As I mentioned in my last blog, my priorities these days have had to shift considerably with finishing a myriad of home improvements. Well, I am proud to report that we anticipate 100% completion by the Labor Day weekend. As for the spa bathroom I mentioned… the jetted soaker tub had its maiden voyage a week ago. Mind you, I hadn’t finished painting the door trim until yesterday, so I have yet to experience the full spa atmosphere of closing the door. Hard to, when there is no door. There will be after tonight though. Complete with lock. Yay!
A word to fellow newbies to the jetted tub scene: One to two squirts of body wash will produce plenty of bubbles. (Lesson Learned: Six squirts = Bobby Brady’s first laundry attempt)
So now onto my rant… err… umm… I mean… blog.
It’s gonna be a rant folks.
And it’s not going to be under 700 words. Go get a coffee, or go pee. Whatever you need to do to get you through to the end of this. I respectfully request your full attention today.
Although I had planned to wash and caulk all of the baseboards in the basement tonight, I was sidelined by a traffic issue on the way home from work with hubby tonight. We came to an abrupt slowdown almost as soon as we entered the holy grail of the highway—the HOV lane. After trudging our way for about twenty minutes, I decided to ask Auntie Google what was going on. Auntie Google informed me that there was a “police investigation” on the bridge we must cross.
After calling the dentist to let them know that my husband was not going to make his appointment (cue his silent cheers), we resolved ourselves to just being patient. There was no point in getting off the highway, because every other artery was already heavily clogged.
Then Auntie Google informed me that the “police investigation” was actually someone attempting to jump from the bridge. My heart sunk. Another one. The tears welled up in my eyes and my heart did its best to reach out to that person and wrap my arms around them.
What desperation must a person feel to have reached that point?
I don’t know what their breaking point was, but I know what mine had been in the past. Depression and mental health issues are not something I wish on my worst enemy.
Our commute is normally 40-50 minutes, but today was 2 hours and 40 minutes. There was no snow to blame for the collapse of the traffic conditions—the blame could only be pointed at the collapse of someone’s emotional strength.
I repeatedly turned to Auntie Google for updates, and she, as usual, had to deviate from the information I was looking for and hit me with her negativity. As I’ve written before, her behavior can be quite off-putting at times. Today was no different.
The negative, insensitive, brutal, and plain disgusting comments that people felt the need to post on various social media outlets made my blood boil. It put me over the edge. I felt as though I could not keep my mouth shut about this one.
How could our society, our civilization, be so cold, so vile, so insensitive?
Merriam-Webster’s “simple” definition of civilized is:
: marked by well-organized laws and rules about how people behave with each other
: polite, reasonable, and respectful
: pleasant and comfortable
Merriam-Webster’s “full” definition of civilized is:
: characteristic of a state of civilization <civilized society>; especially: characterized by taste, refinement, or restraint
“Taste, refinement, or restraint.”
I fully accept that I am not in the upper percentile of the intellects on this earth, but do any of you agree that we should not be using the term “civilized” with the collective’s behavior?
Have we, as a society, all been assimilated into the collective, and now all live in that Borg cube thing on Star Trek? That place where one crazy-ass ruler allows us to only behave in the way he programs us to? Is King Borg to blame for this insane behavior? (Sorry Trekkies. I’m sure I’ve insulted all of you with that comparison and butchery of terms.)
Let me get back to being serious again.
One of Kelly Clarkson’s most recent releases, Piece by Piece, describes how broken a father has left his daughter; and the man (her husband) who is piecing her together again. The daughter being Kelly.
Shortly after her emotional performance of that song on American Idol, I remember seeing comments that she was “damaged.”
Aren’t we all?
Rather than standing up and applauding her for her strength to expose some very deep wounds to the world, we’re going to choose to trash her?
What is wrong with you people?
One of the greatest gifts of an artist is that they have the strength to reveal and share their life experiences with the world. Whether it’s through a painting, sculpture, song, or poem; they share them so that we realize we are not alone. We are not unique. Kelly’s words should be revered. There is no doubt in my mind that her words and vulnerability, have allowed someone (many ones, actually) to stand a little bit taller, and fight a little bit harder. I do my best to distract myself ever-so-slightly when that song comes on the radio. Despite how beautifully haunting it is, if I allow myself to become deeply submersed in it, I will sob uncontrollably… again.
I’m going to use Ms. Clarkson as the segue to my next example of our failings as a “civilization.”
In an interview, she once discussed the negative attention she has received over the fluctuation of her weight. She seemed to be unaffected by the criticism, but I’m sure there is a part of her that feels like a wounded kitten. I know that I wanted to hug her and protect her upon hearing that.
With the voice of an angel, and the seemingly upright morals of someone I can say could be categorized as being “civilized,” she is going to be damned by the faceless masses who look for any opportunity to expose their cyber-balls for anyone who will look.
Me = disgusted
To be honest, my most recent separation from social media during my reno distraction has been thoroughly refreshing. As I stated in my last blog, I’m not going to highlight the topics that have wounded my soul, but they are certainly not in short supply.
Will Christina Aguilera’s song Change help? One can hope, but one shouldn’t hold one’s breath because it seems as though “civilization” is on a very focused path right now. A path to turn this world into a bucket of crabs. A society where the masses choose to live stagnant lives, but want to make sure that they keep pulling their neighbors back down so they never accomplish greatness.
Or, gawd forbid—feel good about themselves.
Could we please erase the term “shaming” from the world?
Urban Dictionary? Please? Please can we stop acknowledging this behavior?
No more fat shaming, skinny shaming, slut shaming, body shaming, victim shaming, food shaming, math shaming—whatever the shaming du jour is. Please grow the hell up and know that:
- Kelly Clarkson has about ten gazillion dollars more than you will ever have whether she’s a size zero or a size twelve (and has more talent in the hangnail on her left pinky than the masses as well)
- Selena Gomez will always be intelligent and beautiful regardless of the fact that you chose to quit your education and not take care of your personal hygiene
- Ethiopian swimmer Robel Kiros Habte may have a little insulation around his midsection, but… HE QUALIFIED FOR THE FRIGGEN OLYMPICS!
So as you, Captain Shamer, enjoy your bag of Doritos and case of Twinkies, I hope you will keep the faith that Twinkie Consumption will surely qualify as one of the new sports at the Olympics one day. You keep “training” and strengthening your cyber-balls, buddy. You’ll make it one day.
I guess what you could call this is “bully shaming.” Shall we hastag it?
How about if we all start living up to that thing Merriam-Webster so naively refers to as a civilization?
I dare you.
I double-dog dare you.