Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Baaaaahhh! We are sheep, and shock media is our shepherd.

I have two things to mention today.

First, I have been thinking since yesterday morning when I got to campus and saw the backpacks all over Prexy's Pasture, about suicide and how sad it is that so many people, including young people, get to a point that they feel like there is no reason to live. There were backpacks all over the field out there, for Pack in the Silence (do I have that name correct?), demonstrating the number of college students who kill themselves in this country every year. It was an impressive and very moving sight. We need to think more about why people are so desperate. Not just the social and socio-economic inequities that make people feel hopeless, but the fact that depression is still stigmatized.

So, the next issue just arose. I was on Facebook a couple minutes ago and saw a post from my conservative friend Silvie about having returned from WalMart, where she saw people of all ages who were just huge- obese, and opening up to conversation the fact that we need to take better care of our kids in this country because this just isn't healthy. So, I commented that we harp on Michelle Obama to leave our kids alone, but we don't care for them ourselves.

And I was attacked immediately. This guy Tom jumped to the conclusion that I want "Mama Obama" to take care of my kids instead. Now, how the hell do you come to that conclusion based on my words?

So, I am going to copy for you my response right here because, frankly, I am sick and tired of being attacked from all sides for trying to have reasoned discourse with people. My blood pressure rises, I feel it, and I get anxious every time someone throws some offhand comment without truly hearing what the other person says- without listening.

Here it is, and I dare you to misinterpret because you are a slave to the media shock talkers:

Tom, don't read what you think my lips are saying; read the words: WE DON'T TAKE CARE OF THEM. I don't think someone else should. As I told Sylvie (re: her comment... "unless we help ourselves first,") "WELL SAID." I'm a libertarian, man; I believe firmly it is OUR RESPONSIBILITY to take care of our own.

Sorry if I sound grumpy, but honestly, I am getting tired of trying to have a reasonable, thoughtful conversation with people and having them jump to conclusions. The radio and tv shock show hosts are doing too damn good a job getting people all up in arms in this country and we aren't talking and solving problems, just placing blame and making assumptions.

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