Yesterday morning I saw on twitter that Megan Stammers had been found in France, and said on Twitter that I didn’t think it would take long for the victim blaming to begin. I was right. She’d not even been put on a plane back to Britain before people were going into their standard bullshit spewing. So when I said that just before going to the couch for the night Becka sent me this article asking why nobody cared when men in Rochdale were in essence gang-raping a fifteen-year-old, and even though she reported it to the cops, they didn’t care. The cops called her a hooker, and they walked away from her. That’s the cops, the people who are supposedly paid to give a fuck, and they still don’t.
Earlier in the night someone else had gone off on a Twitter rant about Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has let child molesters and rapists get off without an investigation, but because he doesn’t like Mexican immigrants, the racist whites of Maricopa just keep voting for him. Sure, he’s not really protecting his people, but so what? He keeps extra brown people out, and that’s good enough.
Earlier before that, I read the story of how a school teacher heard noises outside his home and went out with his gun, shooting without asking questions when he saw a masked teen. So he’d shot his own son because of his policy of shoot first and ask questions later. I don’t feel sympathy for him. I want to shake him hard and ask him why he couldn’t just ask who was out there before firing his gun. I want to slap him and scream that his love of his gun murdered his own child.
As I lay on the couch, my little inner ranter bounced around about how little people care, how very uneducated and willfully ignorant they’ve become, even the teachers. I thought about how, despite having cell phones and the Internet, they’ve become willfully ignorant. I thought about how people are so hateful, lacking in empathy, while at the same time claiming to be a Christian nation. I thought how it’s a conflict of interests to be Christian, but dedicated to the pursuit of wealth in a rat race with our neighbors.
I thought how people can quote a few lines of Jewish law in Leviticus, but have trouble remembering the ten commandments, or what their own spiritual leader said about the ten commandments: “Those are good, but you really only need to follow two laws; love God, and love your neighbor as you love God.” Lots of people who call themselves Christian can’t even love God. Instead, they fear Him, and they fear their neighbor as they fear God. So in a misguided effort at pleasing this heavenly parent, they have decided to punish everyone around them, making hell on earth for anyone who doesn’t share their views.
I told my inner ranter to just focus on sleep, but she screamed at me that this is all interrelated. It’s because people are so fixated on sex and genitals that they don’t notice that bankers again took over their churches, and Jesus isn’t around to kick them out. It’s because of their fixation on sex as the most evil act in the world that almost every popular movie and TV show is all about the worship of violence and/or guns. It’s because people are fixated on sex that they didn’t care when one president started an illegal war and killed thousands and displaced millions of our foreign neighbors, nor do they care when another president murders people across the planet with drone strikes on the flimsiest of evidence that they might be a terrorist. And if a few women and children are also killed in the strikes? Well it’s just collateral damage, a side effect with our now never ending War on Terror. (A war that, much like the War on Drugs or the War on Poverty, cannot ever be won so long as we continue to frame these issues in such violent terms.)
People have become increasingly hostile to everyone. In my childhood, so-called decent folks hated us queers, but you at least left the normal kids to themselves. But now adults seem to take joy in sneering at teens because they don’t know anything. Um, but you ignorant adult assholes don’t know a whole lot yourselves. Interviews with “man on the street” reporters show over and over that you fail at math, basic science, geography, geology, history; you Christians don’t even know the first thing about the bible, aside from a few cherry-picked lines from the Jewish section of the book. (Which doesn’t apply to anyone outside the faith, and you’d know that if you bothered to read the rest of the book.) One of the presidential candidates is so stupid he’s not even clear on how pressurized cabins work, or why they’re needed to keep everyone breathing in a plane 35,000 feet off the ground, where the air no longer weighs 18 pounds per square inch. (I didn’t even graduate high school, and I know more about this than a man who wants to run our country. That’s fucking pathetic.)
I see people posting meme jokes like “Hey, if the 747 can carry a shuttle, then I call bullshit on them banning my extra luggage.” You think you’re so clever and can understand the basic math of weight, but you won’t think about that weight versus the fuel for thrust versus drag and gravity. You don’t think how extra weight means extra thrust, means extra fuel, and thus requires either higher ticket prices or weight restrictions to haul your fat asses around. The government pays the bill to haul that fat shuttle around with your taxes and you don’t question it, but you will question why airlines can’t let you carry on whatever and just pay for a cheap ticket. In short, you’re too stupid even for basic budgeting. You flunk at economics, the most vital aspect of math in our money obsessed world.
And let’s talk about body image, and how a lot of people are now spitting on skinny people because “you’re harming my body image.” There are some people out there meant to be big. It’s easy to find out because when those people diet, they look terrible skinny. Their skin doesn’t hang right off of their genuinely big bones, and they need some fat to look healthy. But there’s a much larger segment of the population who cling to the plight of these people to hide the fact that you’ve got zero self-control. You’ll suck down sodas and sugared iced lattes with extra whipped cream all day, munch bacon-wrapped-bacon by the pound for lunch, snort back a hot fudge sundae for dessert, and then get online and whine that nobody understands how you’ve got a glandular problem. You don’t have a glandular problem. You’re incapable of living a healthy, informed life. You’re so apathetic, you don’t even care all that much about yourself.
