So be it.
Though I could, I won’t blame it on the holiday. I was working anyway. Someone must, right?
And with that, the work continues. But today, as in here and now, I work at this.
Why, you could ask. And though it would be effortless to leave you in suspense, I shan’t. Because effortless is the easy way out. And although I don’t believe that you should make your life up of total impossibilities, I still see the constant striving for the easy way as the ultimate decadence. One which we can no longer afford.
We’ll go at it. And without lending it any of our power.
I’d imagine you’ve all seen it by now. Reports said it was up on that social site for three hours. Which is impressive, considering if you posted something featuring the copywritten music of some bullshit popstar, it would probably be taken down faster.
And so, the world watched, over and over, and over, and over again- from the first video source as it trickled through the swamps of media. I did. You probably did. We all probably did. We watched him plead for sanity. And we saw him denied passage. We watched him drop. We watched it pool around his opened skull. And we listened. To the request. To the bang. To the rant that followed. And his face. Both of their faces. But the world is only still looking for one of them. The other has a known location. If I had to guess, it’s a morgue in Cleveland. Or a funeral home. I’m not sure when the services will be.
And now, blame games unfold. It’s the media. It’s gun laws. It’s the internet. It’s the cops. It’s black on black crime. It’s liberals. It’s mental health. It’s neo-Nazis. It income inequality. It’s the President. It’s them. It’s their fault. They did it. They set it up so things like this keep happening.
They did it. It was them. They. Not us, them. Not me, you. It’s their fault. Them.
So, tell that to the fourteen people who needlessly lost their grandfather. Nine who lost their father. There were great-grandchildren as well. Tell them that it wasn’t your fault, for all the piss that’s worth. I’m sure that will put their souls at ease.
No, no it won’t. Nothing will. Only time will teach them to accept their tragedy. Or it won’t. Some folks never learn to accept some things. Because for something like that, there is no easy way out. It is constant effort, in some way, shape or form.
But someone has to be blamed. It must be someone’s fault, right?
The blame of murder goes to the murderer. That’s easy enough. His actions pulled the trigger. It was his words. His gun. His choice. Mentally ill or not. He still did it.
This wasn’t a battle or self-defense. This wasn’t a quick and neat whack from a mobster, done discreet with no evidence left. This wasn’t for turf or territory. This was a spectacle. Intended to be received as such, and would you go figure, it worked.
Want to know how I know that it was designed for spectacle?
Because it was designed for spectators. I watched it on someone’s phone, who saw it somewhere on social media. That spread until someone working in television news got their hands on it. Then they could throw their sensational quasi-journalistic approach to it. You know, build the characters. Pull the heartstrings. Clips of crying family members. Pictures of the smiling deceased. And the most unflattering pictures of guilty hands. So that made the evening news. Right before the populous goes to sleep. And while they slumbered, the story worked. By morning, the manhunt had grown. Interstate. The stories grew deeper, as any information ripe enough to spin, was spun. I haven’t checked in a while, but I know the opinions are out there now. Like I said, the blame game.
But I’d like to try and end that game. Because it isn’t fun and games are supposed to be fun. And, life is not to played exclusively as a game. There is responsibility, and here is yours. Ours.
We paved the way for this. All of us. We waste the tools of instant communication for pettiness and such is the price. Humanity grows bored with being able to know everything all the damn time. Things that would be considered horror are normal. Even this, I watched without flinching. If I were a better human, it would have brought me to tears.
We paved the way with constant observation but no engagement. We watch without learning. We watch without feeling. Anything and everything we want. It’s all there and we couldn’t be less impressed by it all. And that is not just a youthful thing. The older generations are no better. All that information and they waste their time on poorly hashed out ramblings. Finding nonsense to reinforce old, stubborn opinions.
So, do you shut down your phone? Unplug the television and leave it all alone? You could. That might work. But I cannot say it will work for all.
We can start simpler. So maybe when someone shows you a video like that, you say you don’t want to watch it. Or you can at the very least, report it to someone who can or will do something about it. It was Easter Sunday, after all. I know you Christians make a big fuss about all of that, but I think that Jeshua cat would shit a brick if he saw such behavior on a feast day in his honor. And I think even more at the rest of us than the murderer. People get killed by other people every day. That’s nothing so new. But billions of folks watching and nearly all of them doing nothing? That would probably churn his stomach.
But not everyone did nothing. Even on the holiday.
Someone nearby likely called 911 after hearing the gunshot. Love them or hate them, the cops have been looking for this guy since they got wind of it. Medics and EMT’s did what they could to keep or bring life back to the man shot, no matter how futile. As did doctors and nurses, once they got to whichever hospital he was likely declared dead in.
Because some folks still work, no matter what the rest of the world is celebrating or cowering from. Even the Firemen were there, I’m sure. Likely helping out everyone else in whichever way they could.
Besides, someone has to hose all of that blood off of the sidewalk. Don’t want the kids to see something like that. Outside of their phones, at least.
And with all that said, I don’t think we’re are doomed. Not totally. Not quite yet. But the odds are against us. And we cannot do this without one another.