Let’s Pretend

Let’s pretend

Just for a minute 

Let’s pretend 

that I’m not a 

whiny, entitled, libtard, idiot. 

Let’s pretend 

Just for a minute 

That you’re not a

Redneck, racist, asshole. 

Just for a minute

Let’s pretend that there is more to your story than the soundbites the media feeds us about you and your kind acting with hate. 

Let’s pretend 

Just for a minute 

That there’s more to my story than the soundbites the media feeds us about me and my kind acting entitled and looking for a handout. 

Let’s pretend 

For a minute or two

Or maybe an hour

That the full complexity of you or me cannot be summed up in 30 seconds of yelling on tv in a volatile situation filtered by the powers that own the media who can’t stand the thought that we might stop fighting and figure out the wizard is behind the curtain frantically manipulating the special effects. 

Let’s pretend we’re humans who are in this together. Let’s pretend we don’t hate each other and maybe only misunderstand where the other is coming from. 

Let’s pretend we can talk to each other 

and listen to each other with open hearts and closed mouths and open minds. 

Let’s pretend. 

Just

For

Minute

Blinders

It’s like we are standing facing each other. So I can see what’s going on behind you and you can see what’s going on behind me. But neither of us can see behind our side. 
I see posts about people who feel freed to act out against those damn [racial slur deleted] or [religious slur deleted] in the way they always wanted. Because they think it’s okay now. 
I see posts about how the rioting protesters are acting ridiculous and should just shut up and go home. 
But I don’t see these posts from the same people. It’s like we don’t even see the same things. 
We are all self feeding our own points of views with the tv we choose and the internet we select. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t watch what you want. I’m just saying to take off our blinders and seek out more than one or two information sources. Don’t assume that the other party is lying just because you don’t agree. 
We will have to find a more middle ground which means everyone will need to listen more. And listen to more sides than just our own. 
I love you. I love you as more than your politics. I want you to do the same. Project your own feelings of dismay or disenfranchisement or fear onto the other side. They are feeling it too. Either that is why you wanted change or that is the reaction to this change. 

We can no longer afford to be stubborn polarized cronies. Or we’ll see it all come to a terrible end. And the people who will lose aren’t any of those candidates…it’ll be the regular folks. 

The thing to do. 

The only thing I know for sure is that love is the way. The way through. The way over. Around. The way to the other side of hate and negativity to see the fear that motivates it. So, I love you. 

I love you if you voted the same as me. I love you if you voted differently. I love you in spite of, or maybe because of, our differences. 

What we need now is love that is fierce and powerful and raging. That burns with a fire through the bluster to the truth. The truth that you are scared of something, change maybe. 

We need radical empathy and compassion. We need to build a generation of young adults (not just one), that is far more lovingly connected and able to empathize with one another. 

We are too enamored of our comparisons and dichotomies. We cannot continue in this us/them divisive culture. We must connect and socialize and interact across boundaries and walks of life. The things that divide us must go. These constructs of separation must be dismantled so we can see each other in the light. 

We aren’t as different as we seem. 

We must find a way to talk to each other that doesn’t involve name calling and visciousness. We must listen to each other and hear each other. We must find a way to heal our wounds and love each other forward to anew world. 

Lies and stuff. 

People often tell me things. Or reveal themselves when I happen to notice. I’m a fairly good listener. Or at least, I’m quiet, which is often mistaken for listening. I tend to listen and evaluate and pay attention a lot more than folks realize, I guess. It’s a learned mechanism, for the most part, from feeling awkward in new social situations and having the experience often since we moved a lot when I was younger. 

Most of the time I think they are telling me the truth, at least as they know it to be. 

I only know of one person that I caught out in a blatant and complete untruth. Mostly because he made up a story based on something that I said, but he wasn’t listening or wasn’t familiar with a term I’d used and so his premise to the story was completely off base. 

***

When we were in our teens my best friend and I became involved in Rennaisanse Faires. She started going out with a fellow she met at a faire who went by the name of Fidget.  I can’t remember his actual name, though I’m reasonable sure I knew it at the time. 

