Kate Spade hung herself because the game of life sucks and she was done playing. Same goes for Anthony Bourdain. On the surface, they seemed to have it all – respect, money, travel, friends, fun. But, it’s clear they didn’t see what the masses saw, what WE saw. That makes them no different than the 45,000 or so other Americans this year who’ll punch their own Opt Out button, including military veterans, teachers, and children. Fucking CHILDREN, y’all. Doesn’t that bother you? What are we doing as a society to make even KIDS see death as their best option? Seriously, what in the actual hell have we become?!
One thing’s for certain: Too many of us don’t care enough to change. And by “don’t care,” I mean have no clue what’s really going on in the first place, and have no intention to learn what it is. What you don’t know can’t hurt you, right? Ignorance is bliss? If so, doesn’t that suggest enlightenment is torture? After all, you can’t un-see what you’ve seen. In itself, that might help my psyche wrap around the loss of Anthony Bourdain. And Kate Spade. And Robin Williams. Chris Cornell. Kurt Cobain. Hunter S. Thompson... If the people we look up to elect to delete themselves, what are we left to look up to? What is the lesson we’re supposed to learn?
By and large, Americans are self-centered and self-righteous, and we treat each other like shit. And don’t fool yourself – none of this “great divide” started with Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, although social media for sure allows us front row seats. Ever heard, “You always hurt the ones you love?” I’ve witnessed lousy behavior first-hand for decades on playgrounds and in places I’ve lived and worked. There’s evidence scattered throughout my own family, and even I’m not personally immune. We can argue into the next century about the causes that brought us here, and how long our disrespect for one another has been brewing, but what remains is the fact that – through our failures to adequately and effectively address issues like racism, climate change, immigration, poverty, mass killings, women’s health, and the escalating rates of suicide – our divisions are literally killing us.
|Oklahoma City National Memorial, Oklahoma|
For years, I imagined myself a beacon of reason. I encouraged communication and believed I was using my social media platform as a bridge. But, along with free speech often comes consequence. In a burst of anger, frustration, and despair, I asked my husband for a solution to the expanding chasm between friends, neighbors, family, and countrymen. If communication wasn’t the answer, I wondered, what could it be? “Shut up,” he answered. And then he added, as if trying to soften his message, “Stop talking. No one is listening.”
While he insisted he was referring to people “in general” on social media, and he hadn’t at all meant me, specifically, those aren’t exactly words a writer wants to hear. But, his statement has since turned out to be true. Aside from updating my profile and cover photos, I haven’t posted a thing to my Facebook timeline since May 30. I did upload a new BlogSpot post, “And Then There Was One,” on June 3. But, I haven’t promoted it anywhere. To the best of my knowledge, nobody’s noticed the change in activity on either page. I’d say something about anger, frustration, and despair, but I already have, and we can all see where that’s brought me thus far.
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So, I’m taking my husband’s advice. No more chatter about dead kids, gun violence, greedy corporations, and all the other evils of the world, because it’s true: No one’s listening. As in, no one cares. Not about the important stuff, anyway. Every time I get close to convincing myself otherwise – SPLAT! – back to earth I fall. Maybe this time I’ll finally learn my lesson and just turn on the damn TV. Anybody know when “The Twilight Zone” comes on?