Please Kill Me,
There probably aren’t many hot-takes remaining in this lumpy milk-grenade of a year. Similarly, I doubt there’s much left undone that could surprise any of us (short of a vegan-burger meteor shower… #PleaseLordDont #CloudyWithAChanceofBeetBalls).
For the most part, 2020 has left us feeling distraught, dismayed, disheveled (let’s just say all of the “dis’s,” to save time), angry, and exhausted. I won’t say that I have an answer for you, because I don’t. What I do have, is a hope that we’ll (somehow) move past it. Again, I have no idea how. But we can’t go on like this. Sooner or later, our widening cultural divide will reach a point of no return.
Granted, it’s no shocker. A majority of the country has had their hopes and dreams for the future slowly whittled down since the 2016 election. No matter your political leaning or cultural affiliation, you’d be lying if you said the noose of social grievance hasn’t been incrementally tightening around our throats like a sadomasochistic python (Sidenote: it bothers me that I spelled that right on the first try).
To make matters worse, we’ve been stripped of the outlets that used to keep these rageful feelings bubbling just beneath the surface of our civil discourse. Make no mistake, none of our current issues are new. We just have enough free time to notice them.
When you subtract the bars, clubs, theaters, restaurants, churches, social gatherings, and ability to see each other’s faces—things can get a little “touch and go.” Again, we’ve got all this pent-up energy—stuck at home. And all of this enraged-anxiety whenever we dare to leave. I’m not blaming anyone (though, I could). I’m just laying out the situation as it seems to me. I think that most of you can agree.
Some other issues include:
- A contentious election between (let’s face it) two less than ideal candidates.
- Our discourse has taken a turn for the worst (over the past decade, or so)—due to social media (though, it’s not without its rewards).
- The distinction between fact and fiction has taken a backseat to the emotions we attach to them.
- Racial tension is at the forefront of discussion, in no small part due to (again, let’s face it) as*hole policemen AND as*hole civilians.
- The media (left, right, or who the f*ck ever) has become a parody of their comedic parodies—hungrily clamoring for views to justify their ad-space prices, instead of shooting straight.
Let’s also not forget the climate argument, the fires, the protests, the riots, the poverty/unemployment rate, the mass disinformation, and OH YEAH….F*CKING COVID—they’re still dropping like flies out there, people.
Some have/will lose their businesses, their homes, their livelihoods, and—if things keep going this way—their minds. (Sidebar: Anyone else notice how Trump suddenly doesn’t care about illegal immigrants??? Eerie. Almost as if it was all dog-whistling bullsh*t??? Maybe he’s too busy not paying his taxes.).
Speaking of “lives,” I’d like to go on record and say that all lives do matter. However, if you’re screaming that, you’re willingly ignoring the POINT. Black Lives Matter is not about superiority. It’s addressing the fact that a disparity exists between how the social, political, economic, cultural, and legal systems treat minorities in comparison to their white counterparts. No one’s saying that all white people have got it easy. We’re just saying you get treated better than three-fifths of a person, a majority of the time. We don’t.
Read up on your history kiddies. That kind of shit doesn’t just “fade away.” It needs to be forthrightly addressed. There are people alive today, that threw rocks at MLK. They had kids who would do the same if given the chance. Do I agree with every one of BLM’s tactics? No. But I agree with the notion behind it. Fair is FAIR. But that’s a different topic all together.
Anyway, this was supposed to be a light post—gently addressing some uncomfortable truths. Somehow, it turned into a cathartic rant. That gets me back to my point. We need some kind of national “catharsis.” No yelling. No name-calling. No dog-whistling. No self-aggrandizing. No virtue-signaling. Just a group of calm adults, succinctly debating how we move forward together. At present, that seems nearly impossible. I haven’t given up hope in that distant reality. Not yet, at least.
My advice: Say “Good Morning,” to a stranger. Compliment someone you don’t know. Lay off the hate-news cycle for a day or two. That goes double for social media. Read something positive. Call someone you haven’t called in a while and see if they’re okay. If you believe in a “Higher Power” … then pray. If you don’t… then plan. Get some sunlight, exercise, and eat something healthy. Ease up on the booze and drugs. Meditate. Save your money. Above all, VOTE!
Nothing gets better in the direction we’re heading. Everything CAN get better if we find a way to work together. “United we stand,” remember?
There may just be something to that.
Until Next Time,
— Antwan Crump