Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why Am I So Angry?

Everyone with a brain should be as pissed as he is.
The other day I was watching Looney Toons with my kids, and one featured Bugs being drafted.  My 7 year old son asked me, "dad, what does it mean to be drafted?"  I answered him honestly, because as much as I hate it, I firmly believe that I can't shield my children from the truth.

"Well son, when you live in a country of free men, those men have a duty to their country.  In times of war, sometimes those men living in that country are called upon--drafted--to fight in war.  So every man in America has to sign up for the draft when he turns 18, just in case his country needs him to defend it."

My son immediately flipped out.  "What?!  I don't want to go to war and die!"

"Calm down, not everyone that goes to war dies, and besides the draft will likely never happen again," I explained, trying to calm him down.

"Well, I just won't sign up.  Why would they force people to do that?  Why do we even fight in wars?  Why do people have to kill each other?"

Me and Jack Jr.: unfortunately I'm wearing red.
What hurt most about this conversation was that I knew I didn't have any answers to those questions that would make him feel any better.  The answers shouldn't make anyone feel better.  "Son, we fight in wars because there are some men that would make other men their slaves.  And most of us would rather die fighting than be slaves.  Sometimes if you want to be free, or if you want to protect the freedom of other people, you're going to have to fight for it.  Unfortunately, some people die in that fight."

Of course that didn't assuage him.  He couldn't understand why someone would even put themselves in the position to face death.  So we had to talk about courage: that virtue of Aristotle that seeks to defy our human instinct of self-preservation.  I told him that courage means we do what we know is right even if we're afraid to do it.  To set an example to my son, I told him that I would rather die than be someone's slave, and if my country called upon me to defend our freedom, I would go willingly.

Indignant, frightened, and utterly shattered my son said to me angrily, "the world is a horrible place!"

I could actually hear my heart break in two.  I know every parent has to face that moment when their children realize that the world really does suck, but you're never really prepared for it, especially when they take it so badly.

He was right.  The world is a horrible place, and I brought my kids into it.  The world is horrible because we humans haven't figured out how to stop being raging assholes to each other.  Amazingly, we haven't determined that it's wrong to slaughter each other over ideas, resources, and power.  And I say "amazingly," because it's amazing that after so much suffering and sorrow we've wrought, we still continue to add to it.

One day, I won't be able to shelter my kids from the horrors of the world any longer, and they'll have to see for themselves just how terrible it is.  That makes me angry beyond belief, and my anger only intensifies when I think about how many people out there sit and squabble over how they want to fuck over old people on medicare: do we call it a block grant or a budget cut?

No.  Instead of talking about how we can usher culture and humanity into the next stage of evolution, we sit and piss at each other about who is more baised: Fox News or CNN.  We get all angry that Obama had the "audacity," to give DVDs as a gift to the queen (or whoever the fuck he gave them to).  We shit allover Bush for his decisions following 9/11 as if he had a fucking choice.

Our public education system is a complete joke, yet somehow we find a way to place so much importance on Kristin Stewart cheating on Robert Pattinson.  Well, people are being slaughtered in Syria and we just sit by watching the world burn--but holy shitballs at least the cast of Jersey Shore gets paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to be fuck offs.

Why am I so angry?  Because we humans--you, my loyal readers--deserve more, and we've been collectively tricked into thinking that this is the best we can ever hope for.

Actually, the better question is why aren't you so angry?

Sometimes, it feels like there's only one way to bring about real change.
George, John, Thomas and company would all agree.


Anonymous said...

Jackie, I've been mad for 25 years!

Harrison said...

Life ain't fair, logical, reasonable, or necessarily happy.

Tough to break it to him but, eventually, he'll realize it. Better sooner than later.

Man that sounded tough.

Silverfiddle said...

What Harrison said. You do your best in this vale of tears. Anything above nasty, brutish and short is icing on the cake.

Harrison said...

"Anything above nasty, brutish and short is icing on the cake."

Pretty much.