Israel and Palestine are now at war. Russia and Ukraine are still at war. What’s going to happen next?
Sometimes I’m not so sure that we (humans) deserve what we’ve got. Here on Earth, we have the absolute perfect arrangement conducive to the existence of life, a situation so unique that it’s the only one we know of that has life to this degree in our entire galaxy. We have all kinds of environments and animals and weather and people and music and food. There’s so much wonderful art and architecture. The visions of our most brilliant thinkers are on display every day, from the art in museums to the phones in our pockets. We really have a good thing going.
Yet, we find ways to fuck things up. Pollution, deforestation, and war are just a few of the most popular methods of destruction humans perpetuate. Doesn’t it feel like there’s always a war being fought somewhere? Are we really making a difference in climate change?
What would it be like if we all just chilled out for a little bit, like for 20 years? Why are we fighting each other for land? Why do we kill in the name of God?
Rhetorical questions to which there are many answers but none that mean anything, none that add any value to existence. A few rotten people spoil it for everyone else, and those people always manage to avoid losing anything meaningful. Regular folks are just collateral damage.
Here in the U.S., we’re at war with ourselves. We’ve been locked in a culture war since Trump was elected. It was simmering for a few years before 2016, but it’s hit another gear in the years since. One of the things that I love about where I was lucky enough to be born is that we are a tapestry of different backgrounds and identities. We the people decided that we wanted every citizen of our country to be able to pursue a life of liberty and happiness, each person be granted the right as a human being to live their life on their own terms.
That’s great, isn’t it?
It should be, but, here in the States, we weaponize everyone’s point of view and classify it as either one side of the coin or the other. It’s exhausting, and when there are two wars going on in other parts of the world, it feels silly. We should be grateful that we are fortunate enough to spend time worrying about how society sees us and recognizes us because that’s not a luxury folks in Israel, Palestine, and Ukraine have right now.
And, of course, we can’t get through a month without mass shootings here in the U.S. It happened again in Chicago, and in Florida, and then it happened in Lewiston, Maine. There, some asshole with mental health issues and (coincidentally) an extensive background in firearms training decided that he should listen to the voices in his head and go shoot innocent people. He killed 18.
What will change? What new gun reform laws will be passed as a result? We know the answers to those questions. It’s not guns that kill people, anyway.
Season of Disappointment
Beyond the real problems in the world exist my petty anxieties and frustrations with things that don’t matter a whole hell of a lot. For example, sports. Sports matter to people, but it’s just entertainment. It shouldn’t be the source of true heartache because it’s adults playing kids games. There are those among us, though, who cheer for these teams — these groups of adults who wear matching uniforms — with every ounce of our spirits because we’ve anchored so much more than instant gratification to our sports teams’ success.
It’s dumb. I know.
Even though I recognize how insignificant winning and losing is in the “real world,” I can’t help but feel some level of disappointment that my Dodgers shit the bed in the playoffs this year, again. As I sit and write this, the motherfreaking Arizona Diamondbacks are in the World Series playing for a chance at baseball immortality against the Texas Rangers. Am I envious? Yes. Is that sad? Yes.
On to next season.
November is the best month of the year, and I base that solely on Thanksgiving, which I think is a grossly underrated holiday. The emphasis is on taking a few hours to spend time with loved ones and share gratitude for them and the other great things we have going on in our lives. It’s wonderful, and it’s a shame we put it all on one day of the year.
We’re approaching the end of another year, and it may be too much to hope that 2024 starts off better than 2023. If you have the ability to take a moment to hug the people you love and share a laugh with them, do it. Have a great month.