IN A WORLD WHERE SOMETIMES THINGS REALLY, REALLY SUCK, THIS IS… POP-TART QUEST!
There’s a reason I am not a professional writer.
I mean, I may have a degree in writing. I may have this fancy website and a contribution gig over at 411Mania, but I have never considered myself a “writer”. I’m not making a living off of it, so basically I’m just a schmuck who likes writing.
But some days it’s a lot harder than others. And that’s why I am not a pro.
Like today, I was supposed to wake up, eat these new Pop-Tarts, and throw together some forced humor about pretzels and Pop-Tart sludge. I’ve done it 30-some times, and I should be able to riff on Pop-Tarts and go off on absurd tangents in my sleep.
But this morning already started the way a lot of entire days have gone lately, with my wife and I discussing the state of things in our country, all in relation to the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and others.
It’s just never going to get any better, is it? Every so many months, something happens, and you think “this is as bad as we’re going to let it get”. When a man chased down a seventeen year old Trayvon Martin and killed him even as the police were telling him to leave it alone, I thought “well, this will be a marker for change”.
When Philando Castile was killed in his own car, in front of his own family, for complying with an officer’s requests, I thought “well, THIS will be a marker for change”.
When Atatiana Jefferson was killed in her own home in the late hours of the night by a shooter she never saw because she had the audacity to stay up and play video games in her own home, I thought, “well this WILL HAVE TO BE a marker for change”.
But man, nothing ever is.
(and yes, it goes on and on, but I can only recall so many of these events before utter despair kicks in)
So what can we do? Just get angry, I guess. It’s an awful, cruel, unfair world. And I know that as a straight white dude, I don’t have nearly the level of concern as a lot of people should have. I don’t even have kids, much less kids I’d have to take time out of their day playing Minecraft to talk to them about body cams and politeness and obedience and hoping for the best. I can be upset about this, but I also get to hop in my car and go for a hike later on today and generally not worry about some cop or racist in a truck deciding my number came up out of the blue.
But I am mad. I’m mad about George Floyd being slowly murdered and knowing that he knew he couldn’t even resist it because he was dead either way. I’m angry that Ahmaud Arbery was stalked, chased down, confronted, and had guns waved in his face–and when he tried to save his own life, he was killed and had his assassination called “self-defense”. I’m furious that people who stand against this all are told they can’t kneel during a song (that’s disrespectful), and they can’t speak out against it (blue lives matter more), and they can’t protest, unarmed, in the streets (that’s inconvenient), so all they have left is rage and riots because every peaceful way they’ve tried to change things has been shouted down.
Hell, I’m pissed that a black reporter who was being the most respectful and compliant a human being could possibly be was arrested for covering a news story. But at least they didn’t kill him, too. Is that enough to be a silver lining? Is THAT where we are?
So yeah… it would be nice to take the piss out of some otherwise delicious breakfast pastries to distract myself, but it’s just too hard today.
So… my apologies. You may have came here to read some jokes about salty Pop-Tarts to distract yourself, and I failed you. I’m not a professional, though. I’m just a human being.
C+ : Wait, what? Are we still doing this part? Okay, sure. These were fine, but my palette is really muted today.
CHANCES THAT THINGS IMPROVE THIS TIME:
D- : I mean… dare to dream, I guess? But never underestimate the ability to do logical gymnastics of the people who want to tell you this stuff is no big deal.
THE WORLD IN 2020:
F+ : Hard pass on pretty much everything. Remember when Australia was on fire? That feels like five years ago.
40%: Back to actually talking about the Pop-Tarts for a hot second: the untoasted Tart was actually better than the toasted one, and that is so rare. It’s close, though.
I : Hug your loved ones. Always tell them you love them, even if it’s for no reason. Treat every interaction with them as if it could be your last because sometimes you never know. Voice your hatred for real oppression–not “I want to get a haircut but the government won’t let me just because of a pandemic, so I better go march on government buildings with my guns”, but REAL, ACTUAL, SYSTEMIC, VIOLENT OPPRESSION.
Just… be better. All of us. Please, let’s try?
One of the VERY, very few positives of the COVID era was that with so much of the country shut down, and so many people sheltering place, mass shootings were down. But this week, that omnipresent American threat reared its ugly head again.
A monster of a man killed 8 people, 6 of whom were Asian women. The Atlanta police immediately reassured us that he was just a dude-bro having a “bad day” and that it probably wasn’t a hate crime. As usual, he was taken into custody alive. I supposed he did not pose the same dire threat that Breonna Taylor did, sleeping in her own home at night.
This crime is being passed around as a symptom of this murderer’s “sex addiction”, a shiny tactic to take the blame out of his hands. He is a sick man, all right, but his disease is racism and misogyny. Not sex addiction.
We’ve had politicians spend the last year normalizing saying things like “Chinese Virus” or “Kung-Flu”, and then when someone murders half a dozen Asian people, we say it’s because he had a bad day and a problem wit addiction. And it probably wasn’t a hate crime.
I don’t know. I have no endgame to this update. Everything is still awful.