What Are You So Mad About?

I haven’t posted a blog entry since all of the chaos started in the country. I didn’t (and honestly still don’t) have the words to truly express all of the things that it has made me feel. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter though, basically in astonishment at how many people are willfully ignorant, blatantly lying, or a combination of both… and from all sides of the issue. Emotions and tensions are higher than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, so I understand that people will initially be speaking mostly with their anger. But anger can’t be an indefinite excuse for spreading false information, false narratives, and generally trying to make things worse rather than better.

My frustration comes from most people digging their feet in when it comes to their own personal take, and they won’t even listen to anything that doesn’t fit their narrative, let alone acknowledge and learn from any of it. It would be one thing if it was just random Twitter assholes, but I’m also talking about politicians and people in power who are acting the same way. Tom Cotton says “The riots have nothing to do with the death of George Floyd.”ย It doesn’t seem like the best idea to dismiss the pain and rage of those rioters who have obviously gone too far, but who are still upset with police abuse.

It’s amazing to see how many people who don’t want to be generalized or lumped together into one group, how they feel totally justified in doing that to people who aren’t on their side. “All cops are corrupt, murderous assholes!” “All protesters are violent, thieving arsonists!” Many people can’t or won’t admit that there are differences between peaceful protesters, the rowdy-but-non-criminal activists, the looters, the vandals, the people causing physical harm. It’s just easier for people to label them all as rioters so they can dismiss them as not worthy of being heard.

And then of course there’s a huge amount of people on the opposite side who can’t or won’t acknowledge that there are many different types of cops within law enforcement, including naive / optimistic officers seeking change, cops that just see it as a 9 to 5 job, officers who are on a power trip, ones who absolutely abuse their power, and then ones that can calmly kill detained suspects. And I’d think the one thing that both “sides” could agree on, is that we’re seeing far too many examples of the worst at both ends of the spectrum – and all it does is damage the message that they want to be heard. Yeah, everyone is mad, but if you take it too far then people are just gonna roll their eyes.

The second most widely spread bullshit take when it comes to this stuff, is that “If you aren’t breaking the law then you don’t have anything to worry about.” First of all, this is demonstrably untrue… and even if someone is breaking a law, are we as a society ready for law enforcement to commit physical violence in realtime for those offenses? What would those people think is a “fair punishment” for crimes such as stepping off of a sidewalk, being out 15 minutes past curfew, walking near people who are causing a disturbance, flipping off or cussing out a cop? Do we really want law enforcement to be able to kick, punch, drag, or choke people for those things? How about tear gas, rubber bullets, flash bang grenades, pepper spray projectiles? All of that is fine? If you’re only gonna watch one video on this page, make it this one – and put yourself or one of your children in the place of any of the folks who are taking the abuse…

And on Twitter, some chuckle fuck would immediately reply with “Well it wouldn’t be me or my kids in their shoes because we wouldn’t be participating in that!” And to that, I say… participating in what? Exercising your first amendment rights because you’re angry that police keep killing people without consequence? How about the people that are simply walking near someone who’s causing trouble? You could never be one of those people either? Those folks need to spare us all from their bullshit “it could never be me” crap.

One of the worst things that I’ve seen was in Austin TX. A college kid was shot in the back of the head with a “non lethal” projectile while cracked his skull and caused brain damage. The cops wouldn’t help him “in the street” and told people to take him to the police station. And when those people carried that critically injured man to the police department, they were immediately shot multiple times with pepper spray balls. And yeah, I’m being more hard on the police in this blog entry… because we should be able to expect more from the police. The people who vandalize, loot, start fires, etc… of course they should be arrested, charged, and prosecuted. But when cops act like criminals, that’s when “all” starts to get lost.

President Obama gave a wonderful speech yesterday, and among the things he said – he sent out a message to the mayors of every city across our nation, challenging them to review their “use of force” policies when it comes to the police departments and other law enforcement that they’re in control of. But then Donald Trump almost immediately issued a statement on Twitter, distancing himself from the idea of law enforcement reform – and instead saying the only thing he has in common with Obama is that they both fired the same army general. (Because Trump was being salty about being called out by that general, and that’s more important than the safety of every citizen in the country.)

At least national sentiment does seem to be finally turning against Donald Trump. He has never acknowledged the reason that people are protesting, and instead keeps doubling down with increased law enforcement presence, calling in military troops and vehicles, and threatening to send them to every state in order to “dominate” with force. Talk about lack of self-awareness. Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting against abusive law enforcement, and Trump’s response is essentially… “You wanna see abusive law enforcement?” I mean, his troops were using violence and pepper spray to clear the streets of humans as Donald Trump was giving a speech just yards away, claiming to be this amazing ally to peaceful protesters.

