Wednesday, June 19, 2019 | 0 Comment(s)

There are some emotions that are more productive, in terms of producing writing, than others. For me, anxiety is my cash crop. The worries, fears, and second thoughts are a cavalcade of words, all I have to do is funnel all that content into meaningful turns of phrase and relatable empathy-provoking pain. Often, the pain/hilarity ratio of anxiety is around 50/50. Not for me to experience, mind you, but for you to read. When your inner voice won't shut up, there is always something to write about.

Anger, for me, is quiet. Rage, almost silent. Not much help. But we are living in a time of rage, and it requires as many voices as it can gather and scream bloody murder into the night and day and life and love and death together.

Painting by Rivka Kori
These days I'm feeling rage. A rage deeply integrated with a hollow sadness that grows with every step the world takes towards it self-destruction. It swells with every warning we ignore from the habitable Earth that its dying. It swells from the screams of brown babies dying in cages at our border, while we rush to build more suitable concentration camps. It swells as one in every three women who go to college get sexually assaulted, with numbers even more grotesque for women of color. We have pornography teaching our countries de facto sex education, and then we are appalled at the rape culture its produced. We put over 30% of Black men behind bar for "drugs," then legalized the drug. BLM is put in the intractable conflict of either accepting that Black bodies can be killed at any time in any situation, or to fight against that reality. And they are demonized for it. Rage. Trans kids are committing suicide and trans adults are being beaten and left dead in the streets, and we're making videos telling them it gets better. RAGE. Sex work continues to be illegal, leaving this vulnerable population with almost no recourse WHEN  rape or violence happens. How do you report your assault when doing is sure to get you arrested? How much resources do you think the cops are really going to allocate to tracking down some John, when they already got the "criminal" sex worker behind bars. RAGE. Couple that with conservative legislators once again taking aim at female bodies. First they can't sell their own bodies, and now they shouldn't make decisions about their own health care. And that's only if you are getting "adequate" care. Women of color are notoriously pathologized as "not competent," and therefore their complains related to pain and medical conditions are less likely to be taken seriously by health care professionals. This is a large reason why the mortality rate for women of color during childbirth is embarrassingly high. If Selena Williams can almost die giving birth, no person of color is safe, cept maybe Oprah. And, if you are lucky enough to win the health care lottery and get seen by a physician, then you have to deal with the insurance companies jacking the price of drugs high enough that many families have to chose between important medications, food, or rent. RAGE RAGE RAGE. Gun shooting at the Toronto Raptor celebratory parade. Gun shooting in South Bend, and by the time of publication, I'm sure there will be a few more locations to add to this list. If there is any truth to a heaven and Jesus and all that religious storytelling, then the dead kids of Sandy Hook have been crying up there for years. How could they not, as they watch a constant escalator of children, not much older than themselves, continuing to ascend non-stop, bodies with gaping holes where their childhoods should have been. And then the final blow, is that we've created a society so toxic, that it is driving more and more people to suicide. White men are number one of the list of suicide by gun deaths. But toxic masculinity remains a punchline. Youths are growing up in environments that are high in stress and bullying and low in safe spaces for them to grow, flourish, and belong. The rates of teen suicide are the highest they've been since 2000. We have created a killing culture, and it's killing us all, separate but equally. This effluence of a culture has taken its toll on me as well, as you can probably gather. The idea that my cis White male identity leaves me significantly less effected by all this bullshitery, is a mirage used to separate us humans into smaller and more controllable boxes. It presupposes that our colors, love styles, gender expressions, hairstyles, tattoos, mental illnesses, make us different enough to hate each other.
Fuck that. MY humans are hurting. MY humans are dying. MY humans are being systematically slaughtered. And their destruction rips me to pieces. I am hurt by their pain. And as I feel this rage, I suspect it is my final reserves of hope, fighting tooth and nail against an apathy that would be the end. 

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