My two cents

A man in a position of power, speaking before a large audience, makes a joke about the health problems of someone in the audience.

The audience awkwardly laughs. One in particular looks to their partner. Sees the pain in their face.

Faced with a choice, to allow this to continue. To allow this person on stage to continue. To allow this audience to participate in the humiliation and pain of his partner. Or to act.

And he chose to act.

Now people are second guessing and armchair quarterbacking and its disgusting.

He acted in defense of his partner. He acted when no one else would. He acted when any other response would have been met with derision.

The man on stage is a professional comedian. He should know that punching down is just cruelty not comedy.

But as a professional comedian, do you for a moment, think that there were words that could have been said that would have conveyed the same defense as the slap?

I’ll tell you what would have happened if words alone were used. Derision and comeback. The comedian would have heckled the heckler. Indeed, if he had only used speech, would Chris Rock have backed off? Because he almost didn’t WITH the physical force having been applied.

The slap was justified. And anyone that says that “2 wrongs don’t make a right” or that “violence is never the answer” needs to sit down and shut up.

Circumstances and impact dictate action. Violence is a tool. And it can be the right tool.

Live long enough to see all your dreams burn

I used to have faith in humanity. I believed in humanity’s ability to rise above their petty and childish behavior and take on the challenges that face us. I used to believe that we were living in a golden age.

Well, if it was a golden age, it was gilt over pot metal. Humanity doesn’t deserve the chances it’s received. Again and again, it proves its greed and short sightedness.

I used to say that Individuals are smart but the collective group is dumb. But if there are smart individuals, they aren’t listened to. They’re warnings are unheeded and the grasping hand of “what-about-meism” impedes positive change.

At some point, we have to acknowledge that humanity is a failure. That, as a species, we lack the will to enact lasting change. We lack the desire to embrace the necessity our exploitation of our world and each other has mandated.

We instead cower under the weight of the inexorable lathe, grinding us to nothing. Shaving off a few more dollars to our oligarchical masters.

It’s over. Maybe whatever comes next will do better. I hope so.

Even the sun burns on fuel

I see alot of articles and media which reference the last first kiss. Last person you’ll ever sleep with. Last person you’ll wake up next to.
And that shit is all wrong.

Every kiss is a first kiss. Every person you wake next to is a different person. Every person you fall asleep cuddled with is a different petson.

This thought that your partner will stop growing and changing is utter nonsense. And expecting them to be flash frozen in amber is detrimental to a long term relationship.

And the simplest way to keep the magic alive is to keep persuing them as if each change is a new person. That each day is another day to fall in love.

Because long term relationships are about choosing every day. And taking that for granted is the quickest way to lose them.

It’s a lazy click baity idea. And it needs to die.

Friendship in these pandemic times

My friends are never out of my mind
I have several times a day where I would love to talk to them but I don’t. I don’t send a message. Or meme. I don’t say anything about anything happening. I am silent.

It’s fear. Fear that I’ll fall flat. That I’m tolerated not liked. It starts when you realize who you think that they think you are, who you think you are, is not who you really are.

You’re real friends see past the mask you are using to protect yourself. Past posture and phrase.

And you’re left with this raw exposed self. And you can hide or distance yourself. Not on purpose, but you never thought there would ever be people who wanted to hang out who transcended circumstances.

Not work friends, not writing friends. Though that’s where you met. Real friends. Who are just as bad about reaching out as you are. But who, when one of you does, reconnect like magnets.

Intoxicating friendship. The kind you crave.
Pre-pandemic, I used to meet every week with a couple of friends for lunch. For years. We didn’t make it every week but we tried. Sometimes schedules were too much. But I miss that schedule. That sure schedule of weekly dance.
Of trying each week.

Above almost all things, I want that back. And given my inability to reach out, I wish for it. It’s dumb. They are right there. Across the ether. But, still, I’m silent. Maybe I’ll put it on my calendar.

It seems that’s the only way I have to get it done.

Just a reminder…ACAB

The idea that innocent people don’t run, that innocent people don’t ask for a lawyer…that is literally law enforcement propaganda. It’s something that is a part of every cop show. And it’s utter garbage.

When the system is designed to mistreat you. When it is designed to hobble you. What choice is there? You can run or face charges which you can’t adequately defend yourself from. And whose going to help you? The court appointed attorney? They have no vested interest in helping you. They are paid and supported by the same system that is designed for repression. Sure, some of the new ones will try. But they don’t know enough to be useful.

And even so, their defense is better than nothing. The cops are allowed to lie. Allowed to present false evidence. Allowed to intimidate and isolate. All to elicit a confession.

Ask for a lawyer then stop talking. The police cannot make deals. Only the DA can. The poloce can only check a box saying you cooperated. It is a worthless gesture. Once you are arrested you have no percentage in talking with the police.

Hell, even if you are just being questioned…ask for a lawyer. Or walk out if they aren’t going to arrest you and you can’t afford a lawyer.

