Saturday, November 14, 2015

plain and simple

Unless you live under a rock or don't watch/listen to the news, you know what's happened in Paris yesterday.  Every time things like this happen, it seems like it's a chance for some to politicize it.  It doesn't matter how heinous the act or how many lives are lost- some just see it as a chance to put on their soapbox shoes and beat their chest in a vain attempt to be relevant.

Just stop it.  Please.

I'm not saying that you're not entitled to your opinion- you absolutely are, but haven't you noticed that with every single politicization of these things, it amounts to nothing?  Nothing changes at all, and the heinous acts continue and the tumult is again raised, and usually with more ferocity.

Each side - Left and Right - do this, every single time.  If it's a school shooting, the Left cries for more legislation and the right counters with something equally ridiculous.  The devastated families respond out of fear and longing, and we go around and around again.  If it's a terrorist attack, the Right responds with it's someone on the Left's fault and the Left responds with things like "think before we go to war" - and the whole cycle repeats again and again.

The reason we do this is simple- we want to think we have control and/or we want to think that there's something that should have been done to prevent it and that somebody dropped the ball.  The trouble here is that we don't have that control, and in 99.9% of the cases, there was no ball to drop.  The result of these silly and over-emotional responses is that we take our eyes off the problem, searching for something that is not there and never has been there- and try to find some highbrow and pseudo-intellectual way of enforcing the little "control" we have- and while that is going on, the evil-doers of the world plot and scheme and laugh at the paltry attempts.  The people that we have put in power are just as capable of making mistakes as everyone else is, but for some reason that is forgotten and an entirely new set of armchair quarterbacks are born.

So- with the advent of 120+ people dead and scores more wounded and an entire country living in fear, I read from some friends of mine that the President of the United States is somehow to blame for this because he did not stop it- you have simply got to be kidding me.  Is this really the time to finding blame?  Is anyone at all helped or aided by those efforts?  Is someone going to be bleeding less or have their dead loved one returned to them because you say that our POTUS is the one that should be doing something about something in another sovereign country?  Is this politicizing of an absolute tragedy going to help end this kind of thing?

The answer to that is a resounding "no" and quite frankly if you are the kind of person who goes right into the blame game like this, you are an asshole of the highest order.  You should forever shut your mouth.  And, yeah- I mean it just like that.  (This is no metaphor.  Shut the hell up.)  The only people that deserve the blame game are the ones that perpetrated the act.  And, even that should be fleeting at best, as we should all be doing nothing other than helping the survivors.

I propose this: If people spent as much time helping people as they do politicizing these things, we could probably fix it.  If we could avert our attention from ideas and efforts that are nothing more than chest beating and spend even half that time making real efforts- what kind of a world would we be living in?

No- I don't have the answer here, but I fear that the answer that is needed from a human involvement standpoint is one that few (if any) have the stomach for.  We need to fight this kind of thing in a real way- not with hyperbole and homile, but with actions and personal responsibility and above all, critical thought.  For me, my trust comes in the form of looking to God, but I know that doesn't work for everyone, and because it doesn't, it's incumbent upon me to demonstrate that I do care for my fellow humans in a way that they can see it.  God and I will converse (as we do frequently) but, in the meantime, I need to do something that demonstrates my faith in a real way to those that don't share my faith.

On a personal note, I have made more than my share of jokes about the French.  I have been to Paris, and while I think it's one of the most beautiful cities on this earth, I have had many issues with the people there.  Having said that, no matter my feelings on that matter, I am horrified at the events there.  Regardless of my feelings about the Parisians or France's participation (or lack thereof in some cases) in some world events, all that goes by the wayside in a big way when things like this happen.  Their blood is as red as mine, and the only real differences between me and the average Parisian are language and geographic location.  Everyone in France is someone's brother, sister, child, father or mother just as everyone here is.  I weep for them as I would for anyone in this situation.

In the meantime, if you feel compelled to politicize this act first, remember- you are an asshole.

Plain and simple.