I have failed miserably on all my lofty plans. I straight up quit the last book I was reading with like 40 pages to go because I haaaaaaaaaaated it. I'm having a drink even as I write this. But, I have been stretching near 'bout every day. And it is straight up incroyable! (I minored in French you know. I'll give you a moment to wrestle with how goddamn impressive I am. )
Anyway - the stretching is working. My back is like the back of a 30 year old. When I drop something that requires picking up (let's be real: lots of things can just stay on the damn floor), I don't curse the gods because I can instead, ya know, pick it up. My back! My back!
So let's get back to the topic at hand which is Why Are So Many Americans So Damn Scared Allatime?
I was out to dinner a while back with a couple of guys I work with and whom I like a lot. Solid dudes. It was a nice meal. But when I mentioned that I think kids today are nicer now than they used to be, you could have filled the Pacific with the incredulity. "Oh my god, Megbon," they seemed to say. "Are you the crazy? Has your mind broken? There is a handbasket and we are all in it, going to big hell!"
But, thing is, I think I'm right. I mean, sure, let's just accept it as studied fact that my daughter is being raised exceptionally well, but surely the rest of the little rugrats she runs around with suffer from much less exceptional parenting (mais oui! ((I minored in French)). But I remember my own sixth grade year, and shitty little boys lifting my skirt up, and nasty little girls whispering that I'd never French kissed anyone (which, oh my god, I was TWELVE! ). And Laney's friends just seem so much cooler than I and my peers were; so much less judgmental and mean.
I inquired as to the source of my dinnermates' vast incredulity and was met with the damning evidence of YouTube videos. Which would be damning indeed, if, you know, Family Ties or Diff'Rent Strokes or Facts of Life were documentary series (the only documentary series of the 80s that got much play was Golden Girls - shut up, it all REALLY HAPPENED).
I tried to debate them, but the "Bitch, there was no YouTube when we were young, and if there had been, there'd've been some messed up shit on it" argument was insufficient. So, I ordered another glass of wine and SMH (does "SMH" work in the past tense or is it only meant to indicate present judgment? Dunno: I shook my head).
All this got me to thinking about, as per ushz, the batshit fucking insane crazy Republican party. Because my pal, Paul, is (as he tends to be) right that it ain't just Trump*, motherfuckers. They are a party full of people who are either genuinely terrified of black and brown people, or reaping political benefit from exploiting other people's unfounded fears of black and brown people. Why are they so convinced that either a Muslim or a Mexican or a Black Person is coming right at 'em all the time? Oooh - insert gif:
(I know that's not a GIF - apparently no one has gif-ed that yet. The Internet disappoints, sigh, again).
I have a theory as to why: I think your average conservative American spends his or her real life surrounded only by other white people and spends a chunk of their virtual life consuming a steady diet of racist, xenophobic crap on the TV and the internet. I think they have furthermore been trained, via a compounded cultural reality of over two centuries of state-sanctioned white supremacy, to believe that white safety matters more because it's for white people. Science!
But the thing that really kills me is that when you point out to one of these dudes that when they talk about "Radical Islam" and "black on black crime" they're being kinda racist (check out Emily Post for why you say "kinda" instead of "fucking"), they tell you you're being naive.
And, you guys, they believe that! They believe that they are clear-eyed rationalists who accept the reality that Muslims want to blow you up, Mexicans want to rape you, and black teenagers want to shoot you. While anyone who disagrees is naught but a starry-eyed, bleeding-heart hippie who got hookworm on account of being barefoot all the time:
(There's a hookworm gif but not a "coming right for us" gif. Honestly, Internet! Get your priorities straight!)
And there's only one cure: GET OUT IN THE WORLD! If you find yourselves terrified of black people or brown people or, FTLOG, young people, stop navigating the world by going from your house to your car to your lily white, middle-aged office.
The good news is that this great problem, like so many others, can be solved simply by taking a walk. Take a walk - walk through some other neighborhood, walk downtown, walk to Walgreens to fill your blood pressure prescription. Be in the world and you'll find it's not so scary. Young people, Black people, Latino people, Muslim people... they're just fucking people and they're not Coming Right At You. Relax. On the other hand: sequester yourself everyone who's not just like you and you'll end up with poopy pants.
And no one wants that!
Stop being so scared. It's really OK out there.
*While they are really as bad as Trump, pretty sure that someone can be a Rubio supporter just cause they're kinda dumb. But if they're on Team Trump, they're definitely Yuuuuuge Racists.