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fictionary… 8 megapixel artist… bloody awful poet.

Archive for the tag “followers”

If a Tree Falls

tree falls png

I have never been a successful writer.  I’ve never won a single award for writing.  I’ve never been a best-seller on any list, anywhere.  I have fewer than a thousand followers of my blog.  I don’t drive dollars, pageviews, or likes.  My words have never been found on a shelf in any library.  As writers go, I have not been quoted in another book; I’ve not spoken at a conference, or given a talk that was recorded for play on anyone’s YouTube channel.

If a tree falls in the forest, does anyone know I’m a writer?

I once asked someone who knows me well, “What if I just stopped writing?”  They answered, “Better chance of you becoming a woman.”  Okay, if that’s true, what prompted me to ask that question?  Then I remembered I also once asked this person, “Can’t I just be a posthumous success?” 

And no, I didn’t like their answer to that question, either.

Pausing as I write this, I remind myself that only 20 to 30 people will ever read these words.  But I’m still writing them.  I just don’t know why.  I’m hoping that one day, before I stop for good, I will.

 

© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday

If It Makes It Any Easier

evil

 

“If it makes it any easier for you, remember…

…you’re not voting FOR a candidate.  You’re voting AGAINST their followers.”

#vote  #followers  #minions  #crazyassmotherfuckers

(my Facebook post from 7:14am Tuesday, November 8th, 2016)

People took it for a joke.  On Facebook it’s what I’m known for.  Funny post.  Funny comment in a thread.  Always making with the joke in a moment of seriousness.  I explain it as one of many coping mechanisms for dealing with the darker things in life.  I had already written a serious post on my WordPress blog that morning about something historical (historically tragic) that had been on my mind for weeks.  A semi-veiled warning about what happened when good people let bad things happen to other good people in the previous century.  Yes, it was cautionary.  But no, I didn’t think those who were reading that blog post really needed cautioning, did I?

Really?

Guess I was wrong about that.  For the final time.

In the past week, stories, often unconfirmed, have begun to surface.  Not over the acts of the President-Elect and his preliminary choices for cabinet positions and other political appointments.  Given the make-up of the Senate, while those things might be carrying a feeling of urgent dread for about half of America, they are as done a deal as the election itself.  This post isn’t about that, because this post isn’t about politics.

This post is about human beings.

Or should I say what I said in one of the hashtags, above…

#crazyassmotherfuckers

Just in the last 48 hours or so, different stories than those above have begun to surface.  Stories that have gone without media attention.  Stories that, if they were not shared in the context of a Washington political attention grab, would be quickly dismissed as “isolated” incidents from unrelated parts of the country.  But they aren’t unrelated, any more than they are isolated.  Because we are all hearing them.  Not in your Facebook feeds.  Not through some crazy URLs.  Not from total strangers with unknown agendas.

But from our own unimpeachable sources.  Our least crazy, most reliable, always trustworthy, never lied to you about anything before, friends.

If it hasn’t already happened to you.

Two examples.

Example number one…

At a restaurant on the east coast, a middle-aged Caucasian woman was confronted by a (presumably) drunk twenty-something Caucasian man.  As witnessed by one of my least crazy, most reliable, always trustworthy, never lied to me about anything before, unimpeachable sources, the man was clearly heard shouting at the woman,

“Your kind will all be behind the wall soon!”

Then my least crazy, most reliable, always trustworthy, never lied to me about anything before, unimpeachable source told the (presumably) drunk, twenty-something Caucasian man that he was making no sense, and was disrespecting a woman.  His response to this friend was,

“You didn’t see all that went down, cunt!”

Example number two…

In a public business park on the west coast, filled with professional people and families with children, a thirty-something Brown woman of indeterminate national origin was waiting outside before work in this public business park, filled with professional people and families with children, when a (presumably) drunk, twenty-something Caucasian man standing in front of his place of employment, shouted at her from a short distance away,

“Hey, if you go out with me, maybe I’ll marry you, and you can get your green card!”

