Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Things That Piss Me Off Tuesday - the past is watching edition....

I has the sads today.

Sometimes it just happens.

I learned a while back that I have to let myself have these moments so they don't fester in the deep dark recesses of my brain.

I hate the middle of January, and I hate it right on through mid February. There are so many days on the calendar between now and then that hold memories of losses, of people gone, of the one I never met.

It's probably a good thing that this sequence of days falls this time of year, because I can just hibernate in my cave until it passes.

Anyway, it's Tuesday. Let's get angry.

Mental Illness
I hate mental illness. I really do. I hate all the things I struggle with, I hate why so many of them developed. I had one of those good, cleansing ugly cries in the shower today. Some of you might know what I am talking about.

You know...those moments where you know on some level that you wouldn't have all the wisdom you do, you wouldn't be who you are now if not for all the shitty things you've been through in the past. You know that, but then sometimes the enormity of it all catches up to you and you want to wish at least some of it away. You start negotiating with your past about which pieces of wisdom you'd voluntarily forgo having if it meant that you didn't have to remember this or that or the other thing.

So then after you cry it out in the shower, you confront the crappy reality that is this life and take a deep breath, then get out of the shower all pruned over and wrinkly and put on your eyeliner so that no one knows you've been ugly crying.


Posturing and Terrorism
There are so many things about the past few weeks in this arena that I could never hope to discuss them all, so I'm honestly not going to even try. I'm not CNN or BBC or Al Jazeera or any other news outlet. I hope that you all seek out news sources, I hope that you don't just rely on any one place for your information because reality is that you can't anymore. News agencies pick and choose, spin and slant what they tell us. It's hard to know what is real these days, discern between the truth and the smoke and mirrors.

Anyway, I have a few general points that I want to make, then we'll be moving on.

First, if we're going to protect speech, we need to protect all speech...even and especially the things we don't like. That means that you have to support your enemy's right to say what they want if you want your rights protected too. There are very few limits on the freedom of speech in this country, at least as far as the amendment is concerned...but that applies in so many fewer instances than most people understand. The major networks, the major internet pages, the social networks...they all (it seems anymore) engage in their own forms of censorship. It's not technically a first amendment issue if the government isn't involved. I oppose censorship...and I understand that while you might have the freedom to say what you wish, you cannot expect to insulate yourself from the effects of that speech.

Second, to piggyback on my first point, we need to stop with the sweeping generalizations and demonization of certain groups of people. I'm sick to death of hearing about the color of the skin of a terrorist or the religion they believe in. The media is perpetuating this us versus them mentality. Terror comes from all places in the world and has at least at one point or another been rooted in all major religions. The current climate is flirting dangerously with the sentiments of the past...imagined superiority, categorical perceived dangers and so on. Tread lightly, world. The past is watching.

Third, we need to stop with the goddamn unchecked emotional responses to everything. We need to replace this immediate outrage everyone seems hell bent on with a little bit of time and thought and reason and rationality.

Fourth, I believe that the US should have had a representative there in Paris...but those who are faulting the administration for our absence would have lashed out at the President if we had sent someone. The guy can't win. Period. He's literally damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. Seriously. At this point, Obama could pull a page out of the most conservative GOP handbook and run it play by play and they'd still be grabbing their pitchforks, condemning him on cable news.

All the other stuff
There are a few other things that I intended to include today, but I think I'll be devoting entire posts to them, hopefully this week. One of the subjects I'll be talking about is the issue of parent and child autonomy when it comes to medical decision making, from a legal and ethical standpoint.

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