I can’t even watch any flavor of cop show anymore. Knowing what I know. I get triggered into writing something like this.

I guess, fuck it. It’s Tuesday

What marks our journey

Books ARE sacred. But they are sacred in the old ways. They are like the personal gods who lived with you. Who kept our fires lit. Who sang us birdsong. Who walked beside us. Who marked a path through dark woods.

We revere them and sacrifice for them. They become a part of who we are. But more importantly we live our lives with them.

Pristine and untouched books are the saddest idea. An aesthetic that’s as grotesque as prominently displaying random colorful dead birds.

Books are some part of another person’s life. A dream they conceived into reality. A dream we do a disservice by holding the intention of pretty shelves to show cultured we are.

A book should be well loved. Cared for. But at the end of the day they must also be read. And lived with.

There is an eternal debate in book circles not unlike the one in programming circles.

In programming circles, it’s tabs vs spaces. And believe me when I say that this debate can lose you friends and colleagues.

In book circles, it’s bookmarks vs dog ear. And it occupies the same emotional space as tabs vs spaces.

I’m sure every passion has at least one such debate/war.

I tried to use bookmarks. I love a good bookmark. It has color and artistry. And when a book has a book ribbon, I will use that.

But, the majority of my books are dog eared. I could say that I have cats and to cats a bookmark is a lovely toy to grab in your teeth and go tearing down the hall with. While that’s true, it’s not the whole story.

It’s convenient. And I keep my books and reread them. I live with my books and can’t imagine a room that’s complete without a wall length shelve system covered in books. When I reread a book, I will find myself stopping at the same pages I did the first time. I’ll have a burst of tactile memories of why I stopped there and what I was feeling.

And how can that not be beautiful. Bookmarks can only ever say this is who I was when I bought it. It can never mark the journey of a life. It can’t keep me on the path through the woods. It can’t live with me and tell my journey to those who come after me.

That winding road

People talk about doing everything in their power to achieve their dreams. But they don’t really know what that means. They think that means sacrificing their time, their income, their health. And it does.

And if you are lucky, that’s all it costs.
But it can cost so much more. Your friendships, your relationships, your happiness, your soul. It can require that you do things you thought you’d never do. Take actions you thought you’d never take. Change everything about yourself and still, you can fail.

And what happens if you fail? You can’t, right? You’ve sacrificed everything. So what one more thing. One step into moral grey. And pretty soon that moral grey is where you live. Pretty soon it is normal. And once it’s normal, then what about the next time?

That comfortable grey becomes the reason you justify doing something awful. You dress it up. You make it seem like your actions are fine. Because, in your world, they are. They are normal.

And that’s when you are lost. Because when there are no more lines to cross, you can’t go back.

Life won’t allow you to.

Most never leave the grey. But we certainly hear about those who do. Eventually. After the fall.

We crave that story. The story itself seems like success. But, let me tell you, the closer to the line you get, the less you want to be there. Unfortunately, you are still convinced that you are on the verge of success. So you keep pushing.

In the end, all you have is your choices. Be aware of the costs to those choices. And be realistic when they catch up to you.

This nation….

If I weren’t so tired all the time I guess I’d be pissed. Instead I’m just disillusioned. I used to believe in the ideals of America which I grew up with. But I grew up. And started pulling away from those things I thought were truths. However, it took me a long time to see that what I perceived as real when I was younger is all that thirty percent of this country believes. And they are wrong. They see America as freedom loving and based in equality. But it was never that. It couldn’t be. It was founded on ideals and compromise. And its hard to tell where the ideals begin and the compromises begin.

But assuredly the demarcation line is right at slavery. And the treatment of people who weas a nation said were subhuman. We fought a war with ourselves over it. Maybe you’ve heard of it. And during Reconstruction we were doing it at least partially right. But we abandoned those ideas. We left all these people to rot in the hands of those who were guaranteed to keep them as an underclass. And in doing so, abandoned the ideas which we said we founded the nation on.

Then, in the 1960’s, America woke up again and passed some laws and has spent the last 60+ years patting itself on the back, lying to itself that it fixed everything, and eroding those protections those laws enacted.

And here we are, a middle aged white mans life later, facing the same problems because America has never faced its past. And any hint that that past was anything other than star spangled awesome gets people out as either vitriol spewing, right side of their mouth talking, authoritarian courting, all lives matter bigots; or hand wringing, can’t we get along being, left leaning in public(republican in private), gives to charity but only in public, hiding out, hoping this fades hypocrites. The far right is crazy and the middle left is spineless.

And its all voting for the lesser of two evils and I’m just tired. Is money so damned important that you’d sacrifice the lives of others for your success? Supporting candidates who line your pockets rather than ones who will safeguard the ideals that they scream about in public, laughing snidely at all they’ve duped.

Its a rigged game that I very much don’t want to play anymore. But I guess, I’ll keep on. Because what choice is there.

And still, fuck. Gotta let those lies pass me by. Gotta let it all pass. Because fuck it.
Its Tuesday.