How To Replace A Broken Give-A-Fuck

How To Replace A Broken Give-A-Fuck

So, as you, my Ones of Readers, know, Kill It With Fire was dark for a long time. Now you’ve received a veritable smörgåsbord of posts. (OK, well, two last week. But on consecutive days! It’s like back in the shitty old LiveJournal blog days, I tells ya!)

I haven’t written much because I haven’t felt much like writing. The world has gotten to me. Hatred of anyone that is Other is running rampant.  I left Facebook (well, my profile is still active because KLynne still wants me to show up as being married to her on there) because of post after post of otherwise rational-thinking friends and relatives talking about how they were all-in for candidates whose platform seemed to be nothing more than “Let’s make the rich people richer, let’s protect the unborn but stop caring about them the second they pop out of the birth canal, and if you have the audacity to be Other in whatever way then let’s write legislation to deny you the same rights as everyone else”. I cringe every time I read the news and hear about the latest unarmed person who has been shot and killed by cops— or cops that have been shot and killed by people. I was just… done.  The barometer measuring my depression didn’t have that many more mm/Hg to go before it burst. My parents—yes, both of them— lost their jobs. (One of them is working again, one is still looking.)

I stopped caring about my online presence, and (for the most part) my offline presence too. I posted the occasional Instagram thing. I vomited up the odd bit of vitriol on Twitter, but my heart wasn’t always really in it. I had some adventures but didn’t post about them (until earlier this week, but a post in November about stuff you did during the summer doesn’t really have the same kind of punch). I started school and have slogged my way through, dropping Organic Chemistry thanks to a “flipped classroom” setup paired with a teacher who seemed angry that anyone would dare ask questions about material that they didn’t understand and adding a nice, relaxing Survey of Early US History and Intro to Hiking in its place. I have tried to deal with my depression in various ways of limited constructiveness and leaned on KLynne when I couldn’t handle it anymore. (For those of you keeping score, I still haven’t found a counselor of any type here that a) is accepting patients and b) can work with my work/school schedule- and so it goes.) My thoughts have gone to places that I really did not want to revisit. I’ve tried to set light to the darkness by buying shit (doesn’t work) or eating more terribly than I usually do (doesn’t work) or various other things (they don’t work either).

Then last Tuesday hit. I had class and was antsy and irritable the entire time because I had to see the results of the election.  Then I got home and fired up Youtube to watch the live stream of NBC’s election coverage. At first the thoughts were surprise (“Wow, Trump is doing much better than I thought he would”) and wondering who the old, George Burns-lookin’ guy with the tortoiseshell glasses was (“Holy balls, that’s Tom Brokaw, and he’s lookin’ ancient”) but quickly they led to unease (“Jesus, there are too many undecided states”) and then to heart-crushing sadness (“He’s going to win this whole thing because of WISCONSIN, FUCK WISCONSIN, THEY’RE THE WORST”). This continued to spiral even after I turned off the TV. Couldn’t sleep. Broke into sobs. Sat worrying about what’s going to happen to my LGBT+ friends and how the environment was going to survive a climate-change denier being put into the highest office and remembering that the last two times that the GOP has had control of all three branches of Government (late 20s and mid 00s) the US has suffered the worst economic disasters in its history and if my tuition is going to go up and how hate could have won.  I sat in silence for a long time. I went to my number-one companion when I’m feeling upset (and KLynne isn’t there)… Bear, my oh-so-creatively named childhood teddy bear. I had to take Wednesday off because I couldn’t get a good night’s sleep and was starting to break out in hives. I have been on autopilot for the past few days. Hearing Kate McKinnon’s rendition of “Hallelujah” last Sunday morning and her closing statement of “I’m not giving up and neither should you” was the last thing that put me in tears. I need to do something.

This is the part where I sidetrack the post talk about my beliefs. It was hard to do last time I wrote something like this (See the prematurely-killed Thirty Days of Blog for THAT post) but I’m going to again.

