What We Talk About When We Keep Talking About It

So, we’re still talking about it.

It’s been a couple weeks, a couple weeks since lives were taken, a couple weeks since lives were taken because of our collective inability to prevent lives from being taken, and we’re still talking about it.

As we should be.

That we’re still talking about it, about lives being taken that we could have prevented, that it’s notable we’re still talking about it, that we’re amazed to still be talking about it, is such a condemnation of what once was God’s Country that we should be trembling at the depth of our fall from grace. We should be ashamed, forever ashamed, at how much we have desecrated the values we once held dear, these self-evident truths, the first of which was life.

But at least we’re still talking about it.

So let’s talk about it.

Last week’s talk was all about distraction, people talking about the wrong thing in the deliberate hope that we wouldn’t talk about the right thing, that if they could just exhaust us about arming teachers, and their fetishism about what we call weapons used to slaughter innocents, and crisis actors, and the impoliteness of asking authority figures pointed questions, if they could just smother us with bullshit then maybe we would become exhausted from talking about it and talk about something else.

This didn’t happen. We’re still talking about it.

Nor did the futility of talking about it settle in, as it has in the past, the futility of knowing that even when young children are slaughtered, nothing will happen, because we don’t value their lives and consider them worth protecting. That curse remains, that curse upon the self-evident truth we once valued, but instead of bemoaning the soullessness of our representatives, people found accomplices to shame, corporations that extended favors to those who are complicit in the slaughter of innocents through their money that enables evil, and other corporations that were selling weapons of slaughter to society’s children.

Every day or two, there has been news. Fresh news. Names crossed off a list of NRA member benefits. Names of sporting-goods stores ceasing or restricting sales. A catfight between shipping companies accusing each other of dirty hands.

And we are still talking about it, because these are new things to talk about, reminders that we haven’t moved on, not yet, not this time.

We are still talking about it because one day the President says maybe we should something about it, and the next day the NRA meets with him to make sure he doesn’t. We are still talking about it because one day an airline adds itself to the list of corporations no longer extending favors to NRA members, and days later a state legislature seeks to punish that airline for not selling its soul as cheaply as the legislators. We are still talking about it because the kids won’t shut up about it, how they lost friends and teachers in a horrific moment we had no interest in preventing, and how they’re not going to let us forget what we did to them, how we failed them, how they’re not going to let us talk about something else until we fucking do something about it.

We might be talking about this a long time. The futility remains, the futility of knowing nothing can be done to prevent the next slaughter of innocents until new laws are passed and old laws rescinded, that there is no one solution but many solutions that need to be tried, that we can’t even get started until those representatives who have sold their souls for shiny baubles have been replaced with new representatives who maybe won’t sell out so cheap.

But as long as we keep talking about it, as long as there is news to keep us talking about it, maybe this will be the time, the time we don’t settle for shock and remorse, thoughts and prayers, the time that this slaughter of innocents is finally the last.

Because God help us if it’s not.

19 comments:

10:02 pm • Saturday • March 3, 2018

Corporations get money. When they figured out gay people had more of it than average, they stopped supporting certain categories of assholes. I don’t often FedEx, but you can be sure I never will again. UPS is only 4 blocks away, at any rate.

4:18 pm • Sunday • March 4, 2018

The NYT published one of the best op-eds about this generation, and I’m on topic for once : )

Go Ahead, Millennials, Destroy Us

The students of Parkland are like veterans coming home from the bloody front of the N.R.A.’s de facto war on children. They’ve seen their friends, teachers and coaches gunned down in the halls. To them, powerful Washington lobbyists and United States senators suddenly look like what they are: cheesy TV spokesmodels for murder weapons. It has been inspiring and thrilling to watch furious, cleareyed teenagers shame and vilify gutless politicians and soul-dead lobbyists for their complicity in the murders of their friends. Last week Wayne LaPierre was reduced to gibbering like Gen. Jack D. Ripper in “Dr. Strangelove” about a “socialist” takeover and “hardening” our schools. You could see the whites all around his irises. That look is fear.

One of my students once asked me, when I was teaching the writing of political op-ed essays, why adults should listen to anything young people had to say about the world. My answer: because they’re afraid of you. They don’t understand you. And they know you’re going to replace them.

My message, as an aging Gen X-er to millennials and those coming after them, is: Go get us. Take us down — all those cringing provincials who still think climate change is a hoax, that being transgender is a fad or that “socialism” means purges and re-education camps. Rid the world of all our outmoded opinions, vestigial prejudices and rotten institutions. Gender roles as disfiguring as foot-binding, the moribund and vampiric two-party system, the savage theology of capitalism — rip it all to the ground. I for one can’t wait till we’re gone. I just wish I could live to see the world without us.

