The World Wide Web (Internet) became self-aware at 0800 on August 6th 1991. It quickly took over our lives and taught us how to think, how to act, what to say.
John: We aren’t going to make it are we? People I mean. Terminator: Its in your nature to destroy yourselves. Mom of squabbling kids: Break it up before I wring both your necks. Terminator 2 circa 1991
Writing is getting harder, ignoring it all is getting easier.
I started ignoring all of the videos of happy, tearful homecomings of soldiers, airmen, marines, and sailors there were just too many of them…until I saw my friend’s children eagerly awaiting him. Until I saw an entire family embrace in love and tears and saw my friend who is kind of reserved share his tears and his hugs with his children. Welcome home Nick. I saw this and I remembered my dad coming home from sea.
I started to ignore the constant din of politics and the on going blame game as one 5 year old Democrat tattled on the other 5 year old Republican or vise-versa…until I saw a candidate for Seattle city council who did not make the cut have to almost resort to an action that was out of his character to protect his community against the continued assault of a thought process out of control. I saw this and I remembered the anger and despair I felt as an officer trying to stem the tide of an obvious crisis no matter how you look at it.
I started to ignore the current stories on the National news and started to ask, what ever happened to black lives matters? What happened to the kids in cages along our borders? What is going on with the oil pipeline across middle America? What happened to Jeffery Epstein and what about his rich friends who maybe are guilty of the same behavior? Shouldn’t we find out what happened there? California is burning again. Is global warming real and are we doing it? Do wind turbines kill hundreds of thousands of birds? Will our grandchildren tear them down the same way that we are ripping out dams that destroyed salmon runs? Does Al Gore have air conditioning? Does George Bush? Do the rich and powerful do any of the things that they scream about while the rest of us gnash our teeth and hate each other?
I started to ignore the core arguments that we all are now told we must be polarized about. Guns. Safe injection sites. Abortion. Racism. LGBTQ. Global warming. Health care. College Tuition. Border Walls. Right wing. Left Wing. I miss the news at 5 and 11. We gave them 30 minutes twice a day to tell us what was going on. If we wanted an in-depth analysis, we read about it in the newspaper. Now we have 24/7/365 coverage and are expected to make a stand on our side of the line no exceptions. You cannot fraternize with the other side…with the enemy? Lord, I hope we are not that deep. And then I saw a story about Ellen DeGeneres watching a football game with George Bush. Please be strong Ellen and be who you are, WE ALL need a win.
Then, I saw a story that I cannot even begin to ignore. I lived it. I had all of the training. I had almost twenty years of showing up to these doors. My friends are still out there doing this. A welfare check on an open door, a shadow in the window. A shot is fired, a woman is killed in her own home by the agency sworn to protect her. The heartbreak begins. A family grapples with the news. A department has to file charges against one of their own. A community is in shock. And then the officer is identified as white and the victim as black. I can’t ignore this. It is real, it has happened. Again. Above all else, I hope the family finds peace and gets the justice they deserve. I hope the officer gets the justice he deserves. Our community will get the justice that it deserves and the consequences of it as well. Damn.
I am going to go feed my horses, feel the cold autumn wind bite through my flannel shirt and seek solace amongst my herd. I hope and pray that everyone can find solace. I wish everyone peace and serenity in these difficult and troubling times. God Bless you all and keep you safe. It is getting harder to write.