Over the course of their relationship we began to suspect that he was something of a pathological liar. We mostly felt that the real proof that he was not a member of a top secret Japanese martial arts gang was the fact that he told us about it. He had a couple stories that he liked to tell that we had a fairly good idea weren’t true but since he was mostly amusing, no one seemed to be getting hurt, and she really did like him, we just sort of went along with it. He was one of those guys who would hear your story and have a “me too” and “I was there” amendment. 

***

When I was 13 or so, I went with my grandma on this fantastic trip to Africa with long layovers in New York and London coming and going. One of the things that we did while in London was to take a tour down the Thames River  on a boat called The Marchioness. A few weeks after we returned home there was an accident where a garbage skow* rammed into The Marchioness, tearing it in two and sinking it. This seemed like quite a coincidence and certainly lucky for us that it didn’t occur while we were there. 

*if you, like Fidget, don’t know, this is a boat that carries garbage. 

****

We were talking about this weird accident that happened with the boat in London. He picked up the “me too” ball and ran with it. According to him he was sitting on a park bench overlooking the river when it happened. He was close enough to see the truck driver’s look of horror as he careened out over the river and crashed into the boat. It was very exciting and traumatic. 

So, yeah. We knew for sure after that that he was full of it. We would laugh about it, but for whatever reason never called him out on it. 

Eventually the bag of things wrong with him became heavy enough that she let him go. Not specifically for the bs he would say, but I’m sure it was a factor. 

Modern Landscapes 

   
    
 

Argentinian Book Tango

So some books feel like they are shouting.  It’s like all the emotions are turned up a notch and there is no real let up all the way through. At they end you feel kind of wrung out like you were the one doing the yelling. It kind of clouds the issue of whether a book is good or not. It’s almost like you can’t hear the story because of the noise. 

We need to be given some places to rest, I think. Some moments that are less dramatic. The way they do in the Argentine Tango. 

My understanding of the basic tango step is that it’s:

Quick, quick, slow, slow, slow. I think of it as:

T.A. _N_G_O_

So in this dance you’re doing with your partner (as you might call your reader) is made if long slow moves broken up by fast snaps of steps. According to Len Goodman, one of the judges on Dancing With the Stars, there needs to be light and shadow.  If it’s all fast paced, then it’s sort of frantic, overwhelming and hard to follow. 

There needs to be a push and pull and stops and starts. It can’t be all starts after all. Just give us a little downbeat in the rhythm sometimes so we can catch up. 

The tortoise and the hare. 

So this story has always sorta bothered me. 

Not so much as a story, but for the lesson I’m supposed to learn from it. 

As a person who’d usually most identify as the turtle in this story, I know I am supposed to take away the idea that hard work, perserverence, and a methodical approach can win the day against speed and flash. Slow and steady wins the race. 

The problem, as I see it, is that a rabbit will always beat a turtle in a foot race. Unless, as the story illustrates, the rabbit is a complete fuckoff and is off napping while the turtle maintains his grueling pace and determined focus all the while. 

The problem is that there are a lot of focused and determined rabbits out there.  And those are hard to beat. 

So maybe the lesson isn’t so much about whether or not you can beat the rabbit at his event. Maybe the lesson should be to decide if that’s even the race you want to run. And if it is, maybe the rabbit isn’t the yardstick you use to measure yourself against in the first heat. 

Maybe you need to pace yourself against an armadillo first.  Or train with the rabbit so you both get better and maybe you can develop more rabbit like tendencies in your racing.  

I don’t know all the answers. I do know that you can totally beat that guy as long he doesn’t stay on the path or takes a nap or stops to eat or just generally does something that takes him out of the race so you can toil on into infinity and glory is not the lesson I want my kid to learn. 

The real challenge for me is that I identify with both the turtle and the rabbit. Which is to say that I feel slow and steady but I also have a tendency to meander and wander off to take a peak at things and smell the flowers and use run on sentences. 

And I’m okay with that. It does mean that I might not be the first in line to win in the rabbit race.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t win. Because…

this may come as a surprise,

but…

THAT IS NOT THE ONLY RACE!!

It really isn’t. (But it sure seems like it sometimes, doesn’t it?)

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