Monday, October 13, 2014

Back from the Missing

So where have I been? I suppose I've been off being terribly, terribly angry.

Let's face it, the past few months have not been good to those of us who believe that human beings are...not even "fundamentally good", but simply not horrible whenever they think they can get away with it. A group of people on 4Chan decided to destroy a woman's life more or less just because they could, and have spent the last several weeks insisting that they're actually ethical humanists standing on a point of journalistic principle despite being caught in private chats saying, "You know, people get a lot less mad at us when we lie and say we're actually ethical humanists standing on a point of journalistic principle. Let's do that." The woman they've been harassing still can't go back to her house. People are now insisting that her continued complaints about this are a plea for attention.

Meanwhile, one professional football player was finally disciplined for a brutal physical assault on his wife. Not, I want to stress, because the NFL finally realized that they had a moral and ethical duty to take a stand and make it clear that there is some degree of horrific and evil viciousness that they simply won't tolerate. No, it was primarily because they realized they were getting bad press over it all. The worst thing about the whole Ray Rice debacle wasn't even the attack, as terrible as it was. It was that the NFL attempted to exploit it for positive publicity.

And of course, we also had Adrian Peterson, insisting that he couldn't be a child abuser because he didn't intend what he did to be abuse. This is not a train of logic that generally holds weight--you can't say, for example, that you're not a murderer because you really intended to stop hitting the other person before they died--but Peterson continues to stick with it to a degree that suggests to me a deep and profound mental immaturity. I have gotten to the point where I really don't think he comprehends, on a fundamental level, that he's in real grown-up trouble. And once again, his employers defended him to the hilt as long as it looked like it wouldn't cost him anything, only to be utterly shocked and disgusted by his actions when it became commercially expedient to do so. These are not things that reinforce my faith in humanity.

And it's also election season, which is never a good time to have any kind of faith in the human race. The Republicans have settled on their strategy of blatant racism and sexism, lying and fear-mongering, and a healthy dollop of vote suppression in an attempt to cling to the last vestiges of power that they have. It's a strategy that's dooming them in the long-term, but given the sheer ineptitude with which they pursue the act of governance, it feels like we may be perilously close to the point at which there will be no "long term" for them to fail in. Pestilence, Famine and War have all made their appearances in the past few months, and the Republican response is to say, "Yes, but the other side wants to give the immigrants YOUR jobs!"

Oh, and then there's the continuing terrible-ness of Ferguson, which has died down because the police have finally figured out that the media leaves when you stop actively tear-gassing peaceful protestors, but which has never shown any signs of a resolution that doesn't involve a white man getting away with murdering an unarmed black man. That's not cheerful either.

Oh, yes. And the guy from 'Duck Dynasty' keeps opening his mouth and saying things. And he's still gainfully employed, and hasn't been hit by a meteor. In fact, karmic justice seems to be in remarkably short supply these days, and it's hart not to notice it. And that makes me angry, and being angry without being able to do anything about it leaves me frustrated and in no real mood to blog.

But I don't think I can be angry forever. I don't think it's healthy for anyone to dwell on the injustices of the world for their whole lives, because it's been 10,000 years and they haven't gone away yet. Hoping that this is the week we get rid of them hasn't been a good strategy for me, so I'm going to set my anger aside for a while. This isn't to say I'm setting it down; I can't see a point where I give up. I can't see a time when I will agree with the bullies, or when I will stop believing that the slow arc of the universe is turning, in its wobbly and erratic way, towards justice. But I will try to keep in my mind the words of the late, wonderful Molly Ivins:

"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce."

And I'll try to blog more. Because the people who come here are special.


Bonnie McDaniel said...

What a wonderful quote. That went straight into my "Quote of the Day" section.

Glad you're back!

Eric Qel-Droma said...

It's always a treat to read your posts, John. I'm glad you're back, as well!

magidin said...

Welcome back