Little did (presumably) drunk, twenty-something Caucasian man realize was that thirty-something Brown woman of indeterminate national origin is also one of my least crazy, most reliable, always trustworthy, never lied to me about anything before, unimpeachable sources.  As she attempted to go into work, and avoid further confrontation from (presumably) drunk twenty-something Caucasian man standing in front of his place of employment, she was forced to walk in near proximity past him.

As she did, (presumably) drunk, twenty-something, Caucasian man grabbed my least crazy, most reliable, always trustworthy, never lied to me about anything before, unimpeachable source, and shoved her up against a brick wall.  Through her own quiet words, and the distant shout of a third-party witness, this assault was ended before it could escalate into something uglier than should be imagined.

Remember how my original point was that this is not a political post, but a post about human beings?

My point is still my point.

These two incidents, which occurred approximately 3,000 miles apart, and in blue states, have more than a couple of things in common.  The first thing is WHO the initiator was in each of these moments.

Humans.

And before you take a deep breath with which to tell me that these weren’t humans behaving humanly, but instead some kind of inhuman monster, let that breath go.  They’re human alright.  Folks often get carried away trying to label certain aspects of human behavior as something carried out by inhuman monsters.  Sadly, that is not the case.  These are human atrocities carried out by human beings, ACTING atrociously.  Simple as that.  Human atrocities, with their origin in the darkest parts of the human soul.  They show themselves throughout human history… note my continued use of the word “human”… inhumanely done by humans to other humans because, humanity shows us, that this is what humans do.  It is also evil, as the majority of humans will tell you.

Next thing is WHAT these humans were doing.  They were assaulting other humans.  In these two cases, female humans.  Female humans who (presumably) were less physically intimidating than these two male human perpetrators.  In one of the cases, verbal assault.  In the other, verbal AND physical assault.  Crimes, both deeply intimidating, even scarring, to the victims.  This is, however, not new behavior for humans against other humans.  It is, at best, shameful behavior, given the circumstances of who the attackers, and victims, were.  At worst, a preliminary advance by the attackers, possibly leading to even greater danger of violence toward their victims.

Last thing is WHY.

Okay, maybe this is political.

Recall the words that each of these two assaults were predicated upon.  These are familiar words and concepts for anyone who has been alive and conscious in America during the our recently concluded Presidential campaign.  However, until last Tuesday night, these concepts were not thought of as acceptable, let alone encouraged, by any segment of America unless you were one of the rightly-shunned number of humans who believed in institutional violent behavior towards disenfranchised groups, be they ethnic, gender, religious, or preference.  This human behavior was looked down upon, properly ridiculed, and even prosecuted.  Those who would act on such impulses, regardless of motivation, were thought of as aberrant within human society.

Yeah, until last Tuesday.

When less than 50 percent of voting Americans decided that the candidate who vocally encourages this kind of behavior should be in charge of the whole shit show.

And now, this candidate’s #followers, #minions, this President-Elect’s #crazyassmotherfuckers, are feeling empowered by his supposed mandate.

It has begun.

So what is left for decency, which is no longer common, to do?

“If it makes it any easier for you, remember…

…you’re not voting FOR a candidate.  You’re voting AGAINST their followers.”

And that vote is still four years away.

In the meantime, from a previous, serious, cautionary post, that I didn’t think those who were reading really needed cautioning from, I will leave you to interpret these words as you see fit.

“First, they came for the Liberals, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Liberal.

Then, they came for the Working Poor, and I did not speak out, because I was not the Working Poor.

Then, they came for the Browns, and I did not speak out, because I was not Brown.

Then, they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Footnote…

Prior to November 8, 2016, I was not who you might have believed me to be after reading this post.  I was a “Silent Republican” living in a very Blue state.  As an artist, I felt it was in my best interest to keep my political leanings to myself.  I did that for more than thirty years.  That silence ended, with my vote AGAINST the choice of the Electoral College, one week ago.  I could not, in good or clean conscience, no matter what my opinions on issues may have once been, voted for a candidate who I believe embodies all of the worst human traits and tendencies we, as Americans, have come to rightly dismiss.  In previously veiled ways and words, and now out in the open, I will stand… I will fight… against this wrong turn in our history, with all the means at my legal disposal.

I hope to God you will too.

 

© Copyright 2016 William S. Friday

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