Pump Up The Volume, go. It's probably even more relevant now than it was to my pissed off adolescent years. That, and it has one of the best soundtracks ever in the history of time.
Can we stick our heads in the sand and ignore all of the things? Sure. I mean, I guess it is possible.
I was thinking about this exact issue this week actually, about how (if you can even believe this one...) when my brother in law was deployed to areas of conflict in the military, I just didn't watch the news. For months.
Nope. Couldn't do it.
I voluntarily did not watch or read the news.
I know, right???
Seriously, though, it was hard to avoid it all, but I needed to do it to stay sane. The worrying about him was too much, and I couldn't do all of that in a world of 24 hour coverage.
I can't honestly imagine living like that all the time, though I know a lot of people who manage to do it. Most of them do it for self preservation reasons. The world is just too much, filled with too much negative, too much conflict, so they shut out what they can.
Anyway, I don't work that way. I watch and I read and then I start yelling and throwing things.
Where is Happy Harry Hard On when we need him?
The Very Judgmental Society
We live in an interesting world. For as many people willingly turning away from the events of the world, there are at least as many or more who've declared themselves self appointed experts in just about every area of life.
The 24/7 nature of cable news and the existence of the internet provides endless opportunity for opinions to be shared and spread. There is a lot of airtime to fill, websites want clicks. Things get spun, sensationalized. Talked and talked about. Speculated on. Long before real reporting can even be done, there is an army of people deciding what happened without having any facts before them yet. Retractions are the norm now. Oopsie, we disseminated incorrect information.
The trouble with it all is that the speculation, the inaccuracy, the misinformation - it spreads like wildfire. Biases are communicated as though they are objective. The reality is that there is so little truly objective information out there anymore that it is hard to wade through the rest of it.
Even major news outlets, the ones that we are supposed to be able to rely on to present all the details....they just don't.
Take the Las Vegas shooting for example. Since last Tuesday, there were two major shootings that made headlines. It's so commonplace anymore that it doesn't even bother us for more than few minutes and then we're on to the next thing. The Vegas shooting should be troubling though, more for what the news isn't reporting than for what it is.
The shooters in that situation were extremists, and I'd certainly refer to them as domestic terrorists. Normal people trying to advocate for their position don't shoot police officers without any warning execution style in a restaurant, then drape a Revolutionary War era flag saying "don't tread on me" over their body.
Some of the details coming out about who these people were, what they believed, where they got their weapons from, who they were affiliated with, what they were advocating for and why are as important to the story as the details about what they did...and the media in large part is ignoring or glossing over all of them. Why? Don't people have a right to know?
Trolls, Paid Commentors and The Bullying of Anyone Who Disagrees
Last week, I shared a post about the open carry movement on my page. What those raging about the post didn't seem to understand is that almost everyone I know owns guns. Many of my most passionate friends in favor of gun rights were the people they were arguing with. Almost everyone on the thread was highly educated.
And yet, the accusations kept rolling in. Calling anyone who disagreed with the open carry movement a brainwashed uneducated idiot. Accusing people of being stupid and scared and sissies. Comparing men who disagreed to women (actually to slang for female body parts and feminine hygiene products), as though that is in and of itself an insult.
Now, I do my very best to keep my forums and posts open. I am an anomaly in the book of face because I actually encourage people to openly discuss controversial issues...but I draw the line at personal attacks and insults. I happen to believe that intelligent people can disagree without slinging insults at one another.
The internet just keeps trying to wear me down though. I had to ban a few people last week over it, which is something I hate doing. Truly. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, I never have, but I do expect people to be respectful of one another.
As it turns out, the people stirring up trouble weren't even fans of my page....which leads me to wonder if they're the true worst of the worst internet trolls - the paid ones. It's really a thing, by the way, there are people who are paid to comment. Brow beating anyone who can think critically or entertain options or discuss compromise until they give up, these people have one goal - to dominate the discussions. To scare everyone else away.
Bergdahl...the new Benghazi?
Bowe Bergdahl was released in exchange for 5 members of the Taliban last week. He had been held almost five years, captured after allegedly defecting from his post in Afghanistan.
Since news of his release hit, it seems like everyone has been angry about some aspect of the situation. I've deliberately been waiting to write about him because we really don't have much more information than we did about him last week.
Here are some of the things that I feel like we're missing from all these discussions.
- We generally live by the mantra of "never leave a man behind". How that applies in every other circumstance, but not this one, I'm not sure.
- People in positions on both sides of the aisle knew that he was accused of defecting years ago. This is not new information.
- Bergdahl's health was supposedly in decline, which prompted the deal.
- His father has been raked over the coals because he grew a beard and learned Arabic as a showing of support for his son. How he looks more Muslim than Duck Dynasty, I'm not sure...but according to conservative commentators he does.
- Obama isn't the first President to have people speak in Arabic from the White House. Bush did too.
- We've held the Taliban members for over 10 years in pretty significant violation of international law. The vast majority of those held have never been charged with anything or tried in any court...but we have tortured many of them. We can't just hold people indefinitely...
- If Bergdahl defected, if other lives were risked or lost while looking for him, those are issues that can be investigated through the court martial process. Just because he is released by his captors doesn't mean he won't have to face consequences for things he may have done in the past.
- It is possible to both support his release and push for an inquiry into his actions, particularly if they resulted in the deaths of other soldiers. The two are not mutually exclusive as many seem to believe.
Bring him back, do whatever processing needs to be done, stabilize his health, then put him through the ringer if necessary. This is exactly why we have a process in place to deal with defections.
Diabetes, Little Boy and an Update. Sort of.
So, the mystery deepens.
Yesterday, I received a phone call from Little Boy's endocrinologist. Though his A1C is still rising, the blood test looking for islet cell antibodies is still negative. That test is one of the most indicative of T1.
All signs point one way, then they don't. And no one knows what to think about all of it.
He could still outgrow it, he could still be heading towards T1. We have no idea. And now we have even less of an idea.