Sunday, July 21, 2019

Unconditional Surrender

One of my work colleagues found me yesterday in a comment section--I think it was It might have been Huffington Post Canada. Or maybe Macleans. I don't remember. They all blur into each other after awhile.

I don't even remember the topic anymore, either. They all blur into each other after awhile.

You may think I'm joking. I'm not. Internet comment sections are now so toxic that I think they should be abolished. The most innocent of topics quickly turns political and then turns hateful, with both sides firmly entrenched, lobbing logical fallacies at each other like grenades, impervious to fact, uncaring of any emotion that isn't theirs, and full of inhumanity. In this way, of course, they mirror the real world....the world we have to live in.

I was fully engaged with the latest in a never-ending series of online antagonists, when my colleague commented something along the lines of "Please stop throwing your love into a bottomless pit Ken".

That comment actually rocked me on my heels a bit, and it's had me thinking, very deeply, about life and my place in it.

My love is not infinite. I need to withdraw sometimes to recharge it. More and more often, lately, in fact, because he's right: I've been throwing it into bottomless pits...thinking maybe, just maybe, if I put enough love in, it might...I don't know...have an effect.

This is me, enacting something I've long railed against in society: the monkey trap. It's simplicity itself: put a coconut in a jar, and stipulate that the opening to the jar is just wide enough for an extended monkey paw to reach in...and too narrow for a monkey's clenched paw to come out.
The monkey will reach in, grab the coconut, and try to extract it. And try, and try, and try. If only I pull this gorilla-damned thing hard enough, thinks the monkey, I'll get that coconut! The concept of "letting go" doesn't enter the monkey's brain. It just tries harder and harder and that's how hunters kill monkeys.

Meet me, Mr. Monkey Man.

Try. Try again. Try harder. There's no such thing as a lost cause. Blah blabbledy-bullshit.

Even as some people inch closer and closer to accepting my partners and understanding their integral role in my life (thank you), others do not. That is, of course, their choice...but the way my relationships are fundamentally mischaracterized and minimized is hurtful and offensive. You would not believe the names I have been called by people I once thought might know me well enough by now to know they do not apply. At all.

I've said this before. Call it shock and despair: I really thought time would ameliorate the situation. It has worked its magic in some ways, but emphatically not in others.

When it comes to politics, it's even more dire. I can't state a position without being mocked, misquoted, and otherwise flamed. For caring about people. That's apparently a mortal sin to some nowadays.

When the mass exterminations start up in the United States in the not-so-distant future, the same people hating me online will be cheering it all on. Again, you think that I am joking. I am deadly serious: the mass exterminations in the United States will be underway in the next electoral cycle, or the one after that at the latest. I'd love to be proven wrong--how I'd love to be proven wrong!

I stand by this prediction no matter who wins the election in 2020. Unless the stock market collapses in the interim (a distinct possibility), I firmly believe Donald Trump will win re-election. His support is unfathomably high even to people like me, who at least understand why so many voted for him the first time. (If you're one of those who doesn't, think about how you'd feel after forty years of being called names like 'deplorable' and treated as if you're the shit on someone's shoe. There comes a point when the alienated embrace being aliens.)

I'm about at that point myself in many ways.

I'm done defending myself. Say what you want about me. Everything you have ever heard about me is true, including all the stuff you just made up. I don't care anymore. Caring what other people think may be the biggest monkey trap of all.

I will still stand up for someone I love, though, so beware of that. You can slap my cheek and I'll offer the other one, but don't you dare insult someone I care about.

That is all.

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