Headline: 9-Year-Old Shoots Gun Instructor with Uzi
Must be Syria, Israel or Palestine right? Nope. Arizona. United States of ‘Murica.
We live in a privileged country without consequences. We pour our water over our heads in the name of charity when other countries can’t even drink theirs. We have contests to see how much food we can eat to celebrate our independence and turn away when faced with hungry children in other countries. We are teaching 9-year-olds to shoot automatic weapons, why? Is there any reason that an American child living in an American city surrounded by privilege needs to know how to work an Uzi?
At first you think, gosh that kid is going to grow up with nightmares of that event. But then you realize, her parents sent her to a school to learn how to shoot an Uzi. That is probably the least of the nightmares she’s in for.
We have no concept of consequences anymore. We fuck things up, they get fixed. We are not sure how, or why, America just has some weird magical fairy dust mojo going on. Today, the ALS Association has made millions in donations (a wonderful thing, make no mistake). Tomorrow we will be asking where all our water went. And we won’t remember that yesterday we wasted it because it we could. Yesterday a child, do not forget this, a child, shot and killed an adult, with a weapon used by soldiers in wars fought in far away lands, because, she could.
We have got to stop thinking that just because we can do something we should. We are hell bent on teaching our children that guns are the answer to everything. Guns and violence. Not love, compassion or most importantly, consequences of actions.
Think before you act. It used to be a thing. Now, it’s act, apologize, if it’s really bad apologize again, then never think again. Repeat the process. Over, and over, and over…
Yesterday a 9-year-old American shot and killed an adult American with an Uzi. Because she could. An adult handed the automatic weapon to her and showed her how to pull the trigger.
To all the folks who have taken part in the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to raise awareness of ALS. It is time that you step up and take a “Sand Bucket Challenge” to raise awareness of drought and un-usable water in countries who could really use that water you wasted.
Look, I am all for raising awareness of terrible diseases, but we go about it all wrong. We are so hell bent on proving how much better we are to the world, we waste our own resources just so that our Youtube channels and egos can get boosts.
Use your words. “I would like to talk to you about ALS.” Use your Twitter feeds. “Please check out this link regarding ALS.” Hashtag it #ALSAwareness. Instragram yourself holding a sign ‘I support ALS Awareness.’ There has to be a better way to get these things out there without using wasteful stunts.
Think before you act people. Awareness has to go farther than your own backyard.
Warning: Contains I’s, Me’s, realness and a lot of words.
Thirty eight days ago I stopped posting status updates on all social media platforms. Radio silent, I call it. I did this for a number of reasons. The most of which essentially boils down to the constant feeling that I was talking to myself. And I do that in my own head anyway, I don’t need to spend time writing it out in little boxes, trying to keep it to 140 characters, making sure I include clever hashtags. So I just quit. And that’s been okay. It has proven that I was right. As in life, posting to social media was no less reaching out to people as speaking to the voices in my head.
There are a few small nuggets of truth I have pulled from director/writer Kevin Smith in his many pot-filled podcasts. The one that has always stuck with me is his assessment that people need three things: food, sex, and to be heard. I am plenty fed and I have made peace with the fact that I have the sex appeal of whatever item you can think of that has the least amount of sex appeal. But being heard, that has alluded me in ways I never imagined could be possible as a teenager who wrote poetry and stories and diary entries and never pictured there being an immediate thing at my fingertips that allowed me that same forum with the same amount of results. (Zero, if you haven’t been paying attention).
This isn’t about not getting 10,000 likes every time I posted something or not being satisfied with the ones I did get. It is more about the feeling that my brain, my life, my sense of humor and my world, is a deserted island where only I live.
Here’s the conundrum. I am an introvert who sometimes has to be an extrovert.
I have had to come to terms with the fact that I need people. I need help with things people who are not in my situation wouldn’t even think about. Everyday crap. So I have to rely on people. For most of my life I have done what I can to rely on my friends, because it’s just more fun that way. I don’t make friends based on what they can help me with, mind you, but I do give them ample warning that being my friend means having to do stupid shit with me because I just can’t do it alone.
Sure, I could hire people to be my people. But then they’re just people I hired to do things, and what kind of people is that?
The catch of it all is, all of this relying on people to be the people who I can rely on has created a terrible pattern. I feel guilty for needing people, so I overcompensate. I pay for everything, I over-give, I am over-nice, I am unselfish. And the people soon become people who only come around when they need something, and never when they actually want to.
It’s nice to be needed. It’s nice to be be the person who’s always got it together, who can always come through when shit goes down. And I do it without question. Without looking for something in return. But I’d like just one thing. A simple request. Be here because you want to be. Put down your phone and pay attention to what I’m saying, even if what I’m talking about means absolutely nothing to you. Don’t consider our time together an obligation you’re meeting because I’ll come through for you.
I know it’s confusing to understand this, but I am people too.
Because of who I am, and I don’t just mean disabled, but because I am a geek, nerd, introvert, creative type, I live inside my head. Constantly. That means every move I make is well thought out. It means that every word I say went through a process first. It means that I do not expend energy needlessly. So when I contact people, and suggest things that also include something I need done, it is not because I needed that thing done. It is because I needed that thing done and thought of you, people, as people who I’d have fun doing that thing with.
People have suggested I need to find other people like me to do things with. My question is, why? People continue to disappoint me, why do I need to go out and find new people to disappoint me? And besides, do those people even exist? Or am I truly just on an island all by myself?
Wilson!? Oh for fuck’s sake. He’s not listening either…