The angry mix
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I have many faults but, thankfully, one of them is not using the phrase, “Let that sink in.” Those four wee words linked together are some kind of kryptonite. They imply the writer is oh so much smarter than the reader, so for me they sound like nails scraping on glass.
Whenever I read a post with ‘Let that sink in” in it, I have to sit on my hands to stop myself from commenting, “Are you a genuine condescending jerk or a regular person in disguise. #HowAboutYOUletthatSinkIn #AskingForAfriend”
But I don’t. Mostly. Though this week I'm more tempted.
I am completely out of sorts this week. And a little explosive. But it’s all the fault of the fireworks.
It’s the fourth of July this Tuesday which means that for about the past fortnight, people (or as they’re technically known -boneheads) have been letting off fireworks in the middle of the night. Its annoying for me, but it’s completely terrifying for Arthur, who paces the rooms panting, or hides in a corner trembling.
My knee-jerk reaction is to wish a terrible life on those who let off fireworks at 3 o’clock in the morning. But in the blurry light of day I remind myself that those who let off fireworks at 3 o’clock in the morning undoubtably have a pretty shitty life to start with, otherwise they wouldn’t find that sort of stuff entertaining.
Here in LA they even set them off during the daylight. The freakin daylight! Surely there can be no greater public declaration of stupidity. These idiots are probably the reason “let that sink in” was created in the first place.: Reminder. Socks go on before shoes. Let that sink in.
Full-blown confession. I used to like fireworks. Loved them in fact. Bonfire night in London was always one of my favorites, and the giant fireworks display at Alexandra Palace was always a main event in the social calendar - by that I mean that we’d all go to the fireworks and then back to my house for baked potatoes and chili. (We’re not talking fancy here. )
But that was in the old days when a public firework display was more than enough. And even if you did happen to buy fireworks, they were more phut phut fizz than full-on window-rattling explosion.
But since I moved to California, I’ve done a full 180. I’d go as far as saying I bloody hate them. They’re pretty, of course they are. But they’re ridiculously noisy and living in an area that gets so hot, it’s in danger of going up in flames all on its own, they have to be right up there in completely stupidly, pointless ways to cause danger to people/animals/nature/property.
Our dog, Arthur, is a perky wee creature and it’s horrible to see him tremble. And I know that currently all over town people are prepping to drug their perky wee creatures to help them make it through the next week without a heart attack. I could be out on a limb here, but I reckon if animals have to suffer in order for something to be deemed a party, then cancel the freakin’ party.
You know what I always notice most about the 4th July? The days after. When you take a walk on July 5th and the streets are eerily quiet. No birds singing. No wildlife. All sorts of creatures have either died or fled as a result of the actions of people who only know they’re celebrating something by lighting a fuse.
If you happen to wander into social media you’ll find all sorts of arguments about it. Angry faced gits like me announcing that everyone should go to a public display and then leave that shit alone. And the pro-fireworks jerks arguing that even though it’s illegal it’s part of their freedom - to which I have to sit on my hands to stop myself commenting “Would this be the same freedom that veterans fought for on your behalf? #whythereAreNoFireworksOnVeteransDay #askingforAShellShockedFriend”
I always figured that freedom is the choice of how to behave - it’s not that you get the right to remain unaccountable for that behavior.
For example: Whenever we stop at a traffic light and the driver in the next car has music blaring, and his window is down and inexplicably he has his hand dangling out of the window, I often have the urge to pull my window down and pull the guy’s finger. But I don’t. You know why? Because I am accountable. And also I don’t want to get shot.
I feel like every single human I know is battling some kind of challenge. And that’s not the stuff of lovely memes anymore. It’s the truth. The pandemic kicked everybody’s ass - whether they believed in it or not. The one reality even conspiracy nuts have to concede is that we have all been wounded by it.
We each of us have a fragility that wasn’t there before and that fragility gives us the capacity to swing from being solid to vulnerable, hopeful to defeated, victim to douchebag. In truth, these people - or boneheads as they’re technically known - are clawing for something. It is a desperate place to be if you can only connect to your own happiness by lighting the fuse. And I can navigate that it when I get sleep, but I get so mad at stuff right now, I don’t even like myself.
This Independence Day I need independence from my own head: Despite every window-rattling explosion convincing me people are assholes - I will remind myself most people really are fine.
And when the fireworks roar, goading me to believe that the world is going to ratshit, I can remind myself that it’s not. In the midst of all the noise, a lot of really good people are consistently working to repair what is broken.
On July 5th when the streets are silent, and I feel such sorrow for the needless loss and suffering of actual living creatures we share the same planet with, I can take a breath and remind myself that I have a very privileged position. Not all living things get to make choices. I must keep in mind that I can, and aim to be accountable for those choices I make.
Yes this is an angry blog, but count yourself lucky. If I was one of those people who liked to use “let that sink in” this blog could have been a whole lot worse.
I think you know what I’m saying.
Till next Sunday x
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