Longest Ramble In A While…

I’m not gonna link to either of them, but yesterday evening when I was catching up on the news on Twitter, I came across two different things that really bothered me. 😟 Both of them were in Michigan, and both were part of a protest against the physical distancing / stay at home orders that have been put in place due to Michigan being one of the most affected states in regards to coronavirus / COVID-19.

I wanna start by saying that I do get why people are frustrated and want to be heard. πŸ₯Ί In fact, they’re more frustrated than I can even empathize with because they’ve been off work, losing their jobs, their businesses going under, and that’s obviously gonna take a toll on people. πŸ™ I know that I have days where it even gets to me more than I’d expect it to, so when people are unable to pay their bills, their rent, medical bills, etc.

But the first part of the protest that caught my eye were the hundreds of people who forced their way into one of the government buildings. I’m not sure if it was the state house, but it’s where the politicians were trying to do their jobs while protesters were shouting and screaming at law enforcement, banging on doors and walls, demanding that they bet let in. 😳 I think most people would expect a protest like that eventually, but this one went further – because many of the protesters were also dressed up like militia and were carrying loaded semi-automatic rifles. 😧

When you look at the video footage, I hate to say it, but those people looked and acted like you’d expect those kinds of folks to look and act… meaning, people who show up with guns when there’s no apparent reason to do so. πŸ˜’ And the ones who didn’t have guns, it’s not like they were discouraging the ones who did. Common sense says they brought their guns with them so they would be more intimidating, but I want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the only protests they’ve really paid attention to are ones regarding gun control issues, where it would sorta make sense to “bear arms” while protesting… and maybe that made them think that all protests require dozens of armed people. πŸ™„πŸ˜ 

But yeah, you can look it up if you wanna see or read more about it. But with the way tensions were, I think they’re very lucky that there wasn’t even an accidental discharge of a weapon – which would have lit the very short fuse on that powder keg. It’s just sad, the smug look that you could see on some of their faces as they stood with their rifles, in the area above where the politicians worked. πŸ˜” And if their goal was truly to be heard, their stunt backfired… because all that people are talking about are the “white guys with guns” who occupied that building without so much as a ticket for ignoring social distancing rules, and questioning what may have happened if that group had been young black men instead. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

I don’t like doing those “what if” scenarios normally, but the way all those folks chose to act… πŸ˜’ oh, and because of something that I saw in the second topic that caught my eye. For another part of the protest there was a stage set up where people were speaking against the current rules, talking about the damage that it has done… understandable stuff. But then they had a performance by a couple of girls who looked as if they couldn’t have even been teenagers, wearing skimpy little dance outfits and halloween type masks. πŸ€” One of them being of a black man with exaggerated features. (Looks like they could have been Trump & Obama masks.)

They were doing a dance routine to the old song “Candy Man” but it sounded as if the lyrics had been changed to comment on the current situation. That’s unfortunate enough, where children are essentially being used by their parents to make political statements… but as these little girls were dancing, you could hear men and women in the crowd hooting and hollering as if it were some kind of burlesque show – with people even shouting “TAKE IT OFF!” as these poor little kids did their routine. 😧πŸ₯ΊπŸ˜”

It honestly made me sick to my stomach. 😟 Not just because the kids were being used in that manner, or that gross people were shouting sexual things at them, but also because nobody else in the crowd said anything, stuck up for them, or did anything to show their disapproval. πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ (At least not in the clips that I saw.) I understand that people can start “thinking as a group” when caught in a moment, but even when it comes to something as disgusting as that? It’s not a good look for whatever message you were trying to send. 😠

If you’d ask a bunch of those first folks why they felt the need to bring rifles to a peaceful protest and dress in camo… the answers would probably be of the “bEcAUsE wE CAn!” variety. 😐 But that display with the girls, I wonder if any protesters would try to defend or normalize that as well. It makes me feel bad for the “normal” citizens of Michigan, because it makes the state look pretty awful – and I know they’ve got to be angry and embarrassed by all of it, the way it makes their citizens look to the rest of the country. πŸ˜”πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

