It’s a day to count our blessings. I’ll be counting mine while I’m eating cold pizza or whatever in the back room of the Kwicky Mart during my 8 hour shift tonight. In the mean time, I’m just going to drop this little nugget right about here.
Once again, a young black man is killed by a white police officer, and once again, that police officer is cleared of any charges. Sound familiar? It should: It’s an act that gets repeated over and over through out the annals of American History. Some of the killings may be justified, most are more likely not. In just about every case I am certain that due diligence in the ensuing investigation was not performed. It’s just another black man taken off the streets: A black man who was most certainly a hard core criminal, am I right? We’ll never know because Michael Brown was never given a chance to tell his side of the story. Darren Wilson was the judge, jury, and executioner in this case, and apparently a white officer of the law can behave as Judge Dredd toward people of color with impunity. How does a grand jury not indict? What compelling evidence was introduced that impeded further scrutiny? I don’t blame anyone for being hurt and angry.
I don’t condone violence. I certainly don’t condone the decimation of neighborhoods and family owned businesses. On the surface, these are senseless acts, much like the acts of police brutality that are routinely performed across the country. However, I can’t say as I blame anyone. You can only hold a being down for so long before that being tries to get up. Anger can only be held in check for a short amount of time before it furiously bubbles to the surface and spews into the air like water from a geyser. It’s human nature: It’s fight or flight, and in this case a lot of people across the country are choosing to fight. It’s horrifying, and I wish it to stop, but it’s a natural reaction to an unjust circumstance.
People of color are tired. Tired of being afraid of the police. Tired of the profiling, the beatings, the shooting of their own with very little recourse. Hell, I’m a white man, and I’m afraid of the police. I can’t even begin to imagine the fear that a black man experiences whenever an interaction occurs with a man in blue. Innocent or guilty? How do we know? It’s not as if proper investigations are performed. Most cases are dismissed and dropped like dirty laundry.
I don’t have the answers: I wish I did. However, I do know this: Until racism is completely eradicated like the plague it is, until every act of police violence is given complete and utter scrutiny, until racial profiling is stopped, people of color are going to be afraid and angry. Furious at a judicial deck that is overwhelmingly stacked against them. Because of this, there will be many more Fergusons, there will be many more LA’s and Detroit’s and Cincinnati’s. Violence will be answered with violence.
It hurts me to the core to even think about it.
Recently, my partner and I went on a week long vacation to Mexico. We spent a mostly enjoyable week lounging on the beaches of the Maya Riviera, at an all inclusive resort. On Tuesday of that week, we went on a ten hour excursion that included touring the Maya ruins Coba, a visit to an authentic Maya village, and swimming in a cenote, one of the thousands of fresh water sink holes that exist through out the country. Frankly, though the ruins were really cool, it was a long and troubling death march that neither my partner nor I were prepared for. The most troubling part to me was the visit to the Maya village.
When we first learned of the Maya village, we were both thinking that it was a public site, much like Cherokee Village in North Carolina. We thought that we would be taken to a place where Mayan history was to be re-enacted by people of Maya ancestry. We didn’t expect the harsh reality that we actually encountered.
What we were taken to instead was an actual Maya neighborhood that existed in a small, impoverished rural town outside of Coba. What we witnessed was no re-enactment: what we saw was actual Mayan families scratching out a living by allowing strangers into their one room huts, living on tips and the money that they made from crafts. Both my wife and I felt like intruders. It was more disturbing than cultural exchange.
Although the families seemed perfectly happy where they were, I couldn’t help but feel sad. I can’t help but think that they are not choosing to live the lives of their ancestors, but instead playing with the hand that they were dealt. They opened their doors to us, they shared their food with us, and they danced for us. Their Shaman even performed a religious ritual for us. I should have felt honored, but instead I just felt like a dirty, ugly American intruder. The whole experience was just disturbing.
I understand that every culture is different, that people must do what they have to in order to scratch out a living. I am in no way condemning how these people live, nor what they do to make a living. It is their way of life, and it is not up to me to judge. They could be perfectly happy for all I know. It just saddens me that a proud race of people who dominated the Yucatan Peninsula centuries ago now depend on tips and craft money to buy clothes and food.
I’m glad I met them, but again, I felt like a complete interloper.
First, all three of my followers have probably been wondering where I’ve been. I’ve been around, but I haven’t been writing – at all. For those of you who have been following my blog for any time at all, you know that I like to write angry. The truth of the matter is that I haven’t been angry for a long time. I can’t explain why: There has been plenty to infuriate me. There just hasn’t been enough to motivate me to write. Well now, I’m pissed. In fact, one week after the mid-term elections, I’m mega pissed. With several seats in the House, Senate, and Gubernatorial offices coming up for grabs, the Democrats had a golden opportunity to take back the country. That didn’t happen. In fact, the Democrats lost the Senate, as well as many Gubernatorial elections, and it was our own fault. I’m infuriated.
