This is me – checking in. I’m okay.
Except, I’m not okay.
I was so excited to write a new blog post. Mostly because I haven’t written one in a month, and a coherent one with pictures and stuff in longer detail.
I was gonna regale you with all the exciting changes happening to the RestlessMama family; about how school is over for the semester, and I’m switching programs; about the holiday of Shavuot we just had and the three cheesecakes that I baked; about how we’re MOVING to a bigger apartment (because, reasons*) and the necessary stress that entails.
Also, Passover and Independence Day are long gone and the RestlessMama family went on not one, but TWO trips involving car rides and being outdoors. I know; it’s a sign of the apocalypse.
And I have pictures to prove all this.
I bet that’s what you were expecting to have me write. It’s what I was planning the entire weekend/holiday.
I wanted to talk about all this stuff. And instead I have to talk about something else. I have to talk about unjust comparisons.
(okay, we all know that I don’t have to, but I am and that’s the point)
The entire internet world is all about what happened in Orlando. It’s getting round-the-clock coverage, and international displays of solidarity (even from the stupid people). Buildings are being lit up in rainbow lights and LED American flags, and there are lines that stretch for blocks with people who want to donate blood, or vampires who are really hungry.
And this is all well and good. This is what should happen when tragedy strikes.
Except when it doesn’t.
Except when one tragedy is, by some as-yet-to-be-defined set of rules, far more tragic and relevant than another.
Maybe it has to do with the number of people who were killed-slash-injured. Or their nationality. Or race. Or how much blood ended up on the ground.
Four days before Orlando, there was Tel Aviv. But nobody batted an eyelash. Global leaders took days before releasing statements condemning the attack in their usual words of bullshit. But nobody said anything about how they share our pain.
Most of the world had no idea it happened. It was quickly covered up by something else, something far less important; news outlets that did cover it butchered the facts and swept it under the rug.
[Note: I’m purposefully not linking to those articles because they don’t deserve the perpetuation of their butchering of the facts]
And those who did hear about it were just like “oh man, not again”. Which, to be quite fair, was my immediate reaction to the Sarona shooting. But I can do that because I FUCKING LIVE HERE.
If you don’t live where tragedy strikes you have no right to bitch about the fact that it’s happening again. You can relate, and you should – but you can’t moan about it.
You can be upset, as well you should. Because tragedy sucks, and all life is precious and valuable. Life is Life is Life.
Except when it isn’t.
When life is a tiny bundle of under-developed stem cells with unbridled potential to be anything, even the next Golda Meir (who was the first Hillary Clinton) – then life should be spared. Women are expected to jump through hoops to get an abortion. Most of the time they just give up, which leads to unhappy families and unplanned parenthood and a much bigger food stamp budget (which, let’s face it, isn’t as big as the politicians make it out to be, but by making a stink they take the focus away from events that matter)
But once that potential has been squandered – once it’s just a mass of writhing, sweaty, gay Latino bodies in a night club? That’s when the gun rights activists come out. That’s when Left and Right start bickering over who’s to blame and whose responsibility it is to clean up the mess of ringing cell phones.
Life is never equal.
Instead of trying to find the helpers as Mr. Rogers would have wanted, we’re trying to find the source of the problem. We’re trying to find the person to blame.
And so everything gets pigeon-holed. The victims, the survivors, the perpetrator. He was X, they were Y, it happened at Z.
We give everyone labels in the hopes that it can remove ourselves or people we associate with from the equation. Oh, he was a democrat, she was from this city, they dressed like that and believed in this.
We look at the facts, as a way to distance ourselves from the actual reality of what the fuck just happened. Or to squarely lay blame “where it rightfully belongs”.
And we start comparing this tragedy to that tragedy, these comments to those comments. Which one came sooner, which seems to be more legitimate and believable; and as soon as we start comparing notes, we start becoming divisive. You didn’t show support for our tragedy, but you did for theirs; this community received x funds for rebuilding and not that community.
And instead of solving the actual problem of a gun-toting maniac of who-gives-a-crap origins and backstory shooting up a supposedly “safe space” – we go to war with each other.
A civil war on terror, as it were.
Don’t talk to me about terrorist actions. Where was the world when Tel Aviv was bleeding? Where was the sympathy for our dead?
Gun toting maniacs were to blame in both situations. Religion is irrelevant, simply because I know not all Muslims are crazy. I speak from personal experience of hanging out with them in multiple settings, multiple times.
Islam really is a peaceful religion. Just like every other one. Peace and goodwill towards men, and all that crap.
The problems start when extremists start killing people in the name of the peaceful religion. Because, you know, reasons. It’s happened throughout history, and if you don’t believe me you should spend the next several hours of your life on Wikipedia. Start with the article on Partisanship.
It’s hard to make sense of senselessness. I guess that’s the bottom line in this day and age – when things don’t make sense you just ignore it or find some minute detail to latch on to. Or you drown your sorrows.
At least I have lots of cheesecake. I promise I’ll share the recipes next time.
*No, not those reasons. Not those either. No baby. Stop thinking that.