Friday, August 27, 2021

Friday Five - Bad and Good

This world, this week. This year? This past 18 months. This past four years. This decade? Weeks like this it feels like a pounding down and a pushing in from all sides. 

We've got terror in Afghanistan, US service people and Afghans dead and wounded. The clock ticks to get everyone out and there is literally nothing to do to help people on the ground. We can't help our troops or the people they're trying to help and we can't help the people being left behind under a regime that is intent on murder. People are quiet about what is happening, and I get it - what the fuck is there to say or do? Stating the obvious - that war is dangerous as fuck for US troops and civilians caught in the crossfire? That terrorism and extremists cause irrevocable harm in this world? That the United States spread fuck ups in the Middle East in general and Afghanistan in particular across at least four presidents and all of them and every goddamn person behind those presidents carries blame as well? I think being willing to do anything to help and having no avenue to do so is a hard thing to sit with and I think most of us are experiencing this right now and punching out at each other. The goal of every mission is obviously no US or civilian casualties but the reality of war is different. You can't get back a life. You can't return a family member to these military families now experiencing tremendous loss. You cannot restore civility to civilians who have lived and died in the shadow of this for the past 20 years and will now face the reckoning and wreckage going forward. Did anyone actually think we were going to extricate from a 20 year war that carried through four American presidents with ease? The best laid plans and not the best laid plans are all so fucking perilous in this situation - like do keyboard warriors actually think the commanders of US forces had no "plan?" Of course they had a fucking plan. Nothing is guaranteed safety. Knowing that doesn't make the peril and helplessness any easier to see happen. I hope rage energy is channeled into pushing for acceptance and aid for refugees in this country and pay increases and full and robust healthcare for U.S. troops. And not sending them to unwinnable wars in impossible situations in the first fucking place. Just because we can ask US service people to put their lives on the line because they signed up for that doesn't mean we should. Thank God they are there performing miracles to get people out but this country and its government needs to learn to not put them in these positions in the first place. And the rest of us need to realize blind patriotism and never questioning anything serves none of us, most especially the people we send out to uphold that Americanism - whether it truly be our ideals or our defense or to fight a rich man's war - in situations the rest of us would never want to find ourselves in.

On this soil there's a war between people who are over Covid or always have been and people trying to listen to science and do the right thing. This is a global issue and not an America-only issue. The bitching about masks and vaccine mandates is driving me fucking insane. You've always been required to get vaccinations to do so many things including go to school. Nurses, doctors, and hospital staff are getting drug under another wave and everyone is out here acting a fucking fool. 

Devastating flooding in the south. Insane wildfires in North America and Europe. Remember Haiti was rocked by an awful earthquake? 

And of course always everywhere people are hungry or without resources and opportunities, kids with no school supplies or food or love, people with no housing, a healthcare system that is serving no one, people crushed under systemic racism and misogyny, on and on and on within these borders and outside of them. 

Then your normal life shit work and bills and responsibilities and interpersonal shit and illness or loss or grief or rage or crumbs on the counter or dog shit on the floor. The world keeps turning within us and without us. 

Having the privilege to keep a good thought for everyone in danger and suffering from anything, anywhere, while stepping out from the Death Star turning looks like this for me today:

1. We've got Billy unbothered. It's like he's always been here. We're pretty good at integrating animals by now and it appears that that extends to cats. 

2. This book is violent and devastating and beautiful. Trigger warnings for rape and violence but if you can do it, it's worth it. It's sitting in my stomach and lodged in my throat.

3. Back to the shore tonight, last weekly guests this week. I'll be there until the Wednesday after Labor Day. I have one more weekend check in and I'm hoping this is the last year for that. We'll see. 
4. Deconstructed hamburgers always and forever.

5. Building out my office gallery wall some more with Goodfellas, 90210, Stand By Me, and Vision Quest art. I finally got a cork board and wall mounted paper holder up. Thanks to Dad for hanging. 

I hope you take a breath this weekend, have a nap, put the phone down, go outside, read a book, go for a drive, recharge yourself. Step gently in this world. Do something small to help someone who needs it. Take care of yourself so we can take care of each other. 

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