The sound of seven shots – defund the police

I don’t talk about politics much on this page because I talk on my facebook page. I don’t get much feedback because I don’t have much readership here. But every now and then I post something here and cross-post on my social media because this is a better presentation.

I’m not going to bother talking about how I’ve been following the BLM movement and all the events leading up to it. Whoever you are, reading this, have likely made up your mind about BLM and you aren’t going to change. BLM has been challenging a system of inequity and inequality for some time now. They have been ignored, swept aside and ridiculed for as long as they’ve been in public. I believe there are people who have been sitting on the sidelines and carefully avoiding making any choices about this situation in our nation. People who have too many associations with BLM that incline them away from empathizing with their message. But forget about BLM for a minute. BLM has been joined by so many people that no one can ignore it anymore. No one can really sit on the sidelines of opinion anymore. Because it’s gone beyond BLM.

What’s happening now is the next step: The system is trying to defend itself against the challenge.

Do I really believe that more people have come to care about BLM? No. I wish it were so because I believe in their message too, but the reality is that as BLM has protested, marched, spoke up and gone viral, people have realized that the system is rotten for everyone. And people have joined, slowly, over time, to join the protests because they can see that even just challenging the rotten core of the system results in havoc and death for everyone. Maybe people have woken up and realized that the system may be coming for them, maybe people have finally had a closer degree of separation from the people who are being gunned down. Maybe people saw one too many videos. Maybe people just heard one too many shots.

And the word needs to spread.

This is tragic. This is beyond tragic. This is alarms and sirens for our nation. This is past “warning shots”.

What has been happening for years and years is now to the point where people are done being “nice” about it and are now protesting in the streets in whatever manner will get the attention and keep the focus. Things have progressed to the point where even the protests have stopped being “nice” and people are starting to legitimately riot – burning buildings, trashing edifices, smashing businesses, even occasionally threatening other people.

I’m not going to tell you that’s all wrong. I’m not going to start pretending that cherry-picked quotes from MLK are applicable here. I’m not going to caution people to “go high” and “be the better person” or anything like that.

Because I can’t care about that anymore. We are way beyond that. There have been too many shots fired.

Don’t you see? It’s so horrific…. we can’t take it anymore. I read about Jacob Blake in Kenosha and my heart just shredded into pieces. I’ve been upset and angry and cried and argued and pleaded and screamed and I’m just so fucking exhausted now. And at this point, is it only Black people who are being gunned down by the police? No. But they are still the main targets. They are our martyrs and examples. They are the crucified, held up to warn the rest of us what will happen if we keep shouting against this nightmare. The police are still firing “warning shots” at us all. And those shots are still killing people. The sound of shots is supposed to scare us, keep us in check, make us cower and bow down to the people with uniforms and weapons. But it doesn’t matter if we do those things… they are still shredding our hearts with the sound of more shots. How many shots can you listen to before you break down and stop letting this happen? How many deaths can you stand?

What happened to this man, and all the people gunned down by police, is just beyond heinous; it’s offensive to everything we associate with being an American. Our justice system is a system that trumpets how “fair” it is supposed to be. How we give accused people the presumption of innocence and force the prosecution to prove guilt – we do not make the defense prove innocence. This is our system and we have reason to be immensely proud of it; in theory. Because this system is not being offered to anyone who isn’t White and Able, and Hetero and living their assigned gender from birth and walking around with citizenship papers. It’s not. And what’s almost as bad is that now, that same system is trying to raise its powerful fist to crush anyone who speaks out about it. And that goes against everything we SAY we believe as Americans. We have freedom to protest. We have not just a right, but an obligation to make our government – national or local – to listen to our grievances and address them. This is one of our many rights too. We have rights that other nations dream of, yet here we are, letting the authorities pay lip service to those rights and get away with murder. We raise up the words of our founding fathers (knowing many were slave-owners and rapists) because the ideals they touted, the fine words they uttered were the goals of our nation. Even though our founding fathers couldn’t *follow* those words, they still wanted to believe in them; they wanted to build a nation that followed those ideals.

And here we are.

All those people who are protesting, you look at them and what do you see? You see reprehensible folks who aren’t bowing down to the system? The system that perhaps protects YOU just fine?

I see people who have gone from sad and grieving to angry to rageful to outraged to despondent and so many other emotions… this is our country, our culture and we look around and see a system that is trying to break us, enslave us, censor us and if we don’t comply, they kill us. All the laws in the world won’t save us if the system behind those laws puts its boots on our necks and begins to press down. All the speeches in the world won’t help us when the sound of shots ring out again.

So when I look at those crowds, I don’t just see my fellow activists, fighting the good fight to get something changed, I see people who have cried, like I did, when they read just one more damned story about someone getting killed by the police. I see people who thought about their friends, their family, their online pals, people they care about and maybe even people they don’t know – getting caught under the boot of this system and having their lives snuffed out in the blink of an eye… in the sound of seven shots.