Why was this mid-term such a Conservative blood bath? Liberals have been eye balling this election for a few years now. It was the end all – be all of mid terms. The GOP/ Tea Party was supposedly on the way out. The people had ostensibly enough of their elitist, racist shenanigans. The country seemed to be steering back to the center at the very least, and even a little to the left. It was a huge chance to drive back the crazy. One word comes to mind to describe this election: Apathy. This election had the lowest voter turnout in decades. Seemingly, most of these non-voters are Democrats, and I have an idea why.
Back in 2000, Al Gore “lost” the Presidential election to George Bush. Yes we can debate that he actually won, that he was fucked out of office by a corrupt voting process in Florida, and an even more corrupt Supreme Court. However, Gore could have won by a land slide. If that is, he hadn’t chosen to disassociate himself from out going President Bill Clinton, who was one of the most popular Presidents of all time. He distanced himself from Clinton, and in turn lost the liberal momentum that Clinton had fostered. The Democratic turn out was low, and Gore lost the election. Much the same happened this election: Candidates chose to disassociate from Obama, and in turn failed to generate the energy needed to draw a large turn out. The GOP in turn, attacked any and all associations with Obama, and generated a huge conservative turn out at the polls. Game over, the Republicans are now in full control.
For example, here in Kentucky, there was a heated campaign with Allison Grimes challenging Mitch McConnell for his long held Senatorial seat. If there was any time to get rid of this Koch sucker, it was now. However, while McConnell went on a huge smear campaign against Obama and his policies, Grimes back pedaled on her liberal associations, even going so far as to not even admitting that she voted for Obama. She made herself out to be a moderate Republican. The race was over a half hour after the polls closed. Grimes was out, McConnell was back in. The Democratic voters, not enthused nor energized the way they had been during Obama’s two campaigns, couldn’t be bothered to come out and vote.
Shame on the Democrats for their defensive lackadaisical campaigns. Go on the aggressive, and things may have turned out differently last Tuesday. Push to get out the vote, and many of us may not be worried, no terrified of where this country is headed. Align yourself with Obama, one of the best Presidents we’ve ever had, and you might have found yourself either re-elected, or elected for the first time. Shame on you. You had a chance and you all failed- miserably.
Shame on the voters for not voting. This was our chance to enact change. Come out to vote, and the Tea Baggers may have been struck their final death blow. Now, they’re stronger than ever. Don’t even think about bitching about what’s about to come: Ya’ll brought it on yourselves. I voted, I did my civic duty. Christ, my partner who was experiencing the perfect storm of chronic health related issues, came out in her wheel chair to vote. I’m proud of her. The rest of us? Not so much. The country was finally ready to set things right, to halt the landslide of the extreme right invasion. All we had to do was vote. We had one job, and we failed horribly.
This my friends, is why I’m so pissed.
Quick, name three artists who have had a top forty hit in every decade since 1980. Give up? It’s Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Weird Al Yankovic. Yes, you read it correctly: Weird. Al. Yankovic. His latest album, (Do we still call them albums?) Mandatory Fun is the first comedy album to debut at #1 since the Kennedy administration. I thought I would share this video parodying Lourde’s song Royals, because it’s sympatico with my blog. Also: It’s funny as hell :)
Without further adieu, I share with you Weird Al’s Foil.
Originally posted on Capricious Lestrange:
I imagine childbirth to be another memory hidden away in an avalanche of ruined messages somewhere along the synaptic highway of my dementia, the red and squalling life lost with it. Her tiny body wrinkled, covered in hair as a tiny caterpillar, legs and arms aflutter with their first taste of cold freedom, her terror shrill and demanding from purple lips; PUT ME BACK. She is wise in this demand, enfant terrible. I’d put her back too, save her from the despair of life we all must know; the trade off for our existence. I realize too late I do not have the strength to save her. The only way to save her is for her to not exist. In causing myself the greatest joy, I have caused her the susceptibility of existence. I love her already though, loved her years before she even came into existence, and I…
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It’s about time. After 40 years of filling stadiums and arenas, as well as influencing some big name stars such as Garth Brooks, the flamboyant band known as Kiss has finally made the rock and roll hall of fame. The fact that they haven’t made it well before now is an egregious insult to the band as well as their fans. Kiss is one of my favorite groups of all time. I grew up with them, and at one point had every album they ever made. I even dressed up as Gene Simmons on one very memorable childhood Halloween. It’s a shame that the original band couldn’t stay together, or even perform at the induction ceremony, but to channel my internal Gene Simmons, you know, shit happens. I’m glad they’re finally in; they deserve it. Now, if only the NFL hall of fame committee would vote in Ken Anderson and Ken Riley!