Be Offended — PART THREE
I have been many other places along the way where that day has not yet arrived (although, in the interim, perhaps it has). Having lived in San Francisco I know the day has most certainly arrived “there.”
The day has arrived in Los Angeles and Miami and Chicago.
Probably St. Louis to a great extent by now. Maybe Austin. Perhaps a bit in Philadelphia. Maybe a great deal these days in Denver. Somewhat.
That covers a great percentage of ground, population-wise, doesn’t it? Big cities being what they are.
And if every LGBTQIA…in the country…moved to one of those places and all lived in the same condo (once a dream in San Francisco’s Castro district) perhaps, aside from some regular infighting, there might be some decent peace and quiet.
But they don’t. And they won’t. And I know they haven’t. Want to know how I know this? Want to take a wild guess? Because I know a couple — by which I don’t mean a hooked-up couple — right here in my semi-rural part of Tennessee. And they are fucking miserable.
Because they cannot leave.
Because their partners are nearby but not quite, and they also cannot leave. And they live a life in hiding. Almost like squirrels. Getting what they can during the day, running away from “people,” then hiding out from predators at night in their nests.
And that’s life. Here. And, in fact, most places. And we’re talking now about the lucky ones. The ones who don’t get constantly fingered and harassed. Some of them are on this very platform. Some of them have been beaten to near death.
Oh. Was that word offensive?
That happens here. In Tennessee. Even in places like Nashville and Memphis. Our “big” cities. The community is regularly murdered with impunity here. Prick up your ears (and do you get that reference? If not, this is a sign as to the many reasons why you might find yourself offended).
How many steps of separation do you believe there are between one community and another? How many people do you believe exist behind any one label? Are you just a “woman”? Are you unlike a trans woman, then? Unlike your gay brother? How much unlike a man are you?
And yet today we are so enthralled with drawing up our labels, “I am this” “I am that” “This defines who I am” raising these labels to the sky to identify ourselves proudly, sometimes with hyphens, sometimes without. Segregating ourselves in safe spaces. Me me me even when we aren’t good singers.
“But why not hide in safe spaces when they are killing us?”
“Well, why not confront the killers and stop the killing?”
“I don’t have to worry about that, the poor things, because that’s not me, after all. I’m an empath!”
So much of social media today exists as a platform for pyramiding bullshit, life-coaching, self-loving, “empathic yogis” selling their advice, clothing, wall-mountings, books and candles. Yes, right here in River City as well.
All the while missing the point of what is happening in the lives of real people with their real needs. Real people across the board and around the world. Problems that actually cannot be resolved by vaginal-scented effusions, quotes from movie stars or misquoted recommendations from Psychology Today.
So the bulk of us — and when I say bulk I do mean BULK — are caught in a vice between several groups pressing us together upon…ourselves. And we constantly ask, “What is the cause, the nature of our anxiety?”
Well, that’s one answer.
You cannot look at the problems in your life and think The Universe is causing them for you, ignoring the fact that The Universe is causing them for everyone.
Is my offensiveness creating some resolution, my postmodern approach providing an answer to everyone’s problems as though it were a product of genius?
At this point if anyone is still reading it’s probably a shock. Why? Because I didn’t sell them something they wanted in the first two paragraphs.
Think things are going to improve now that we are in the midst of a pandemic that — YEAH — has no sign of relenting over at least the next year or two?
Fucking kidding me?
But, there’s hope. There’s always hope. And you can join ranks to become part of the solution instead of sitting passively by and being victimized by the problem.
Become more offensive!
But do it intelligently.
Do notice I said “you” and not “we” because I’m out of this. Find your personal point of attack and get to it. For my money (and here comes the only pun, Lee) you need to get directly after the marketers. Oh, yeah, baby. Undermine the capitalist system at its core.
I know these poor marketers are thinking, “How am I supposed to pay the rent and feed my dogs?”
Who cares? Not my problem, not yours, either.
In fact, educate the marketers on how to cooperatively — there’s a fun word — “market” to the politicians so that they and everyone else can get the support we all need from government until everyone can go back to work at real jobs again. Maybe get the government to actually do something about creating said jobs. For once.
Instead of telling everyone to go to grad school. As if they could.
As if they were a bunch of benighted baboons.
Who knows? Maybe we’d all get together and be so busy getting them so busy that they’d stop nosing around in our public bathrooms and we’d stop killing each other because of who our parents were and who we sleep with.
It would almost be like the Sixties again. Before the baboons. Just, you know, “Stop the War” and shit.
Which war? I don’t know. Aren’t there several going on already? If not, they’ll find a way to start one soon, I’m sure.
So, why “you” and not “we”? Take a look at how many people are “clapping” for this screed. You can probably do a better job.
I’m done. Peace out.