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/08/24/us/kenosha-police-shooting-jacob-blake

More Musings on OkCupid

So here’s a hot take on my process of weeding through OkCupid profiles:

Well you’ve got a stupid picture, goodbye.

Sportsfan huh? I suppose I could… whoa REALLY big sportsfan. Goodbye.

You pose with an animal you killed? While it’s still BLEEDING? Goodbye.

You sure like posing with hot chicks. Goodbye.

You just HAD to talk about your sexual proclivities in the first paragraph huh? Goodbye.

Another couple. Goodbye.

You’re a really hot chick, why are you on here? Not gonna pass but not gonna like… maybe there’s something in your profile… oh, no, there’s nothing. ‘Bot check, goodbye.

Well aren’t you bitter? Goodbye.

You want a “partner in crime”, a “special lady”, a “gorgeous creature”, a “queen” et cet Goodbye.

Another couple. Geeziz

Wow, you seem perfect! Oh, you’re 25. Dangit.

6’6??!? *sigh*

Only want hook-ups? Goodbye.

Already married? Goodbye.

One word answers to all the questions. Goodbye.

NO answers to any questions? Goodbye,

ANOTHER Couple. Omg

Wow you really look like shit in that photo. You couldn’t at least comb your damned hair? Goodbye.

“Country boy” Huh? No thanks.

All your photos are of work. *yawn*

Wow, you travel a lot. How could I ever keep up? Goodbye.

You clearly want a hottie. Goodbye.

ANOTHER COUPLE. FFS

ANOTHER MARRIED MAN. Oh he wants something “discreet” you know there’s sites specifically for that dumbass

You really love your dog…. a little too much.

If God comes first in your life… goodbye.

I really don’t need to see photos of your damned dog.

Another married man. Oh and he’s very up-front about wanting me to be a side-piece. Goodbye.

Wow, you’re exactly what I’m looking for and it looks like i’m exactly what you’re looking for – you’re 6’3 GODDAMMIT

Well you seem cool – YOU’RE 23?! GODDAMMIT

ANOTHER COUPLE

Oh you are so clever making sure your face doesn’t appear since you’re looking for “discreet fun” – fucking dumbass.

Oh I like you. I’ll send you a message based on what your profile says. I’m sure I’ll never hear back but let’s try.

Oh I’m so glad you mention 420. Several times. “nudge nudge wink wink”v Goodbye.

Ahh the inevitable edgey asshole. Glad you outed yourself early on in the profile so I don’t waste my time reading the rest of it. Goodbye.

“Fluent in sarcasm” – yeah I get it, har har. Goodbye.

You only read instruction manuals???

Another couple. But they want someone “clean”

Your favorite movie is Weekend at Bernies? Really!?

Married man alert!

Spellcheck exists for a reason, dumbass. (yes this is still a problem)

Butch Lesbian who is looking for a sub. *sigh*

Gorgeous lesbian who refuses to talk to bisexuals. *sigh*

Transwoman who is older than me *sigh*

Married man who links me to his wife’s profile. Oh yay.

Cute profile that is silly and inventive. Me likey. Never hear back after three exchanges but hope springs eternal.

which kind are you?

two groups of people…

Group one is 50% homicidal maniacs who can’t wait to get their hands on some knives so they can go on killing sprees. The other 50% are kinda-sorta holding them back but mostly just doesn’t care if they go on a killing spree so long as the maniacs leave all the goodies behind for them to eat.

Group two is a wide-range of weirdos who have a hard time getting along but mostly just want to split up everything fairly. They argue A LOT. There’s probably a homicidal maniac or two mixed in there but it’s hard to tell because everyone’s always arguing. Most of the time, though, when a maniac shows up, the rest of the group gets rid of them. In fact group two is pretty harsh on themselves whenever someone shows up who isn’t “acceptable” they have a tendency to oust them quickly.

Are these two groups the same? comparable? Which group would you rather be in? The take-your-chances-with-murder-for-big-reward group? or the never-find-peace-but-live-fairly group?

Carrot Sticks – a side view

https://thethinkingorc.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/carrot-sticks/

 

 

 

This, and the resulting very civil comments, is absolutely worth reading. is not that long. he’s talking about the mindset of the angry, rights-busting conservatives from an anthropological prism and I think he’s totally right.

I would add that for some of these people, the consternation is twisted higher from the source: some people are upset at the government’s complicity in over-throwing the moral feudalism they grew up with and it makes them believe in conspiracy theories. but some are aghast that their own children have rebelled against the very system which afforded them the “rightful” privileges the parents expected gratitude for bestowing.