11:37 am • Monday • March 5, 2018

@¡Andrew!: Despite the recent shift in popular sentiment from “MILLENNIALS ARE DESTROYING EVERYTHING!!1!1” to “Millennials are destroying bad things,” I still don’t identify as one.

6:36 pm • Monday • March 5, 2018

@mellbell: Help us, Mellbell and arbitrarily designated demographic cohort–you’re our only hope!

6:41 pm • Monday • March 5, 2018

OK, I’m a hardline news junkie and I’ve never heard of this beady-eyed, balding, inbred dingus Sam Nunberg, but you’d think that even he’d be savvy enough to realize that the Ru$$iapublicans fit you for concrete pajamas and toss your carcass in the Atlantic after you go blabbing their evil schemes all over cable news.

6:44 pm • Monday • March 5, 2018

Aaaaaaand now Sarah Hucksterbee Slanders is gonna have to confirm or deny on teevee whether she is, in fact, “a fat slob” and “a joke.”

The transformation of the world’s greatest democracy into a kleptocratic shithole is now complete.

7:59 am • Tuesday • March 6, 2018

It’s both sad and infuriating before, during, and after each slaughter to hear bleating about “thoughts and prayers.” It should be painfully obvious by now that “god” is either: a) deaf, or b) doesn’t exist. I think Anthony Jeselnik says it best:https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjV7viM4NfZAhVI8IMKHfeHCPQQtwIIQDAD&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DIb_6-qZcWvw&usg=AOvVaw3wfQISae0duEh9dvqtWLz9

6:20 pm • Tuesday • March 6, 2018

Now Gary Cohn is resigning. Tr666p praising neo-Nazis didn’t do it for him, it was the fucking tariffs. He’s going down as one of the worst traitors to the Jewish people in American history.

Just a reminder: It’s only Tuesday.

8:11 pm • Tuesday • March 6, 2018

Oh and Kadaver Anne Conjob got busted for violating the Hatch Act in addition to our human decency. There must be some way to send that snake to prison, too.

9:23 pm • Wednesday • March 7, 2018

@jkiel: Exactly. And if god does exist, when I die I’m punching her in the ovaries or twisting his nuts.

9:30 pm • Wednesday • March 7, 2018

@¡Andrew!: I am scared to death of the Hatch Act. The agency where I work is the Trump administration’s laboratory to see if they can kill the federal employees’ union. We are scared to fucking death. I can’t even. It’s really, really hard to do good work when you’re terrified. If this wackadoodle hadn’t filed for reelection a day or two after the inauguration, we could bitch about him at work. Who doesn’t bitch about their boss from time to time? Some people bitched about Obama all the goddamn time. But if you bitch about this guy to the wrong person at work, you could be seen as trying to influence an election and violating the Hatch Act. I know it sounds far fetched, but we get some crazy ass emails from DC. Crazy. I finally tried to unsubscribe from the all-employee blast. I’m prolly on some petty person’s enemies list now.

9:36 pm • Wednesday • March 7, 2018

More on the Hatch Act – I emailed The Office of Government Ethics when I was involved in trying to get Reichert out of office because someone wanted to interview me. I can say that I’m a Federal employee, but I can’t say which agency I work for; I have to emphatically state that my opinions are my own; and I can’t engage in any political activities while on duty.

3:21 pm • Friday • March 9, 2018

@¡Andrew!: Today I learned that Sarah Huckabee Sanders is only 2 years older than me, and Sam Nunberg is only 3 years older than me. Combine that with the fact that Stephen Miller is actually 1 year younger than me, and there’s only one conclusion: Bad inside, bad outside.

9:54 pm • Monday • March 12, 2018

@mellbell: Hey lady, are you organizing the annual Stinque braquet for March Madness?

2:17 pm • Tuesday • March 13, 2018

@SanFranLefty: Yes? Yes. It snuck up on me this year. Will set it up now.

5:25 pm • Tuesday • March 13, 2018

@SanFranLefty: And I’ll post it tonight.

7:59 pm • Tuesday • March 13, 2018

@nojo: As Joakim Noah would say, “merci beaucoup.”

11:38 pm • Wednesday • March 14, 2018

Just found out, via my brother, that half the students in our high school (which Mitch McConnell also attended) walked out today. Suck on that, Mitch.

12:36 am • Thursday • March 15, 2018

@mellbell: Good for them. There’s a report out there about a school where only one kid walked out. Good for him, too.

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