Thanksgiving comes around again here in America.
I do hope you stay far away from the madness that has been made of the day following Thanksgiving, which has become constantly referred to by a foul name I shall not use.
It’s a little strange to consider the day, now, as many people, myself included, are finding themselves in a state of affairs where it’s a little challenging to think of what to be thankful for, even while there are many such things. Those can get lost in the troubles and sheer frustration.
Ironically, it seems that an obscenely large number of people who are extraordinarily fortunate, and should be eternally thankful for so much, often spend the day thinking of nothing of the sort, and often belch forth an endless stream of incredibly petty complaints.
Of course, you can get into people who think that everybody else’s complaints are petty and meaningless, while, for them, the whole universe is collaborating to displease and inconvenience them. I suppose that, today, that will include logistics of people’s shopping hunting expeditions. Actually, like many people, the day after Thanksgiving is a day when there are things I need to do, quite apart from the whole psychotic consumption frenzy, and that circus presents problems because of what’s happening where, requiring venturing into zones where people will be clogging the area with motor vehicles.
Saying anything about all that can, naturally, be regarded as pretty petty in itself, as in, oh, how terrible for you, suffering those awful traffic problems, but that whole ritual, that somehow developed over the fairly recent past, is significant as a demonstration of how people’s sense of what’s important has become warped, really deranged.
As the mass psychosis of consumption frenzy breaks loose, complete with endless chatter about it everywhere, that has managed to derange and derail both Thanksgiving day and the Christmas season, I find myself thinking about how many people can’t even think about this crazed binge of spending money on assorted stuff people don’t really need, including myself at the moment, and how many people don’t even consider that this mass consumption shopping frenzy spending is anything like a problem. Especially considering the day of Thanksgiving, and how many people treat it, it amazes and just plain saddens me to no end to observe how many people really have not the slightest clue of just how fortunate they really are.
This is actually true even among many people who put on what are considered all the right appearances and gestures of thankfulness. It’s astonishing how many people just regard their own circumstances with smug oblivion, seemingly assuming that their own good fortune is simply normal and obviously due to them by their own wondrous virtue. My life is just fine, the attitude goes, so if things aren’t wonderful for you, then clearly there must be something wrong with you.
There is a large amount of frustration around, in a wide variety of packages. The ongoing drama in Missouri of how this kind of thing can just muddle things and make circumstances even more confused and complicated. A shooting turns into a raging angry drama, turned into something of a life of its own, evidently quite apart from the actual situation setting all this off. A whole narrative has arisen, and drives angry people, even though an objective look at what is possible to sort out makes it evident that the victim was not really so much of a victim, and certainly not an innocent child, just a kid, a mere boy murdered by a racist cop in his prime. But this has become the narrative, and it’s bizarre that this is happening while largely ignoring what could be a very long list of real innocent victims (or maybe people in some relatively minor petty situation) have met serious harm or death at the hands of people who are supposed to preserve peace and civilization as public servants, just because they were categorized as the wrong kind somehow.
In social media world, I read a short note from an online musical general acquaintance, a man with African ancestry and dark skin who has had his own experience in his past of finding himself in a situation facing a Chicago cop, with his hands up and still, about 20 or 25 feet away, and then being shot in the neck by said cop, for God only knows what reason. It probably doesn’t need to be said that this guy was feeling outraged by the announcement from Missouri saying that a grand jury was not going to pass down an indictment of the policeman in Ferguson, Missouri involved in the shooting that has dominated news. That the young man shot to death was, as I’ve said, evidently not an innocent victim child, but a very large raging out of control young man, who had literally just committed a crime involving physical threat to someone, hardly seems to matter in a situation like this. People who know far too well about coming to harm from police just reach a level of anger and frustration where it becomes a feeling of “enough!”.
Given that, suddenly somebody who is nothing like an innocent can become a symbol, a martyr, and people who have done nothing wrong can be beaten and shot and killed, and they’re lost in the noise, forgotten and ignored.
All this forms a whole tragic public play of how difficult, and yes, frustrating, it is to try to get any public discussion and consensus about virtually anything important. In this case, we have people just finding an episode of trouble that turned deadly as an example of a larger deadly serious problem, even though what’s known about the events make it pretty apparent that the young man in question was not an innocent child victim, and other people dismiss all the raging drama as “race baiting” or “playing the race card” or things like this, ignoring the very stark reality for a lot of Americans, that an encounter with law officers can seriously harm or even kill you.
This whole saga is quite a large story, and, it’s pretty obvious, even trying to discuss it in serious honest terms like this is difficult, to put it mildly. We have much more on hand, in the public realm, and for me personally, events and circumstances are, shall we say, very difficult and problematic, and as if it all isn’t enough, the frustration piled on to a stack of frustrations is having to deal with the ugly reality of people just not understanding things. Of course, a problem with this sort of thing is that, in that kind of situation, the ugly twist of irony is people thinking you’re just whining, and still, nothing gets through.
The frustration can be pretty severe, finding so many people who, somehow, manage to just fail to understand many things, not because they are all that hard to understand, sometimes ridiculously obvious. The question is, how does that happen? Answering this might be one of the more important questions.