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.” 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…

Garage Door Springs

After having a good start to the day yesterday, it was actually going back home that fucked up the rest of my day, evening, night, and now into the early morning hours. 😒 It’s a little after 2am right now, and I’ve tried just pushing it out of my head for the night, but that’s not gonna work. I need to ramble. 😏

Had a good visit with Dad, Toni, and Anna as planned. 🙂 Skipped the drive across town to the hospital afterwards, also as planned before I even left the house, because I could just tell that I wasn’t gonna have the oomph for both. Not a big deal. I don’t think Toni prepared Anna for how I’ve been feeling lately though… 😏 because more than a couple times she asked if I just woke up, if I was tired, and looked at me like I was a weirdo when I was wetting a towel and cooling off my head. 🤷🏻‍♂️ But again, no big deal… it was a nice and long overdue visit, and we stayed about two hours.

Had just enough oomph for the drive back home, like I figured… but when I clicked to open the garage door, only the right side went up – and just a little bit – so I quickly hit the clicker again to stop it from whatever it was trying to do. 😠 And this is a little ironic, because in the past few weeks I’ve only been on Facebook a couple of times. The most recent time was to let people know I was here and okay, and the time before that I remember leaving a comment on someone’s post about garage door springs. 🙄 Such a random topic, I know, but I think she was looking to have hers replaced, and I commented something about how Dad and Grandpa B both said that you definitely didn’t wanna be standing next to one of them if they decided to go.

Well, that’s what happened yesterday. 🤦🏻‍♂️ Not awesome. Also, completely mentally and physically draining, at the push of a clicker and lurch of a busted garage door. Nothing I can do about it though, so I was hoping to just go “Nope” and go inside and not think about it for at least the rest of the night. But yeah, one of the springs popped in the middle, and with such force that there’s even broken pieces of wood on the floor of the garage from where things broke apart in the supporting rafters. 😯 (The door itself looks mostly okay from the outside) I’ll have to go out and get some shots of the damage whenever I wake up later today, not that I’m gonna be able to do anything about it for a while. Perfect timing, so to speak.

And it wasn’t even something that I had been slacking on. I bought a thing of grease that I specifically used for the tracks, rollers, and parts of the drive motor that function better with grease on it. But the shit is old… really old… so I can’t be that mad. I just wish it broke in a way that made it look more like a “repair” than a “replace.” But the door is crazy heavy, the old opener has struggled with it for a while, so replacement will be the best route when I’m able to get to it. And luckily, with that, there’s no huge hurry.

Silver linings: I wasn’t standing near it when it broke. Nobody else was standing near it when it broke. My car wasn’t underneath it (the door or the spring) when it broke. And it broke when the door was down instead of up, where it probably would have slammed down and shattered. 😬 So it could have been a heck of a lot worse. 🤷🏻‍♂️🍀 All it means for now is that nothing will be entering or leaving the garage, which is fine – car’s already outside, and even though I’ve got a mower, I’ve also got my lawn d00ds that handle that right now. It’s just one of those “defeating” things where I know there’s not a damn thing I can do about it by myself, which means I’ll have another “big thing” to add to the schedule at some point. 😟 But like the AC install, it’ll be new, it’ll work better, it’ll fit better… and since most garage doors are steel molded to look like wood or vinyl siding, it’ll be a hell of a lot lighter.

Something that needed to be done eventually anyway… it just forces my hand at a really inconvenient time. 😕 But now that I’ve barfed it out here, it should help me to put it out of my immediate thoughts for a little while… at least until the medical stuff is done or nearly done.