  • I believe that there needs to be a clear and open path towards citizenship for people who entered the country illegally- provided that they haven’t been charged with violent crimes in their home countries.
    • The reason why I believe this is twofold, and I’m gonna stereotype like hell in describing it. Be warned. First, I’ve known illegals who have worked hard as hell to provide for their families back home—ultimately hoping to bring them to the US. Second, I also believe that there’s a large contingent of American citizens who feel like service, ag, and other “manual labor” kind of jobs are below them and would rather NOT work than do the kind of jobs that illegals take. Yes, I realize that this is a broad-as-hell generalization and that there are illegal immigrants who don’t do shit or cause problems or whatever and that there are plenty of citizens who are perfectly happy working hard at jobs that are traditionally seen as lower-class.
  • I believe that everyone—EVERYONE— should pay their fair share of taxes to make the nation go ’round. Not paying taxes but wanting services is the American Way. It’s entrenched. Has been since before the United States was a thing. The Boston Tea Party was less about outrage that tea was heavily taxed (coffee was always more prevalent in the Colonies than tea) and more about the fact that we were being taxed in the first place. For a leader to be elected and state that not paying taxes was being “smart” grinds my gears, and people not being taxed proportionate to their income from all sources flat-out isn’t fair.
    • And don’t even get me started on the so-called “Fair Tax”. The people of means who gain most of their money from compound interest and investments wouldn’t be taxed on those. A simple VAT on purchased goods would ONLY levy heavier taxes on the people who have to spend most of their income on those goods… because they don’t have the money to save.
    • And also don’t get me started on offshore tax-dodges from corporations or Delaware or how multi-billion dollar conglomerates pay NOTHING in tax. If the idea of corporate person-hood keeps on gaining traction (and I think that’s gonna be on the uptake sooner rather than later), then taxes need to be paid by that corporation. Period. End of story.
  • I believe that health care is a right, and that the best possible system would be subsidized by the Government. I don’t care what it is that we talk about- people, cars, animals, your kitchen table- preventative maintenance lengthens life and prevents the crushing costs that happen when Shit Goes Wrong.
    • And to pay for this? See the above. If we’re all paying our fair share, the government can help defray some of those costs.
    • Also, we DO have socialized health care in this country right now. It’s called going to the ER, getting patched up, and then telling the hospital that you aren’t gonna pay. Legal? Technically, yes. Ethical? Far from it. Still, it doesn’t stop plenty of people from doing it…
  • On that note, I believe that a woman’s body is her own, and that she should be the ultimate arbiter of what she decides to do with it, not the State.
    • Yes, the same applies to guys, but we don’t really have restrictions on what we can or can’t do with our bodies. Besides, the most that the average guy has choice-wise with their body generally boils down to this:
      “Should I scratch there in public? Ima scratch there.”
      (And other things that I’m not gonna go into.)
  • I believe that the Government should help the people who need to be helped. I also believe that the private sector should help people who need help. I also also believe that private citizens should help people who need help. Radical, no?  PEOPLE SHOULD HELP OTHER PEOPLE.
    • That having been said, I also can see how the attributed-to-but-not-actually-said-by-Steinbeck quote that “…the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires” can make people NOT accept help or, more cynically, WANT to help others. It also explains why we keep voting people into office (on both the left AND the right) that do nothing to actually support “the little guy”.
    • Furthermore, if you are receiving assistance in some way, shape, or form and you either aren’t using it for its intended purpose or are actually capable of helping oneself and are not (talking about you, person wearing Gucci and paying for their groceries with a welfare card that I used to think was a stereotype but have seen far too often)… your ass should be thrown in jail. You’re not Jean Fucking Valjean, you’re the reason why people talk about the Welfare State and bitch and moan about having to shoulder the load for people who aren’t working.
    • Finally, I am also keenly aware of the fact that judging What Is and What Is Not a valid reason to get welfare is a slippery-as-hell slope. I know that I’m not equipped to make those decisions except on the very most macro of levels.
  • I believe that our Government is inherently wasteful, and that earmarks and block grants lead to bad spending, that too many special interests influence the direction that our nation (and states and counties and towns) go, there’s and that the National Debt is too damn high. (I do NOT, however, believe it needs to be paid off. Some debt is good.)
  • I believe that if/when China calls in their debts to the US and if/when we default, we’re all fucked.
  • I believe that most dogs are better than most people. Jury is still out on cats.
  • And finally, and most strongly, I believe that PEOPLE SHOULD BE TREATED EQUALLY TO ONE ANOTHER, REGARDLESS OF WHAT CHROMOSOMES THEY’RE PACKING, THEIR PREFERRED GENDER, THE AMOUNT OF MELANIN IN THEIR SKIN, WHAT DEITY OR DEITIES THEY CHOOSE TO WORSHIP (IF THEY EVEN DO CHOOSE TO WORSHIP ANY), WHO THEY LOVE, WHAT THEY DO FOR A LIVING, WHERE THEIR FAMILY IS FROM, OR ANY OTHER REASON. DON’T ABRIDGE SOMEONE’S RIGHTS BECAUSE THEY ARE THE OTHER. It’s not hard! If you’re going to judge someone, judge them on their actions. (And yes, I realize that’s basically what I’ve been saying in most of my other thoughts, but it bears repeating.) Call me a Social Justice Warrior if you want. I think that’s something to be proud of, not disgusted by.
    • I also realize that a lot of that is pie-in-the-sky thinking, but the law should at least offer protections for everyone. It still kills me that the ERA never passed.
    • I also think that there’s more truth in the Avenue Q song “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist” than I like to admit, but there you go.
    • The top-level thought here does not apply to Wisconsin. Man, Wisconsin can go to hell. (This would still apply even if the vote wouldn’t have gone the way that it did.)
    • Maybe also the Red Wings, although I’ve been getting a hate-on for the Wild as of late too.

