Shameful

“There is no feasible excuse for…what we have made of ourselves. We have chosen to put profits before people, money before morality, dividends before decency, fanaticism before fairness, and our own trivial comforts before the unspeakable agonies of others.”
-Iain Banks, Complicity

The only thing that matters is how we treat one another. The rest, the dollar and blessing chasing, is shit, from top to bottom, as far as the eye can see.

Ponderings of an 8yo: Black Panther

As I think about it, I might have been 7. It was the early 70s and I had been reading a Marvel comic featuring the Black Panther. Growing up, I was one of those kids who seemed, to me at the time, to get picked on and ganged up on a bit more than others in the neighborhood, and at school. I wanted to be strong and to make all the things in my life that were a pain disappear. I couldn’t see, as a 2nd grader, that growing up and graduating from the public school machinery would do more to that end than muscles, tech, and at the time, tights.

BP was a strong character. He was a bad ass. And given the bullshit I was going through as a minor, and the fact that there really isn’t a manual to growing up, I wanted to be him.

My mother was in the den watching TV. It was a school night. I walked in and said, “Mama, I’m going to be the Black Panther when I grow up.” She looked at me, shook her head, and said, “Oh no. You’re not going to be a black panther.”

To paraphrase the immortal words of the Captain in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, what we had here was a “failure to communicate.” Mom was talking about the Black Panther Party, which got it’s start right around the same time the character entered the Marvel universe. Politics and war, and most of the other adult goings-on were mostly a blur to me at the time. That childhood ignorance made my mom’s reaction confusing. No one batted an eye at me wanting to be on the Enterprise bridge, fly like Superman, spin webs, or drive the Batmobile. I don’t remember questioning her. It was a little kid’s fantasy. Eventually I grew out of it. It was much later, after I learned a little bit about the party that I understood what my mom was talking about.

According to Wikipedia, the comic book character predates the founding of the party by a few months during the latter half of 1966,

The ‘price of freedom’

By @manhasruinedgod on Twitter

A high school football coach should be a hero for a winning season, not for dying protecting children in the line of fire. High school students should be crying over their crush or stressed about Homecoming, not wondering what to wear to their BFF’s funeral.
Go home tonight and hold your guns. Feel the cold metal on your skin and smell the gun powder and oil residue, and know that only in this country, your guns are worth more than the lives of our children.

Their warm hearts are now as cold as the guns you’re clinging to. Your illusion of safety is worth more than the blood being spilled in the hallways of our classrooms.
But let’s not talk about it now, or tomorrow when it happens again. Let these children die because “It’s the price of freedom!” (Bill O’Reilly, 10/17 after Vegas)

They want to restructure our schools into fortresses to prevent this from happening again. Where is the freedom for our children playing behind guard, gates, and guns? Is this what we imagined for our kids? A violent, fearful existence, where they’re not safe anywhere?

There have been 30 mass shootings, 18 of them at schools, all in the first 45 days of this year – this is our reality.

Tonight, look at your guns and remind yourself that it’s worth more THAN a child’s life, and you’re OK with that.