In a world of viral outrage I have retreated more and more back into what we non tech people like to call the real world. It’s a place where one has to have conversations and resolve things and discuss differing ideas and sometimes agree that disagree. The amazing thing in this strange land is that you can see and hear the emotion of your companion. I am often amazed at the level of anomosity that comes from what on the surface, seems like a rather non emotional and/or clinical issues.
Gyms and weight loss
I’ve bandied on a few of these topics myself, but in the end summation of anything I’ve ever said or written my conclusion is this…
Take responsiblity for your own shit.
I tried to quit smoking for years. Years. I tried herbal supplements. I tried lozenges and gum. I tried the patch. I tried hypnosis. I tried howling naked under a full moon while crushing dandelions under my heels. Of all the methods I tried only one thing worked. Not putting cigarettes in my mouth. That’s it. It was very direct and simple.
I don’t use Purell. I wash my hands with good old fashioned soap and water. I don’t go home from work the moment I catch a cold. I don’t open door with my foot. I used to work with a guy that was a complete germaphobe and would prowl through the office with a can of Lysol. This was a very special year in the Chinese zodiac. It was the year of the bird flu which by the way no one caught. What I did catch was a face full of a Lysol spray after sneezing in the copy room. Pow! Right in the kisser! And he, the germicidal warrior, did in fact come down with what could be considered a plague. He used so many antibacterial products that he was left with virtually no immune system and was out sick for almost a month. We used to use pay phones in Times Square right after the semi homeless guy wearing what one could only interpret as a muumuu and a set of adult diapers hung up on his imaginary stock broker. We didn’t like it but we did it and we survived. We also drank from hoses and put three thousand pound televisions on TV trays as thin as a sheet of aluminum foil which may or may not have crushed a small child if it fell. I stayed outside all day and sometimes ate lunch without washing my hands. If we cried and our mothers felt it was unwarranted they promised that they would in fact give us something to cry about. We were told to walk it off and man up and to never start the fight but make damn sure we ended it.
I would also like to take a moment to discuss “adulting”. What fresh hell is this? This is now a verb? So??? The act of behaving in a fair, equitable, principled and mature manner is adulting? I always thought that was mandatory to be considered a..a….
What’s the word? Ah yes, an adult. Paying our bills is not adulting. Raising our children to not murder puppies is not adulting. Working and contributing to society is not adulting. And lastly, neither is jumping on every viral outrage that is offered to us.
Now, a couple of points on this latest go around.
Robert Lee (the sports announcer) is not a civil war general. He’s a sports announcer and I may be climbing out on a limb here, but I’m pretty sure that Mr. Lee would like to be able to provide for himself and/or his family without penalty for his commonality in name.
I believe fervently in preserving history which means the good and the bad. The reason is simple. Once we forget the next Hitler or Stalin or Pol Pot will rise and we, the collective whole that has shredded anything unpleasant, will not have the moral or historical markers with which to say, “Wait! Stop! This is wrong!”
Now, having said that I will also say that anyone unsympathetic as to why this would bother people is deluding themselves.
Now having said that I will say that this endless moral policing is exhausting. Not everyone has to agree with you. And yes, sometimes if you keep baiting the situation, it does in fact make you an inflexible self serving snot. The world is not responsible for every facet of your life, you are. I am for mine. She is for hers and on and on. I don’t analyze every article of clothing I buy and whether it was made in a sweatshop. I sometimes use animal tested products. It doesn’t make me inhuman. It makes me normal.
Now, having said that I will also say that anyone politicizing this is perpetuating the hate. Liberals can be nice people. So can conservatives. I have a simple code. Actually my tribe does… do you like food? Are you an asshole? If the answers are yes and no, you get to join the club. It’s simple.
This is about racism not politics. Racism should make each and every one of us uncomfortable. That conversation is not supposed to be sweet and easy. There is no mea culpa on this. It should make us angry. It should galvanize us to make this a better world. And no, having a diverse group of friends does not exempt you. I would rather look at my friend and say, “I’m listening. How can I help? Can I organize a petition? A march on Washington?” than advocate destruction. I would rather square off on politicians with the politicians than the faceless mob online. Things like, “I have black friends so I can’t be racist LOL/smiley emoji”, don’t quite cut it. And by the way? Take your emoji and stuff it. We can’t LOL our way out of this one.