Jon Wolfman’s post She’s Why Isis Recruits Here got me thinking about how some days it seems that the world’s going just plain bat shit crazy, which brought to mind one of my favorite country western songs:
A collaboration of Waylon Jennings and Shel Silverstein, it is an exquisitely twisted waltz that contains one of my favorite verses from Silverstein:
“The meek they ain't inheirited nothin'
The leaders are fallin' behind
So I'm singin' my song to the deaf man
And dancin' my dance to the blind.”
So what have we got? Air strikes and politicians’ panicked calls for stronger border security to abate the potential infiltration of ISIS/ISIL terrorists who have proven themselves ready, willing and capable of murdering innocent children:
State mandated Ebola quarantines of “suspect” health workers that make no scientific or medical sense whatsoever…
…politically justified “by an abundance of caution” and unspoken panic.
Panicked and angry police shooting panicked and angry unarmed black people seemingly without consequences:
Children shooting children in public schools:
Children shooting children on the street:
Twenty-five years ago I was preparing dinner for my family in our suburban four bedroom house in Simi Valley when a story about the murder of a little girl during a drive-by shooting in South Central LA came on the local SoCal news. Without thinking I picked up the remote and yelled at the TV, “I don’t want to hear that shit,” and I changed channels. When the dog looked up at me as if to ask, “What are you yelling about now,” I had this epiphany: I was alone in the house, just me and the dog, and if I chose to mute the volume or change the channel, I literally didn’t have to hear that shit. It was then that I asked myself out loud, “How did you come to this place in your life?”
I did not like the answer to that question and that was the day when I decided to try to do something about it. It’s been a long strange trip since then and I certainly haven’t done as much as I could to change myself or try to change the world. I’m getting old and grumpy but whenever I start feeling like a burnt out terminal cynic with a need to mute the volume, I try to find some kind of perspective. I’m not much of a believer in anything but if you look around, you can usually find something or someone who can offer some hope or faith in the better angels of our nature.
For one and all who might be tempted to switch channels or mute the volume, I offer up this message from a young woman who survived a drive-by shooting in Pakistan:
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