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.

What shall I do today?

Learn CPR or demand smart gun laws that save lives rather than pandering to a societal segment that likes to play soldier from the comfort of their own white bubble? I’m just thinking out loud and in type print here so bear with me. We are still allowed to think out loud right?

Rick Santorum and everyone like you, fuck off. I’m glad you’re feeling the heat for towing the dismissive company line of profit margins/party over public safety. If you truly believe in defending the 2nd Amendment then talk about the 2nd Amendment in an educated manner. Convince me that you need an AR-15 or an AK-47 to hunt a deer.  If you are really pro-life then actively give two shits about ALL lives. Convince me that having a large cache of guns will not make you a theft target yourself rather than Rambo to the rescue. But, if you are a sanctimonious asshole that only wants to protect their snowy white power position by standing on the necks of those courageous enough to wake the hell up and shout out as the 1st Amendment allows then, please… say more shit like this:

http://www.newsweek.com/rick-santorum-cpr-wont-save-children-mass-shootings-860678

Way to tell kids they don’t matter. Way to whine about kids daring to ASK adults to fucking help keep them alive! Heaven forbid old Ricky boy should realize that many of the victims of gun violence are not of voting age yet (MINORS) and THEREFORE NEED others (ADULTS) to help solve this “problem” for them. A problem, might I add, that adults created. Oh, and I guess wanting to stay alive is just an annoyingly insignificant little PROBLEM to Rick Santorum, one that these ungrateful little brats should just figure out on their own. How dare they ask for help!!!! Being in utero is one thing; the ultimate protected state for Republicans and Evangelicals alike. But, once you are born…sorry sucker! Stop whining, pack heat and throw around lame catchphrases about how good guys with guns are our only saviors or some other dumb shit about not taking a knife to a gun fight.

Really?

What if the Good Guy with a Gun is, pants around ankles, doing shitter duty?  Or, what if he decided to leave his gun in his glove compartment?  Or, Wal-Mart was out of his preferred ammo…or he took a sick day…or the Bad Guy with a Gun was faster? To say that the ONLY way to stop this kind of violence is to count on a fallible human, a stranger who may have a hair-trigger temper and bad eyesight is irresponsible and ignorant. To the people who have uttered this gem: God love you! I know you think your words help but I have to wonder, are you offering words just to “help” keep your arsenal of guns, (your toys), or do you really care that innocent people are being killed? It stinks of the, “if it isn’t happening to me personally then I can’t relate” Suck Hole of DUH so pardon me if I don’t believe you.

Listening to differing views is important and yet, it’s getting harder and harder because those differing views are becoming increasingly heartless and shortsighted. When attacking the very people with a real chance of dying because of gun violence seems like a good thing to do, I gotta say, you lost me.

When I hear human garbage bags like Ted Nugent attacking Parkland students, calling them soulless, I see how far down the sewer self-proclaimed conservatives are sliding.  And, by the way, Nugent’s complaints are pretty rich coming from a supposed pants-shitting, cowardly reprobate with pedophilia tendencies. Yes, yes, your soul is pure Ted and you sleep just fine at night wrapped in the American flag. Calling the Parkland students liars is also curious since, and I may be wrong here, but didn’t you fake being mentally unfit for service during Vietnam by walking around in your own feces prior to reporting for your physical? Or was that a tall tale you made up because begging for a student deferment wasn’t as wild as marinating in your own shit in order to scam the local draft board into a 4-F? Hmm…tell the truth, you were scared of GETTING SHOT just like the Parkland students so you begged for a deferment.  The truth doesn’t sound as good though and, at this point, I don’t care which it was because again, blame the victims and ya lost me.

Explain this Ted…

Now, back to the 2nd Amendment. Where does it say the right to bear arms means any citizen with hands can own as many guns as they like? It just says WELL armed which could mean the GROUP/MILITIA, as a whole, has enough WEAPONS to protect themselves and each other from the tyranny of the… uh, government not from someone wanting to steal their television. Where does it say that “arms” are explicitly guns when the definition of bearing arms means to simply possess weapons? Are weapons just guns or are they also knives, cannons, slingshots, maces, brass knuckles, nunchucks or 70 ’s style javelin lawn darts?

fun-fact-since-their-invention-lawn-darts-have-been-responsible-31739678

Anything that can be used to protect oneself from personal injury or death. I know, speaking for myself, I’d get more satisfaction from beating a would-be murderer with my fists, a veritable back and forth of blows in a battle of defense, even if it meant I lost in the end. At least I would have put in the work and the news reports would say, “She put up a fight.”  Now, what about those who can’t put up a fight? Children. Disabled. Elderly. Those who shouldn’t even have to if we didn’t live in a land of getting what you want when you want and to hell with everyone else? So, the RIGHT to life is secondary to the right to bear arms? Yeah…no.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/arms

I guess we can argue semantics but…that is exactly the point! Do we even really know what we are arguing about other than possessing the righteous crown to being seen as RIGHT? Everyone loves being right, even when it’s at the expense of another person’s life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Right? Be honest.

I’d rather be alive than depending on a false sense of security any day and, to all my gun owning friends, which do you grab for first when shit goes down? Your phone or your gun? Will owning a cache of guns really keep me safer than someone who owns none? There are no absolutes in life except for death. When we are dead, we are absolutely dead and guns don’t care if we support the 2nd Amendment or not. And, neither do those doing the shooting apparently.

© 2018 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.