I’ve suffered a string of dreams by night now for weeks that seem to have a common theme. I’m arguing furiously. I’m shouting to the point where shouting has never been louder. I’m in the process of accomplishing something and someone stands in my way. No matter how I phrase myself, they still don’t get it.
It dawned on me this particular morning that this is how so many people feel right now in 2019 and perhaps why we are drawn to social media to express what is suppressed. Or to news article comments, rallies, or anyone at the bus stop within ear shot.
The words spill out violently having churned like vomit deep inside the pit of our being.
I’ve been watching Comedian Lewis Black broadcast a segment on FB after his comedy shows called, “The Rant is Due” where he invites the public to write in their rants and he reads them onstage each weekend briefly. The medium allows the public to also comment during the broadcast to anyone tuning in. It is a ferris wheel of felt emotion resonating across the country.
It’s perfectly ironic that in this age where we have so many different ways to communicate to anyone so frequently, so widely, and so creatively, that we feel less understood and more hurt.
When I was a spry fat teen, I was quite idealistic and although no one had a smart phone, much less internet access, I wrote a lot of letters to the editor of the Saginaw News. I also wrote the governor and criticized him personally (Gov. John Engler-R Michigan). Then, I’d write some poems and read them at the coffee shop. Did I mention that I published my own ‘zine for several years that almost got me kicked out of high school?
I had little fear in that day. I had nothing to lose. I didn’t have anything yet. No job, no money, no house, no dogs, no car, really, nothing. It was a great freedom I didn’t appreciate until much later.
I can see now how the system of society squeezes us to submission.
Through this lens, I observe how our pirate of a President has captivated so many with his outright venom and lack of regard for serving society. He is loud and vulgar and can speak with abandon choosing words that don’t even make sense and yet, he is our leader. He is that reflection of a segment of society that advocates a Darwinian approach to living–too bad, so sad, I am out pacing you fast and you are tiny in the distance.
The outcry is deep in our souls and burns so hot we scream within.
Why doesn’t anyone care I can’t afford my chemo treatments? // Why are people allowed to beat me at the bus stop because I’m gay? // Why are so many police killing our black men and justice is never served? // Why is no punished when I am raped? // Why are our roads riddled with holes even though Michigan has the highest gas taxes? // When will Flint ever have clean water? // Why is it dangerous for kids to go to school? // When will we act on climate change? // When will I have a decent wage? // When will women have equal pay? // When will LGBTQ+ have job and housing protections? // When will we care about the homeless? // Why are politicians paid so much? // Why is our food covered in poison? // Please continue…
In my dreams, all these I scream and more. We rally, we fund raise, we wait for change. It is a slow infuriating road filled with haters.
I am most concerned with our best use of time on earth. Arguing with strangers is not it. And yet, I love that there are black people who will sit down with KKK members and say, look, get to know me and my people. That’s all I ask.
This breaking of bread must be how we channel what burns us into forging the metal that will strengthen society to come together again.
Please, do not punch a Nazi. Just don’t fucking do it.
Invite the Nazi to dinner. Ask him or her why. Have a conversation in person, not on social media. Observe each other face to face. Try to understand. Shouting is fury unrestrained and does not lead to progress on any side. We must talk slowly, eat slowly, digest slowly. Be slow to anger and quick to love.
Does love save the day? Honestly, I don’t know but when did it ever hurt?