One might ask why I allow myself get caught up in “news” like this. I ask that of myself too, honestly. 😏 But I dunno… I do try to limit my exposure in general, since 99% of what gets reported seems to be negative, but I guess I just feel like everyone should try to keep up on the more important things – especially if they want to have an opinion and have conversations with others about any of it. 🀨 So with things being as wacky as they’ve been over the past four years, even just “normal” news can trigger someone’s anxiety… and stumbling across “extra” stuff on Twitter, like the topics in this entry, is almost unavoidable. πŸ˜•

But I look back on old news articles and broadcasts from when Mom and Dad were young, and I see different protests, via different methods, at different locations, for different reasons… and I can’t remember learning about any of them and thinking, “Good grief… those people were idiots.” πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I’m sure “dumb” protests did happen, so maybe the news was just less interested in covering sensationalism back then? πŸ€” But hell… Today? I don’t think a day passes where I don’t read about or see something that makes me grumble, “Good grief, those people are idiots.” I think they were also lucky back then, getting their news (and only a couple hours each day) from either ABC, NBC, or CBS – and that was it. 😯 Not enough “room” to cover the stupids. Thanks to the internet though, we now have an endless supply that we have to work to avoid.

Making The Most Of It

I’m feeling a bit antsy this morning. I’ve got a trip coming up with some friends that I scheduled over a month ago, so of course my sleep schedule is all screwed up now as I start to get anxious about it. You know how it is, I just tend to overthink things in general, so my brain has been working overtime to make sure everything goes down as planned, so that everyone has a good time.

We’ve already planned for it to be a mix of business and pleasure. The main guests are Athena and Desiree, since I figured they both deserved a little getaway. Athena, because of all the shit that I’ve done with Cassi that she didn’t get to be a part of, and then Dez, basically because all the girl does is bust her ass. (Work, school, life… heh) Sean gets to come along as well so that Athena doesn’t feel like a third wheel. 😏

But as we were planning it, we knew that we wanted to have some chill time… swimming, cooking weenies and roasting marshmallows over the fire, checking out the abandoned tunnel, etc. (Oh yeah, we’re going for a couple of nights in a cabin at Lake Hope State Park.)Β But then we also wanted to get in as many photo sessions as possible. (The “business” part) There’s gonna be a ton of interesting spots to serve as backgrounds, and there are many planned outfit changes in order to get a lot of different looks in the photos sets. (So if they end up sharing their photos, they can space them out days apart or longer, since they’ll look significantly different from each other.)

I’ve been a depressed blob all week, and I’m still not quite sure how my mood is going to be for all of this, but this is honestly how I have to do things sometimes… schedule them so that they are unavoidable, then *poof* I’m out doing something. πŸ˜’ I’m sure it’ll be fine, I’m sure we’ll all have fun, but that’s why I’m being so twitchy while I pack. Hoping that I got food that everyone will like, and enough of it to last two nights, etc. Meh… I need to stop worrying.

Heh… I just realized, this is another one of those things where people will probably hear about it and think that I’m just off having a grand time without a care in the world, but here I am a day before departure, only 50% sure that I even wanna go. πŸ˜› Another thing that’ll probably bite me in the ass is that everyone else who wants me to take their pictures… they’re gonna see these new ones and either feel snubbed or they’ll be even more intent on me scheduling something with them. Heh… it’s so weird… how little interest I have in the hobby right now. πŸ˜•

Okay, basically I just wanted to bust out an entry to get some of this nervous energy out, but since I don’t really want people to know that I’m not gonna be home for a couple of days – even though I wrote this in the early AM of July 30th, I’m gonna schedule it to post after the trip is already done and I’m back home. πŸ€“ So if you’re reading this, you can figure the trip didn’t turn out to be shit… ‘cuz otherwise I would have deleted it before it even showed up. Alright, back to work…

EDIT: And to make things a little more interesting, since Dezzy is only able to stay the first night, when it’s time for her to go home Cassi is going to come down and take her place. πŸ˜… I’m going to be taking so many pictures on these next couple of days that it’s likely I won’t want to touch a camera again for a long, long while… heh Β but Chelsea and Ariel have both been waiting, oy.