Behold. Some of my thoughts have been wrung from my brain. Inspect them, and see how they differ radically from the thoughts of the incoming Presidential administration (and much of Congress, and half of the justices on the Supreme Court, and….)

So what do I do? Do I just retreat into a shell, knowing that as a White Male who can pass as being religious if I had to that I’m the least likely to be affected by any erosion of freedoms? Do I tune out the news and the Bad Things that may or may not happen to my friends?


I know that I need to act- not just “I should do something” but I need to do something. My inner monologue cries out for it.  I’m still trying to figure out how, but I know I need to do that.. In the short term and with my schedule being essentially “Wake up, an hour and change in traffic, work eight hours with maybe half an hour thrown in for lunch, spend an hour and change in traffic, go to school for another three and a half, go home, eat dinner, try to cram homework and stuff, sleep for maybe four hours” I don’t know where I can find the time to put feet to pavement and DO something to help the causes that I feel. The best thing that I can do in the short term is give money to organizations that support the causes that I believe in. Longer term? Maybe I see if there’s somewhere that I can donate my time to make a difference.

I need to speak up for what I believe in and quit trying to make my thought seem malleable and like I might agree with. Less smiling and nodding. More showing some damn spine. A recent Washington Post article talked about how the only way to effectively combat exclusive policy was to STAY ANGRY, and that’s what I’m gonna do. (I’m sure that my old counselors wouldn’t like that too much, but anger can be harnessed and bent to useful purposes, right?  At least I’ll keep on telling myself that…)

On a personal level, I need to get outside more. Once the smoke here clears (another story, but it’s actual smoke, not a metaphor) I need to continue hiking a little bit on weekends. I need to climb onto my bike and ride… somewhere. Pick a direction, drive that way to wherever, and see what I can see. Give myself a few liters of water, and some snacks, and explore. Maybe take the camera with me if I’m feeling super-motivated. Maybe do the same but with KLynne in the car with me. If I have learned one thing, it is that serenity generally isn’t going to find me. I need to go out and find it. I need to do what I can when I can and how I can. I’m already on the way to becoming a better me. I continue making headway toward getting into Pharmacy school, although the Grand Path Toward A Degree looks discouraging if I don’t make it in and the amount of prerequisites to get into schools other than my target is TOO DAMN HIGH. (Seriously, I’ve built my entire school path toward getting the prerequisites done to match my goal school. Most other schools require other/different things. This is not a good thing, especially considering a bunch of other pharmacy schools require things like Micro/Macroeconomics that won’t count a damn bit toward getting the degree.)

So while I’m not happy or stable or not going into the occasional fugue state or even completely accepting of everything that has happened, I survive. I will stand. I will fight. I can’t give up.

We can’t give up.

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