The Company You Keep: A Tale of Constant Disappointment

Over the past few years I have come to the resolute conclusion that there is a very good reason people who were once childhood friends, co-workers, waving neighbors or even fragile family members grow apart. The saying that we are known by the company we keep was very true during Aesop’s day just as it is today. Look to the left and then back to the right. Who do you call friend, family, acquaintance?

Aesop’s Fables: An Ass And His Purchaser

The tale of An Ass And His Purchaser goes a little like this:

A man wanted to purchase an Ass and took him home for a trial. The Ass befriended the most idle of those the man already owned and so… Bye, bye Ass.

A man is known by the company he keeps.

I see your posts on social media. The lazy re-posting of propaganda. Yeah, this looks good…CLICK. The refusal to fact-check, question or even comprehend that what you just shared was an example of racism, sexism, isolationism, homophobia or any other repugnant, exclusionary belief. The refusal to acknowledge that careless words can cause great harm is illuminated like a TIKI torch at a white nationalist rally. “Oh, I will totally OWN them with this scorching article from a hugely biased news source!”

I see the venom, the bile and the disdain posted about those you feel are not as “good” or as “smart” as you. I make note of how you feel those people are disrespectful, dishonorable, untrustworthy, un-this, un-that and then the final dismissive pronouncement that when those people use their long ignored voice this equals whining. Does this mean your point of view is the only one that matters? Or, does it mean your point of view should matter more? It’s one or the other. You can’t have it both ways after all.

What do you hear in the voices of protest that bothers you so much? I ask because I truly want to know why the sound of life-long pain, frustration and grief triggers such dismissal and/or anger? Are they not deserving of fair treatment, equal rights or the same protections afforded to you under the law? If your answer is NO…why? And, can you look those people in the eye and bravely explain why they shouldn’t be as FREE as you? And, can you do it without sneering, condescending vitriol? Thanks. That would be great!

Now, back to the part about being known, or judged, by the people you choose to associate with. If you are pals with people who make disparaging remarks about people of color, women, non-Christians, LGBTQIA, people with disabilities, people with different political beliefs or anyone different at all for that matter and you LAUGH or LOOK THE OTHER WAY then that will be considered condoning or agreeing with their behavior. The key word here is CHOICE. You decided which side you were on without even saying a word. Silence was your choice. Like it or not. I don’t make the rules.

A riot is not quiet…

So, I see your condemning posts about those, whiny, lazy, ignorant and, weak liberal snowflakes and I always come back to the introduction, written with great authority by you. The original post may have come from someone else but you obviously agreed with it or why else would you share it? For shits and grins? To stir the pot? To purposely cause outrage? To mock? Oh, you may claim any one of these but I suspect it’s because you actually do agree with the sentiment embedded in that inflammatory meme, quote, shared article or video. It’s okay to admit it. I could even respect you, believe it or not, if you would just be honest for once.

I see it all and wonder how your definitions of GOOD, SUPERIOR, PURE, RIGHTEOUS and HOLY were formed along with the polar opposite of those five words. Did your views come from a highly edited history purposely designed to place you on top as the victor while everyone different is cast as defective, unbalanced or criminal? How did you come to the point in life where you currently stand? You appear angry. You also appear so certain to be right and also very certain I, and people both like and unlike me, deserve no audience to plead our case because our guilt was determined long before we were born.

Do you ever wonder if everything you were ever told about those not like you is a lie? I do.

https://theundefeated.com/features/being-black-in-a-world-where-white-lies-matter/

https://theestablishment.co/white-people-you-have-a-lying-problem-e991c3634493/index.html

https://milwaukeenns.org/2020/06/26/opinion-the-lies-white-people-tell-ourselves-and-how-they-haunt-milwaukee-today/

Currently, I am furious that a huge chunk of what was in my white grade school and high school history books was biased, unbalanced, revisionist propaganda written to purposely divide by race, color, religion, national origin, citizenship status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, or disability. I am certain that there are other agents of division I missed but you get the point…right? History is written by the winners no matter how they achieved that status. Be it by theft, coercion, excessive force or editing. It’s the real FAKE NEWS.

REAL…fake news. Take that in for a moment. It isn’t the moronic bullshit, the twisted, spun and manipulative gas-lighting vomit broadcast via Twitter or Fox News. It isn’t the bizarre, braying jackass sound bites from unprepared press conferences or the never ending ego trips masquerading as campaign rallies. You mean nothing to the talking orange head. Your life experiences, trials and tribulations and worries don’t even register a blip on that schizophrenic radar. You get that, right?

I simply cannot believe that people just wake up one day deciding to be arrogant, insolent, heartless assholes. Something happened along the way. Someone, or a group of someones, taught them how to behave as if their particular hue is the best hue, their particular worldview is the best, most perfect, most tremendous one of all time. It has the highest ratings, the largest following and they will DOMINATE the world.

