Friday, June 12, 2015

so much outrage lately

So many things that have gone on, that have fizzed up in the news (kind of like when you mix baking soda and vinegar), so many things people have gotten really shouty about.

I have just a couple of thoughts:

1. It's really a shame we can't generate electricity (or something similarly useful) from outrage. If so, we'd have 100% energy independence and probably be EXPORTING electricity to Canada or somewhere.

2. In nearly every case I've seen, the narrative is more complex than people have wanted to make it. Very, very few situations on this earth are a case of "Person 1 is 100% in the wrong and Person 2 is 100% in the right." Like what happened in McKinney this week: kids show up at a pool party in a neighborhood. Apparently the kids are not from the neighborhood and it's a pool the neighborhood's HOA dues pay for. Kids get rowdy. Cops get called. Cops are kind of rough with the kids who are "sassing back" to the cops. Cop pulls his gun (allegedly) on a young woman.

Some want to make this another "bad white cop, poor harassed black kids" thing. (And I find myself thinking: "Stop trying to make McKinney happen. It isn't going to happen.")

Yeah, the cop was overstepping his role to pull his gun on an unarmed kid (she was wearing a bikini, so there's nowhere she could have been keeping a weapon, as far as I can tell). But the kids were also being rude and unruly and they were doing something *against the rules* - having a pool party in a pool that was the property of a neighborhood where they did not live; a pool they didn't pay for. And, from what I've heard, some of the kids behaved very badly.

I've also heard that families in the neighborhood - both black AND white - were unhappy with the kids taking over the pool and were very unhappy with their behavior.

EVERYONE was a little wrong there. So it's not a "This little angel got roughed up by a demon cop," it's more like "This kid was behaving badly and violating community rules, but the cop did get overly rough with her."

3. I just fear stuff is going to get worse, that people are looking for stuff to be upset about. Looking for ways to further divide people.

4. I have no energy to deal with any of these things. I have no energy for people excusing people behaving badly. I have no energy for cops overstepping bounds and damaging their relationship with the community by jumping to the most extreme response.

Mainly, what I want, is by and large just to be left alone. And I want to leave other people alone as long as what they do is not endangering me or infringing with how I live my life. For example, if a neighbor decides to have a loud backyard barbecue at 2 pm on a Sunday, I might sigh heavily and roll my eyes and stomp off to the local library for quiet, but that's their prerogative. If the same neighbor has a loud party at 2 am, I'm calling the cops - because I, and my other neighbors, need our sleep.

Similarly: If I don't get to weeding my flower beds right away, having a neighbor call the city on me and have the city write me a nasty letter about abatement, that's kind of excessive and needless and is a jerk move on the neighbor's part. If I let my lawn grow up into a jungle and rats and snakes move in, that's a health issue that affects the neighbors and they are right to call the city on me.

But it seems like people have lost ANY balance and there are some people going, "But I should be able to have rats and snakes in my yard" but there are other people going "She has ONE dandelion in her flower bed and that is unacceptable." It's like we don't know how to live in community, how to live and let live, how to go, "You know? Her yard is kind of a mess but she works long hours so let's leave her alone for now" or maybe even: "Her yard is a mess but I know she's not been well this spring, maybe we should see if she'd be willing to accept a little help from us in cleaning things up."

Some of the stuff that goes on, I think, boils down to a failure to love ones' neighbors (on both sides). And that kind of thing, well, this is how I think the Major Proponent of trying to show a little love and tolerance to your neighbors would react:

'Cos people just aren't getting it.

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