Thursday, December 31, 2015

I just don't GET IT...

It's the last day of 2015 and the time when so many of us take a moment to look back, before gearing up for the unknown that lies ahead.

2015 was a mixed year for me. Some amazingly wonderful moments (not enough of course), some uncertain, and some not so great. I'm an average person, I guess. But there's one thing I learned this year... in so many areas of life I DON'T GET IT!!! Maybe it's because I'm aging? Old fashioned? I don't know...but whatever the cause, here's my rant. (Please forgive me, those of you who are offended by my convictions. I understand they're mine, not yours. But thankfully I live in a country where I'm allowed to air them.)

Why is it okay to go out on Social Media, lie like a cheap rug and then get offended and vicious when  confronted with the truth? Why is it okay to make promises that are never kept and then not even bother to apologize? And why do people still buy into this bullshit? Seriously?

Encouraging stupidity.
We're faced with unrealistic images of women every day. Those trying to raise daughters fight it, those of us with common sense deplore it. But the advertising world ignores it and continues to present an ideal of beauty that is unattainable. And girls are still being bullied, starved or shamed.

Religious mayhem.
Apparently it has become okay to announce that your god, or your faith, demands you strap twenty pounds of dynamite to your chest, walk into someplace crowded, and detonate it. When did this happen? When did religions start pushing death instead of life? Terror instead of love? Show me the passages that say mass murder, beheadings, beatings and suicide bombing is encouraged. Go ahead. Show me. And when you can't, take a look at who you actually heard it from. I don't believe that person is a god... do you?

Political outrageousness.
This year's crop of presidential candidates has presented an embarrassing display of utter ignorance, bigotry and stupidity. It would take reams of blogs to go into detail, so I'll focus on the one most frightening one. The one who is veering dangerously close to a place none of us should be in. A place where "increased vetting" of immigrants is recommended. Where "screening stations" are supposed to be a good idea and where an entire race is going to be told "No Entry". Can we not see the parallels? Doesn't anyone realized that those statements are probably no more than five steps away from disaster? Do the words "internment camps" ring a bell? How about racial cleansing? Genocide? We're wandering too damn close to that edge, and too many people are ignoring the threat to the very foundations of this civilization that lies on the other side.

Racial hatred.
If California decided to invade Nevada, and destroyed every home in Reno, would we offer shelter to those displaced and homeless? I'd like to think so. But it would seem that the Syrians who find themselves in exactly that position, have been condemned along with their invaders. So no homes for them in all too many European countries. (Shame on you, Hungary. Haven't YOU learned from YOUR past?)

Okay, I'm a Brit, so I'm standing in a slightly different place, but I understand the Constitution. I understand the Bill of Rights. But I don't understand where it says that an automatic weapon capable of firing 300 rounds per second is the same as a Colt 45. Or a musket. I don't understand that I have to  undergo a lot of tests for a driver's license. A blood test for a wedding license. A background check and a drug test for more than a few jobs. But I can buy a gun, get a permit and (if I live in Texas), strap it to my hip and swagger into Nordstroms. Maybe. (Not sure about that, but you get my drift.) That is NOT OKAY. If everyone's gonna walk around like Wyatt Earp, we're going to end up with a 2016 version of the shootout at the OK Corral. In Dallas, for God's sake. That is not okay either.  Somewhere along the line it became okay to go out and shoot someone else. Well, here's the thing. Whether you're wearing a gang color or a badge, it's not okay. Our dedication to our right to bear arms has spiraled out of control. We should know better!!!

And before you deluge me with that NRA crap, think. I don't care about it. It would be better told to the families of those EIGHTY-EIGHT people who, on average, are going to DIE tomorrow due to gun-related violence. That is not okay. Look around you. Do you see people? If you see eighty or a hundred, imagine most of them dead. Because that's where we're at right now with guns in this great land of ours. Tell it to the families of churchgoers killed last summer - or the parents of that one-year-old little girl shot in her own home while playing with her Christmas presents. Yes, bullets go through walls. Everyone's life matters. Why aren't we believing that simple statement?

Maybe the new year will enlighten me. Or perhaps - just perhaps - a miracle will happen and we'll learn to love instead of hate, help instead of hurt, and hold out a hand instead of a gun. I can always hope...

Happy New Year - may yours be safe, loving, healthy and succesful.