But, here’s the thing about reaching the top of the heap…getting there isn’t the true goal, staying there is.

And, if you continually get to the top on the backs of those people, never allowing them to SHARE the space with you, then to what lengths will you go to stay on top?

You don’t fear those you stand on. You fear retribution for the transgressions you and your ancestors committed while on the continuous journey to the top. THAT is the legacy of this country. Simply admitting it isn’t culpability, it’s true freedom. Cutting loose the “company” that no longer reflects positively on you isn’t a huge sacrifice. Losing your very life because of deeply ingrained bias and racism is.

Learn the difference.

© 2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Hear my voice, my words, my story.

Sharing meaningful experiences with others has never been so hard. During the past few decades listening skills have diminished and empathizing with the challenges faced by those less fortunate or those unlike ourselves is mocked mercilessly and declared a trait of the weak or snowflakes. Such a stupidly weak attempt at bullying! And, the ones engaging in this ridiculous behavior can’t seem to recognize how cruel, and utterly stupid they appear.

Yes, I said it. STUPID! Call me a snowflake, liberal, elitist snob, stuck-up, or whatever jealousy and fear triggered catch phrase those with limited emotional intelligence and a baffling lack of curiosity employ when the truth fails them. Call me all of that and more but the fact remains, you are a scared, small-minded, insufferably stupid human being when you play the Us Against Them game. It’s WE, always has been and always will be.

The same color blood flows from our veins. Basic physical anatomy shows we are all intended to have two arms, two legs, two eyes, one nose=same. No opportunistically cherry-picked scripture will change that. And, even after all of that fact finding you still have no clue about my true position on certain flash-point topics. Not once did I declare my voting preferences or exact spiritual beliefs. I only declared what I see as asshole behavior and those who are ignorant assholes just assume and hilariously end up being wrong every time. Tricky huh? Not really, people simply don’t care to listen.

The notion that just because I don’t rant and rave like a rabid fool, constantly huffing and puffing about the audacity of “those people” that I see myself as better or elevated above those who wallow in self-imposed ignorance. Well, when it’s written out like that then, yes, yes, I do see myself as better than that! What reasonable person wouldn’t? It’s not like the foaming at the mouth narrow-minded jackals don’t readily crown themselves superior so fair is fair after all. And, if you notice, I’m talking about behavior not the individual. I don’t need to convince those who disagree with me to change because it’s a full time job sticking to my own intellectual guns in order to keep all the unnecessary nastiness in the world from changing me!

Okay, so now we come to the fork in the road where everyone has the option to see the humanity in all, no matter the physical, cultural, biological, religious, educational or racial differences or the choice to cling to bigotry, misogyny, mythology and misinformation. The latter being a recipe for certain madness and the former being a chance to evolve and let go of false narratives that serve zero purpose other than to stoke the flames of hatred. Without unchecked hatred control cannot happen, power cannot be maintained and upward mobility cannot be stopped or opposition squelched. YOU cannot go against ME! Uh, yes I can and yes, I will every single time bullshit flows forth from the mouths of inflexibly truculent trolls.

It’s okay…the dictionary is our friend! It’s full of amazing information and loves to have visitors. Go ahead, it’s spelled T-R-U-C-U-L-E-N-T and yes, I’m purposely being a smart ass, because I can. I earned the right.

I bet that triggered something inside the more insecure readers, or not so sneaky lurkers and again, it’s okay. Offense or anger is only felt if the insult applies so get to a mirror quick! The answer to the question of whose fault it is that butt-hurt was felt is right there in the refection. Everyone has the option to change so you still have time.

Hear me now, I am not in the business of dumbing-down anything for people uninterested in truly getting to know me as an author or me as a human being. Unless you take the time to study, to memorize the why of what I do and the how of the reason I came to my position in life that I currently occupy then please move right along. I am not for you and assuming you KNOW me will only end in frustration. Save your time, your energy and your certain anger. I have known who I am and why I believe the way I do for a long time. I did the internal work. Why haven’t you?

You have been told time and again how my point of view was crafted by painful experiences, the full confession of mistakes has laid bare my unapologetic soul to show all the hurt, the skinned knees, the bruised and battered heart. It’s all there for you to read, if you choose to take the time. I shouldn’t have to offer it up on a plate for those too lazy to inquire and too willfully moronic to understand the benefit that comes from learning from people not like them. We ALL have lessons left to learn. No one knows everything there is to know and, isn’t that exciting?

Change is good. Change is needed and voices that ring out the call for common sense, slowing the roll of unfounded bias and taking the time to get educated about FACTS are required should we really desire to continue existing. Did you think about that? That which cannot adapt cannot survive…again, FACT. My plan is to survive and to do so joyfully, with the knowledge that I did all I could to be the type of human being that actually deserves to be here. What’s your plan?

© 2019-2020 L.A. Askew

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to “In the Land of Reverie” with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.