He knows that everyone knows he’s full of shit. He also knows that while plenty of people will call him out and be rightfully upset by his actions, he knows that there’s a massive number of people who simply won’t care that he’s a violent, self-serving liar, threatening the country with his military dominance. (I’d swear that a lot of people want to be him in that instance.) The same vibe that the abusive cops give… DO AS I SAY OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES, NO MATTER WHAT YOU’VE ACTUALLY DONE OR NOT DONE IN REGARDS TO THE LAW.

Okay, I better start wrapping it up, because I could obviously go on and on and on about it. But my take on this doesn’t feel like it should be controversial or objectionable, but boy is it to a lot of folks. George Floyd was murdered by those cops, and they should be charged and prosecuted accordingly. I absolutely support the protests. Everyone should be outraged, not just POC or people who are more likely to experience police brutality. I’m not even upset when those protesters break curfew, block roads, or protest in “scary voices” right in the face of law enforcement. If cops react to those actions with violence instead of simply arresting folks, then it just makes it that much easier to see which ones are the bad ones, and which ones will stand by and do nothing as the bad ones inflict pain and suffering on US citizens.

Yeah, I’m fucking heated about this stuff… and for the same reason as a million other people. The folks in power know what the protests are about, but they’d rather dismiss everyone as vandals, trouble makers, criminals – so that way they don’t have to acknowledge the problem of law enforcement abusing their power. The way the cops seem to be increasing their abuse, it appears that they’re scared of losing that power. Same thing with the political leaders. If law enforcement no longer has its knee on the neck of society, that makes the sketchy people in power really fucking nervous.

Politicians, police unions, etc have been praising many police departments for the way they’ve “shown amazing restraint” during all of this. And yeah, in a lot of instances that’s probably true. Shooting people “only” with rubber bullets, knee knockers, pepper balls, tear gas canisters… instead of live ammunition. But I hope the people offering that praise to the cops… I hope they realize that the people on the other side have been showing remarkable restraint as well. How many days in a row will our society watch innocent people getting the shit kicked out of them by out of control law enforcement officers? How long will they be okay with Donald Trump unilaterally deploying the United States fucking military into the streets to control us all? Yeah, there’s a lot of restraint all around, but I wouldn’t count on that lasting a whole lot longer…

Almost As Good As Medicine

When I’m having a bad day, and my energy levels just aren’t there, often I’ll feel bad for Maven. ๐Ÿ˜ฟ She’ll wanna play or follow me around or whatever… but since I’m not really doing anything – sometimes she’ll just sit and stare at me, sometimes she’ll flop down next to me, and sometimes she’ll just piss off to the basement to do who-knows-what for a couple of hours. ๐Ÿ˜ But it’s weird that a cat, with just a certain look, can make you feel like you’re letting her down in some way.

But this weekend I’ve kept busy (off and on) and was doing enough “stuff” that she was actually getting a little bit twitchy. ๐Ÿ˜พ She doesn’t like change either, especially when it probably doesn’t have any reason to her, so whenever I would sit down and take a break she would join me. Almost as if she was relieved that I “stopped doing stuff” so she didn’t have to wonder what the heck I was up to and when I was going to stop. ๐Ÿคจ

You probably have to be a “cat person” to really get this… but this cat, when I first got her, she didn’t like to have her belly touched – let alone petted, rubbed, or scratched. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ But over the years, with just me and her here, it’s molded her into a critter who shares a lot of personality traits with me. Plus she absolutely trusts me now, and has turned into a kitty that (most of the time… heh) loves belly rubs. ๐Ÿ˜„

So, shortly after I finished folding, hanging, and putting away my laundry… using up the last bit of oomph that I had for that moment, I sat down on the floor for a short break and ended up with this in my lap… ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜Š

Sorry about the large blurred edges, but the only way I could record this properly was in portrait mode… and if I uploaded it “as-is” the video would be taller than the height of the actual page. But anyway, knowing how she used to be, seeing how she is now… this is one of the very few things that can take my mind off of all the bad things swirling around inside my brain, to where all I’m thinking about is how lucky she is to have me, and how lucky I am to have her… and that sometimes I don’t make too bad of a critter daddy, I guess. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Working The Kinks Out

It seems that, for a change, I did exactly what I needed to do to get myself feeling better from yesterday. ๐Ÿ˜ณ Before I even started The Walking Dead last night I raised shields, cut off communications, and let things remain that way until half way through the day today. I only slept about 6 hours, but walking up to the sun rising, as well as to a phone that I had no intention of checking… it’s like the minimal stress of wondering what my phone will want from me is sometimes enough to tip me to the bad side, where whatever I’m trying to shake will remain. ๐Ÿ˜ More of my weirdness, I suppose.

