You know, just in case all of the electronics stores are infested with Zombies during the apocalypse.
My god, Buck and McCarver are the dumbest sumbitches to ever be allowed in a broadcast booth. Bad enough I have to suffer their banality and stupid stats that are clearly and lazily plucked from the first ten results of a random Google search, but then to try to apply the football/basketball concept of a turnover to the baseball concept of an error, or just plain fucked up wierd ass play, and punctuating it by repeating the word “turnover” over and over again while describing some of the more notorious plays thus far in the series, just about had me losing my goddamned shit. Turnover. Shut up. Turnover. SHUT UP! Turnover. SHUT.THE.FUCK.UP! Turnover. GODDAMMITMOTHERGODDAMNEDFUCKERSHUTTHEFUCKINGHELLUP!!!!
People do a lot of things nowadays to get “internet famous.” They make Twitter parody accounts, create “viral” blogs, take funny pictures, record themselves doing some insane stunt…from the clever to the flat out stupid, the list of things to do goes on and on.
One thing you should probably…
A little over twenty one years ago I was on a packed flight from Texas to New England. I was closing on 25 years old, and had just spent the previous six and a half months with the 7th Cavalry on a little adventure known as Operation Desert Storm. I was on my way back home on leave, and was still processing my experience as I passed the time on the long flight by reading a news magazine. I was reading an article about the Kurdish people of Northern Iraq, who were at that time locked in a brutal and desperate struggle against Saddam Hussein for first their freedom, but most importantly their very lives. And they were losing. Badly. All at once I saw a picture with this article of anguished man cradling a small child, no more than four. It took a few moments for it to dawn on me - this child, same age as my own son, was dead. And just like that, the rest of the plane just disappeared, and I suddenly felt terribly distant and alone. That this kind of thing was happening out in the wide open, with a global audience, and nobody seemed all that much concerned - not my government, not the public, and certainly not the people I was sharing that airplane with. Surrounded by people, I suddenly felt completely alone, like I had just discovered I was the only sane, rational thinking being left in existence.
Fast forward twenty one years; I am 46, my children are grown, and I am even a grandfather. I live far away from both my old station in Texas, and my childhood home in New England, having set down roots in San Francisco. I had just attended the Nutcracker with my young nieces the night before, and hauled a sleeping cute sack of potatoes from the Opera House all the way back on the train. Today I worked an early shift at the front desk of an elderly housing facility. Around lunchtime some of the residents came by the front desk where I was working, some in tears. Had I heard the news? They all asked me. No I hadn’t, but when I finally got my break and got online, I began to see what had happened. Back east in Connecticut some asshole killed his mom with her own guns, took them to the school where she worked, and killed 26 people, twenty of them children. Twenty children. Twenty. A slow, creeping dread came over me, and the more I read and learned the worse it all seemed, and by the time I saw the first defense of unfettered gun ownership in social media by gun lobby apologists… I was right back on that plane twenty one years ago, surrounded by people, yet utterly and desperately alone.
Alone… and increasingly angry. Hmmm… anger.. No, what I was feeling was not anger. No, this was a rapidly boiling and expanding cauldron of slowly exploding rage. And even that descriptor seems vaguely inadequate. I see the predictable hand wringing about the loss of innocence, while news crews trip all over themselves to shove a microphone in the face of a shattered child or a traumatized parent. I see the news show panels rife with dueling outraged gun control advocates and hyperbolic NRA gun freaks, the same fucking predictable bullshit after each and every new recurrence of weapon assisted human violence of similar proportion every couple of months, and yet nothing ever changes. Everybody talks and talks as if to go silent would be fatal, and yet they act as though any exertion of effort to change things would end the same way. I read social media, and the asshole circus just hits fifth gear in a five speed gearbox at that point. I am furious beyond expression that an asshole found it necessary to kill children, I am excessively enraged that it took mere moments for the news cycle to devolve into pointless self parody, and most of all I am seething with loathing that not only is unfettered gun ownership by every half witted simpleton with at least one unmutated manipulating digit seen as a cause celebre by the predictable right wing media lackeys and their easily cowed and duped audience, but I can already see the impending demonization of those suffering from mental illness coming from miles away. And none of it will have any positive or preventative effect whatsoever against future incidents, because not only does Bubba Teabilly need a new Bushmaster with sniper scope and thirty round magazine, but comprehensive mental health care is expensive, and would require that people actually start treating it as an illness instead if a moral failing. So, you know. Never going to fucking happen.
I am not even going to go into the pointlessness of the whole “Turn to God” reflex that grips the country every time we experience a collective kick to the junk like this. Not yet. For all the hateful and destructive effect inherent in placing more value on a promised afterlife than in the life you are currently involved in, people in agony gain a measure of comfort in the idea that their loved ones are now safe in the arms of a loving deity. And what kind of a monster would I be to deny them that? But, it doesn’t change how I feel. And how I feel is like I am the last sane, rational being left on the planet. Just like on that plane 21 years ago. And I want off that goddamned plane. It’s full of assholes.