It’s all interrelated. You spend hours in front of a TV worshiping violence and contempt for others, and anything that tries to teach you different, you roll your eyes and change the channel. Anything that tries to point out your obesity is judging you unfairly and you change the channel. You’ll watch people be tortured and murdered on Criminal Minds, but there’d better not be any mention of sex or nudity, because, after all, won’t someone “think of the children?” Yet you never stop to question “What is the effect of all this violence worship in our media on our children?” Sex is the most evil act in the world, and you’ll fight the expression of all sexuality tooth and nail. Love is a thing worthy of contempt. Romance is detestable and best avoided. But killing people violently? Well that’s not so bad. Might makes right, don’t you know?
As a society, people have become well-adjusted to being anti-social in an age of social networking and social engineering. You only care about problems if they can be related back to you. So the fact that Monsanto has poisoned 60% of all rainwater on the planet means nothing to you personally. The fact that a few billion gas engines are warming the planet and poisoning our air doesn’t change your desire to avoid a bicycle. You can’t be made to care because you’re just so busy…with hobbies. We’ve got an impending food shortage because of drought, but people are standing in line for a $600 phone made by slaves in China. So long as you don’t have to see the slaves here in America, you’re morally okay supporting slavery, which you claim America conquered. Only America NEVER conquered this problem. You just changed their name from slaves to prisoners.
It’s all interrelated, my inner ranter insists, and it’s all related to peoples’ lack of empathy. You don’t care about anything, and you don’t care to learn. You don’t care to change your bad habits, and indeed, when the government at last steps in to regulate things that are bad for you, you angrily insist that they should leave you alone because you know what’s best for you. Except, you don’t. You’re too ignorant to look up what would be best for you, or for your kids. And if you read this, roll your eyes and disagree, you won’t even care five minutes after you’ve moved on to something else to fill your time.
You people worships guns, but won’t look up statistics on how many people die per country by gunshot wounds. Some countries have mere double digits worth of victims because only cops own guns. And then there’s America, where thousands die every year to gun violence. Some die from the cops shooting more bullets at one suspect then some police forces fire all year long. Some kids die from improperly stored guns, because parents don’t care enough to be responsible gun owners. Some people die because they are victims of racial bias and their states have written laws giving white people permission to shoot anyone they deem suspicious. But let a black woman fire a gun at an abusive husband, and suddenly, there is no stand your ground law for them and an example must be made of them.
And still more people die because someone just starts firing wildly to try and kill everyone around them. But when a few people suggest that maybe we should limit guns to just what you need for hunting, the gun nuts go on the warpath. They live with this fantasy that one day the government will go too far, and they’ll revolt. They don’t let things like Ruby Ridge or the Koresh compound burst their fantasy bubble. In your minds, you’re all heroes in an action movie that has yet to be made, and guns, murder machines, are just so damned sexy.
It all ties together, people, and it all keeps coming back to that one problem, that you just don’t care. Last night, as I lay awake, hubby came to me, knowing that I was depressed, and he cuddled with me a bit and told me that I get out there every day, and I try to push you to become informed, to care about everything. I’m a transsexual, and yet I rarely talk about trans problems because it’s just one of a million problems created by general apathy and a lack of empathy. Every day, I shout about how we’ve got to care more, and hubby pointed out that I reach a few of you at a time. I have to talk about racism, sexism, ageism, bigotry, and general ignorance. Every day, I have to inform myself and then try to share with you why you should care. But I can’t rant about everything all at once, so I have to pick the worst of the news. Why? Because many of the rest of you have filters set up to avoid this harsher side of our shared reality.
But I have to be honest, and the older I get, the less connected I feel to the rest of the human race. The more I cry that we all need to reject hate and learn how to love again, the more isolated I feel from people who claim to be liberal or progressive, or Christian, but can’t wait to sneer at kids, at teens, anything that doesn’t fit in with their clique. It’s like you people never left that high school mindset. Maybe that’s why I’m so messed up, because I didn’t make it through high school or college, and I never got the last of my societal programming. Maybe if I had, I’d spend all my time looking for reasons not to care.
But my problem is, I never run out of reasons to care. I never stop falling in love with people, and I get my heart broken over and over when I find how little people are able to return those feelings. I never stop feeling sad when I see people sneering at each other for being different. I never stop feeling depressed when the latest round of sexual abuse cases are uncovered and silenced so people can stand on the victims and shame them about “not speaking out.” I never stop feeling upset by peoples’ hypocrisy and double standards that tell me “We’ll only listen to your message if you can frame it as a positive message.” But there is no positive way to say you’re becoming violent and inhuman. And what’s more, I don’t have to cite individual cases because the evidence for this epidemic is all around us.
You don’t care, and you’re all pushing each other to the shared extinction of our whole biosphere because you’d rather make life a singular, self-centric experience than work with your foreign neighbors to improve our relations, restrict our corporations and force them to obey the laws already written, and clean up our world so that our children will have a future. You parrot over and over that you’re all about protecting the children, but you won’t even listen to them when they’ve been telling you about being abused. None of you are so busy that you can justify your inattention to our world’s problems. You just don’t care to try harder.
Which is what makes my job so damned hard. Because I’m trying to make some of you care, and you fight me tooth and nail to remain in a permanent state of meh.