And it’s not like I’m in high demand or something… but it just helped everything about how I was feeling yesterday, to not be beholden to my phone or anyone wanting me for anything through it. (Make sentences bad, structure coming good tonight is not. ๐Ÿ˜…) And as they day progressed, even though I used the laptop to dick around on Twitter, I started feeling better. ๐Ÿ™‚ As I was watching Justice League I started straightening the living room. As I watched some news I went ahead and ran the vacuum. And then before I started some YouTube videos about scanner/radio frequencies, ๐Ÿค“ I took all the baskets of dirty clothes down to the basement and started a couple loads. All of that before I even thought about looking at my phone. ๐Ÿ˜€

When I did, I was relieved to see that I only had a couple messages waiting for me, and nothing on my social media of any importance. The world went on just fine without me. SHIT. I do think I remember seeing a call notice though.

I guess I better check that now… ๐Ÿ˜…ย  ย ** pause while listening to voice mail **

Well I have absolutely no idea what the hell that was all about. Some fella left a message, and he knew my first name, saying that he was from Lowe’s installation and that he was calling about my “overnight cooktop” (I think) and wanted me to give him a call back to let him know if I’d be home. Heh… no idea. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow, but I can tell you right now the last thing I’m interested in is an overnight cooktop.

But anyway… all that’s left for me to do today is get these shirts onto hangers and up in the closet, and the towels onto the shelf into the bathroom and I’m golden. ๐Ÿ˜Ž Just gonna take that for what it’s worth, and I’ll worry about tomorrow when tomorrow gets here. I’m just happy that I figured out what it took to get me through this day.

Saying Goodbye

Yesterday was rough. ๐Ÿ˜ I woke up and hit the road shortly after dawn, because I wanted to allow myself plenty of time to compete with rush hour traffic heading towards Columbus. I just wanted to get up there early enough so that I could spend a while with Cassi and Lily before we had to head to the vet’s office. ๐Ÿ˜ž Once we were there, I couldn’t make myself stay in the room when the time came – but thankfully Cassi was strong enough to stay in there with Lily through all of it. As I sat out in the car waiting for her, I found what I felt was the best way to think about it…

Cassi loves Lily and didn’t want her to go, obviously, but she knew that for Lily’s sake – that’s what needed to happen. And Lily… I like to think that Lily didn’t want to go, but only because she didn’t want her adoptive mommy (and the other kitties in the house) to be sad and miss her. ๐Ÿ˜ข But Lily herself, I’m sure that if she would have been able to say it, she’d have said that it was time to go.ย  Thinking about it in human terms… as all of us approach our final years, there’s a pretty good chance that we ourselves will go through days, weeks, or maybe even months where we’d probably like to ask God to go ahead take us – due to the discomfort that often comes with that old age. ๐Ÿ‘ด๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

We were sniffling and sobbing all the way back to the apartment, and she was telling me even more little stories about Lily and some of the other cats that I hadn’t heard before… kind of a rolling “wake” of good kitty memories. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ˜ธ Of course I couldn’t help but start thinking about Maven’s age, wondering how I’m going to be able to face it once that day comes for her… but luckily I’ve got both Cassi and Genesee who said they’re willing (and want) to be there. I wish I could have made myself stay in the room for Cassi, but she understood – and actually said that she never expected me to. ๐Ÿคจ She basically said it in a way to let me know that she stayed in the room not only for Lily, but also so that I didn’t have to.

Off The Clock

Went to bed early last night, woke up a little before 8am feeling pretty damn good. A startling feeling, for sure, but I intend to roll with it today. ๐Ÿ˜ It’s something that’s difficult to explain, and I know it sounds a bit weird, but over the past several days I’ve made it widely known among friends and acquaintances that I should be considered out of rotation for the moment. ๐Ÿค” It’s just that I hate having to tell friends “no” when they text me out of the blue, maybe wanting to do this or that… so it was essentially a preemptive thing.

But waking up without much pain, knowing that my schedule is essentially clear for a while… at least when it comes to socializing… I think it just (more quickly than I expected) took a weight off of my mind. So I decided that I was gonna spend the morning being a potato, and then this afternoon I’m gonna tackle all my bills and paperwork and tend to the random things around the house that need my attention.

Laundry is all done, folded, or hung… I don’t have any dishes, so it really is just random stuff that’s waiting for my focus in the different rooms of the house. This probably feels like a frivolous thing to make a blog entry about, but you don’t know how much it sets my mind at ease to have no social obligations, not a whole lot of pain in my neck and shoulder, and a house that isn’t a mess. ๐Ÿ™‚ I know that at any moment one of my attorneys could call me and I’d have to go into work mode for a bit, but so far so good. (I’m actually gonna give them both a call tomorrow if I don’t hear from them, just so I feel like I’m still on top of things.)ย ๐Ÿค“โ˜๐Ÿป