I took another week off for CONvergence and oh my did this week get full of all the things. I kept a few old articles but let’s start by taking a look at what happened this week.
I know there are people who claim we should wait to judge until all the facts come out. It is interesting to me that every person who has said this to me is white.
I’m not suggesting these people are racist. I’m suggesting that these people need to listen to the facts that are already there and recognize that magnanimously suggesting that we need to know all of the facts before we “overreact” is part of the problem.
Every person of color I know is already well acquainted with the facts. They know that the officer who killed Castile will have a reasonable sounding excuse that he feared for his life. He may face a trial and he may face some public backlash but – and this is really important – no matter how unpleasant those things may be he will still be alive.
Philando Castile will be vilified by clueless people who will find reasons he deserves to be dead. They will tell the rest of us that we don’t know what happened at that traffic stop and he probably deserved to be pulled over.
He doesn’t get to defend himself. He doesn’t get to tell his story. To anyone waiting for all the facts to come out, please remember that the only person who gets to tell their story is the man who killed him.
And if you believe his race didn’t matter, you really haven’t been paying attention.
The dude sells bumper stickers that read “MFZ,” which stands for “Muslim Free Zone.” Clever fucker, ain’t he?
So he sees that he doesn’t like that some lady he doesn’t know supports a candidate he doesn’t like. The obvious solution would be to leave her alone. Because it’s not his car and therefore he shouldn’t be putting his bumper stickers anywhere but on – you know – his car.
Instead, he puts his stickers on her car and then brags about it on Facebook.
Now what he did is vandalism and that means he really ought to be arrested and at least fined. That may still happen.
The other thing that happened is the owner of the car found his post and told him he was an asshole. Fortunately, he knew a whole bunch of other assholes who leapt to his defense and trolled the shit out of her.
So it’s all a big happy ending, right?
He got to be an asshole. At the moment, he isn’t going to jail or paying a fine for fucking up her car. And all his asshole friends think he’s awesome.
I’m losing my faith in humanity.
Trump is like an improvisational comedian who isn’t funny. Any time he says something outrageous, he gets called on it. Instead of clarifying his statement, he simply says “Yes, I totally meant that, AND…”
Then he says something even worse. It would be hilarious were it not for the thousands of people who hang on his every word and totally believe everything he says.
Does Islam hate us? No. But I guarantee you that the fact Trump has said exactly that and has stood behind the statement is all some of his supporters need to believe something that stupid.
Why, this week a man punched a protester being escorted out of a Trump rally and later said “the next time we see him, we may have to kill him.” He assumed that since the guy was black, he was also probably Muslim and, therefore, ISIS. Was this a by-product of Trump having said he’d like to punch a protestor in the face?
What is truly insane is the idea that people think Trump will make America great again. He’s already made America worse.
The Republicans had another debate and, as usual, I didn’t watch it. I have no need to watch a bunch of dudes try to convince everyone they are simultaneously more conservative than each other but not so conservative that they can’t work with liberals on issues that “unite” us.
But Trump went off the rails this time because he had the balls to criticize George Bush and the Iraq war. In fact, he called the war a “big, fat mistake.”
Which it was.
Trump’s comments were so outlandish, he managed to piss off Dick Cheney.
Donald Trump pissed off Dick Cheney!
I think I may need to start drinking. I can’t handle this.
I’m sure you’ve read about Ahmed Mohamed this week. He built his own clock and made the mistake of bringing it to school and showing his teachers. He was proud of himself because he made something cool.
His teachers were concerned he’d built a bomb.
Because, you know, most kids who want to blow up their school show the bomb off to their teachers first.
So this kid was cuffed and interrogated by police and then suspended for three days. Because he built a clock.
Now if Ahmed had been white, I somehow think this situation would have turned out differently. Strange given that most of the school shooters I know of were white. Maybe school bombers are different.
As of right now, two important things have happened. On the positive side, President Obama invited Ahmed to the White House, MIT invited him to their campus, and about five dozen tech companies already want to hire him. Because fuck the people who got scared by a Muslim kid with mechanical skills.
On the negative side, he says he has learned his lesson and he won’t bring his inventions to school any longer.
Which is precisely the lesson he shouldn’t have been taught.
Apologies to regular fans of my Friday blog. I’m going to do things a little differently today.
I’ve been writing Shit that Pissed me off most Fridays for the last three years. I enjoy it as an exercise in writing humor and in exploring my opinions about what is happening in the world around me. Since I’ve started writing the column, it has never coincided with my birthday.
Well this year, it has.
So I decided instead of spending my birthday thinking about stuff that annoys me, I’m going to write about things that make me happy. I’ll post this week’s shit that pissed me off on Monday. Because even on my birthday, there are things that piss me off.
I begin my 48th year today and in honor of that, here are 48 things that make me happy.
1. I’ve been married to the same amazing woman for the last 25 1/2 years. She is brilliant, courageous, thoughtful, sexy, and supportive. She laughs at some of my jokes. She listens when I’m in a bad mood. She corrects me when I’m wrong. There is not a night that goes by where I am not happy we share a bed, a home, and a life.
2. I’ve got one fantastic mother. She loves math and has spent her life finding ways to help others love it too. She loves being an amateur artist. She is a fun travel companion. Any day I know I’m going to see her is automatically a good day.
3. My oldest son is great. He’s clever, cheerful, fun, and affectionate. He grew several inches in the last year and is starting to show signs of facial hair. Pretty soon, he’s going to learn how to drive and get a job and start looking at colleges. I’m not sure I’m ready for any of that.
4. My youngest son is wonderfully creative. The way he builds new Lego structures and describes ideas for new games or parks or dinosaurs shows boundless inventiveness. His head must be such an interesting place to live.
5. My Brother is full of passion and energy. He has been remarkably successful in not just the field he has chosen to pursue, but most anything he decides to accomplish. We have a great relationship hampered only by the distance that separates us.
6. My Sister-in-law has a sharp sense of humor, an infectious positive attitude, and seems like a perfect partner for my brother.
I was at CONvergence having a wonderful time last week so I apologize that I didn’t post my regular column. Today, I shall play catch up on a bunch of stupid shit stretching as far back as three weeks.
This happens a lot. People tell someone they aren’t allowed to have informed opinions about anything except that for which they are most well-known.
In this instance, a white fan from Lacey, Washington, complained that a black football player from Charleston, South Carolina should not have an opinion about racism in the south. I mean sure, that makes sense. A white guy in Washington knows a lot more about racism.
He certainly shouldn’t be subjected the opinion of a black guy from the south. Unless it’s about football.
The football player in question, Byron Maxwell, was responding to the recent massacre in his home town. His home town!
How entitled do you have to be to look at comments like that and think “I don’t want to hear the opinions of that guy because I know what’s going on way better than he does?”