Thursday, January 13, 2011

STFU About Tuscon

I've been listening for the past several days about the senseless shooting in Tuscon by a psychotic whack-job and the mud-slinging and the pointless finger-pointing and irrelevant meaning assigned to it by talking heads.

Would you people just STFU!  PLEASE!

Why is it that a tragedy having no political context at all suddenly results in a political debate over the deep-rooted meaning it has and what liberties we should be prepared to give-up so it never happens again?  There is no deep-rooted meaning here.  There is no political agenda at work.  As much as I think Sarah Palin is an asshole, I see no connection between anything she said and the actions of a psychotic whack-job.  It isn't a call for gun control.  It isn't a call for hating the truly mentally ill.  It isn't a time for President Obama to pump himself up or whip-up guilt with his snake-oil salesman-style rhetoric.

It is a call to take a moment and feel for those who have loved-ones who were killed or injured in the shooting.  It is a time to say to those who were injured (directly or indirectly), "I'm sorry."  That's because most of us truly are sorry.  There's not much more we can say.  Criminal activity occurs every day.  The feeling of entitlement gives people who are already mentally unstable and have a tendency toward violence the potential to be that much more dangerous.  This particular incident happened during a political event, but the shooting itself was the act of a person who (I hope) is not representative of any substantial faction of the people in the United States.  He's as much of a whack-job as Joseph Stack.

So to that, I will say, I truly am sorry for those who were killed or injured and their families and friends.  You're all important -- both young and adult.  It is a shame and a travesty that something like this should ever happen.  Unfortunately, there are people who have little regard for others and we have to live among them.  I wish we didn't.

I'd like for the public to take a moment to consider the behavior of those who are using this event to further their own careers or political agenda.  To me this is the ultimate form of insensitivity.  To those who really think that gun control would somehow magically fix this kind of event from happening -- please understand  that you're not thinking enough like a psychotic nut-job to understand their motivation.  Any kind of legislation involving guns will only be countered by a different kind of weapon, or an illegally-obtained gun.  Political discourse also did not cause this to happen.  This nation was built on the concept of being able to question what our government does (or doesn't do).  Our president asking us to silence ourselves for fear of inciting a nut-job is contrary to the foundation of the United States.  While I am calling for those people (including Obama) to STFU, I understand that they are fully within their right to make an ass of themselves.  When I hear all this politically-charged banter, that's what I'm thinking.

When my mother told me about what happened in Tuscon a few days ago, she said, "I was shocked."  I said that while it may sound insensitive, I'm unfortunately not shocked.  Listening to the news, I hear about stuff like this all the time.  I feel bad for the victims, and at the same time I have to wonder what causes people to be so filled with hate that they're willing to kill innocent people like this, and why it seems to be happening so much lately.  My mother took a moment, then said, "Actually, you're right."  I wasn't really trying to be.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Entering Twenty Eleven

As I watch the year 2010 become part of history I have the urge to say something along the lines of, "It's been good, it's been real, but it hasn't been real good."  Then I think about it, and I'm not sure it was good or real either.  It just was.  As I look back at the past 12 months of what I wrote that my life, like much of civilization as we knew it, was falling apart.  I lost my feline pal of 19 years.  I said "bye" to cable TV, cable Internet, and the TiVo.  We had Joseph Stack and the destruction of an office building because he was pissed off at the IRS.  We watched Steven Slater slide down the airplane escape to the destruction of his career.  There was Jessi "Slaughter" Leonhardt and her father having a meltdown on YouTube.  The radical Middle-Eastern groups are trying to blow-up anything that flies in the United States.  The United States government is continuing the destruction of the economy by spending money we no longer have.

Somehow I seem surprised that I'm a bit stressed-out.

On the plus side, I have a new feline friend, I finally did the drive to NY, I discovered that I actually can live without cable TV, and learned some interesting computer-related things in the process.  My life is still somewhat of a mess, and the world isn't getting any better, but at least I can talk to my cat.

For 2011, the world needs to get their crap together and start facing reality:  The society that has evolved over the past 100 years is unsustainable (forget "green" for a second, and focus on our behavior and fiscal sense).  People need to stop believing the fairy tales they call "religion" and realize that the only life we have here is this one, and the only one who can make things better is us.  Instead of people reproducing like rabbits, we need to be cognizant of how people not only have a "carbon footprint" but also an "economic footprint."  Without sufficient jobs for the population to make a living, society as we know it is going to sink deeper into belief in fairy tales and crime.  I recently heard that municipalities across the U.S. are falling into bankruptcy.  This will lead to yet another economic disaster.  We no longer have the luxury of living a life of waste and excess, and that goes for more than just material things.  If you think you're immune to this because you're doing well, then think again.  If everything falls apart around you, no amount of money or physical possessions will keep you safe.  For everyone else, it's time to look at making things work with what we have rather than our unrealistic expectations of more and more and more all the time.  Burying one's head in the sand and praying that some fairy tale character (or government) is going to make everything all better is not only a waste of one's time and potential, but it is also unrealistic and unproductive.

We are all capable of so much more than to be constantly tethered to our portable communications devices spending all of our time trying to out-do the guy next door and watching violence on TV (while being offended by sex, good grief).  For heaven's sake, do something that makes sense.  Who in hell cares if homosexuals are in the military or get married?  What difference does it make if a mosque is built in NYC?  These things aren't important when you consider that we're teetering on financial ruin, our common sense is no longer common, and people don't give a crap if they kill someone because they were driving drunk or while texting in their car.

People -- wake up!  To me, 2010 was a warning:  If we don't do something different in 2011, then things are going to start getting a heck of a lot worse.  Yes, it can...