I watched this shift as an outsider my whole life. I like the fact that the newest generation takes most of our “non-conformity” as their baseline; their “normal”

I remember reading a book from the 50s, in it, one of the characters remarks in how it’s too bad the children have to shun a particular little child because their parents got divorced. I had to ask my parents what the hell this meant: why would kids shun another kid whose parents were divorced? they struggled to give me an answer that made sense but I could see the situation did not surprise them.

I also would expound upon this aspect:
“It used to be about not doing anything weird, and looking down on anybody who did.
Now it’s about not doing anything cruel, and looking down on anyone who does.
There used to be people it was not only OK to be cruel about, but REWARDED to be cruel about.”
The first shift happened (I think) when people were forced to share space with others who had genetic differences – skin color, hair structure, body ability – and realized that they could detect a similar humanity with those “other” and therefore changed the rules to “we extend non-cruelty to those who may APPEAR different but are actually accepted as fellow humans” and the definition changed to “if they can’t help it, you can pity them instead of being cruel” Which essentially was the moral model of disability (and here “disability” includes anyone who cannot conform due to genetic differences)to the pity model. People used to think it was morally superior to feel sorry for POC. That was considered “enlightened”

this is why it became important to change the rallying cry of human rights past “we can’t help it so stop being mean to us” because it exonerates the perpetrator from continuing to exclude “the other” so long as they are no longer actively harming them. Passive harm through inaction, refusal to help and systemic harm was acceptable because of the pity model “too bad, that’s just how things are. Just adjust” (and be happy we aren’t outright killing you anymore”)

At this point, we are still stuck in different zones between “it doesn’t matter whether I choose to identify as this person type, I have the right to exist and move through society just like anyone else” and “look, just stop killing us” when it comes to oppression in our developed country of America. We recognize that “choice” and “genetic difference” make no difference in how cruelty is applied – it’s against our beliefs of opportunity and freedom to continue to allow society to structure itself around the notion of “those of us who are good” versus “those of us who are abnormal”

One of the things those people cannot see is that (at least from a purely pragmatic POV) eliminating “good versus different” model actually results in a larger, stronger social fabric. They cannot see this because they were indoctrinated with the notion that the strength of our society relies upon purity.

Exposure and tolerance are self-perpetuating feed-cycle: the more time spent around “the other” without harm, the more tolerance builds. It is as simple as that. But growing up without the mindset of “you are a good citizen when you act like us” gives new generations a jump-start into that cycle. Even as far back as the 90s, children were being raised into and around families that fought hard for respect and recognition and saw the pointlessness of cruelty as a social fabric. So I do believe this is a construct that is crumbling.

 

It seems glacially slow, but it is happening with lightning speed to those of us who remember the earlier days.

Brand names twitter

I’ve seen a few opinions on the whole Brands that tweet as a person thing and I gotta say, I think it’s awesome.Because every time I see a brand put out any PR, I already anthropomorphize it anyway. Lots of people do. A huge brand like Burger King or Target cannot be comprehended as it is: a massive grouping of people from the top elite millionaires to the lowest cashier. So when a brand puts forth sayings from one mouth and begins to sound like a distinct character, I can really dig that. I KNOW quite well Pop-Tarts is not a person. I know that Wendy’s does not have a unified viewpoint on any one issue. But to see them talk to each other as if they were people is amusing precisely because they are not people. It is no different than watching a cartoon. Dogs do not talk and neither do toasters. but watching them talk about deep, serious issues like depression and friendship is fun. We do this every day when we read webstrips. So why not take it one step further and do it with brand names? I have no idea why Sunny Delight would be having an existential crisis but it’s amusing to imagine it. To see it played out amongst several brands is entertaining because it isn’t real at all.

So stop acting like humans are so stupid that we can’t tell the difference between a concept and a person. We grew up learning that when we watched Sesame Street.

 

#brandnamestweet

#SunnyD

 

Resistance is futile

I know it seems terrible that there’s this guy who is literally on top of you, hacking away at you with a machete, but I promise you, me and few other guys are holding him back. You can’t see us, because we’re behind him and we don’t want him to know we’re the ones holding him back, but yanno, calm down,. don’t start screaming or anything because we’re here, we promise. Just imagine how bad it would be if we weren’t here; he’d probably be hacking your head off instead of your legs. So don’t call for back-up. We’ll hold this guy back until he’s tired of hacking at you.
I mean, we knew he was unstable and talked a lot of shit about carving people up when we brought him along to your dinner party, but we didn’t know about the whole machete thing. We thought he was just carrying a baseball bat. No, we can’t pull him off you right now because if we did, you wouldn’t invite us to your next dinner party. Don’t worry, he’ll get tired after a while. In the meantime, you should thank us; he’s only hacked a few of your fingers off so far. We’ll make sure he doesn’t get near your neck. Don’t scream. Don’t call for help. I promise we’re here. Just try to smile and go along with whatever he says. Once he’s gone, we’ll finish up.