The gloomy title of this blog is the last few words of an op-ed piece in the New York times about the declining mortality rate of white Americans. The piece is partially a stab at right-wing conservative, fundamentalist (a stab I don’t mind in the least), but it is also a pondering statement about the United States in general.
There is something wrong here.
Of course there is something wrong, many things wrong, everywhere, but the U.S. is where I live, and the U.S. is the country I am a citizen… and it is the country I would like to be proud of.
That doesn’t happen a lot.
Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted yesterday that since 2001, there have been 3,400 Americans who have died in acts of terrorism. In the last five WEEKS, the same number of Americans have died by household firearms.
I know our gun policies here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. is a subject of much confusion in other first world countries… AS IT SHOULD BE! Those numbers are ridiculous. Horrifying even.
People, lots and lots and lots of people (and dare I say the same ones that have a decreasing mortality rate) cry foul at even the mention of taking their guns away.
Is this an aspect of freedom that we must hold on to? Something essential from our forefathers that makes it a “God-given right” that we can buy and use (frequently) these items that’s sole and only purpose is for killing?
I am getting off track. I did not mean to turn this into a blog about gun rights (and the overabundance of said rights); rather, I wanted to point out this existential despair that permeates the country I live in. This despair is an underlying aspect that causes, in my opinion, the unfriendly frigidity of most the people I interact with daily.
And not just in the PNW. I went to California over the weekend. My cousin and I were going over to someone’s apartment. The apartment complex had a gate with a key-code. The person we were visiting had texted me the key code but it wasn’t working. As we were trying to get a hold of this person to get the right key code, another car pulled up behind us. I waved my hand at them, and said that we had the wrong key code, could they let us in?
“Get the f*ck out of the way if you don’t know it,” was the reply we got, as the man, late 20s with his wife/girlfriend of the same age in the passenger seat, made obnoxious hand motions at us.
What made him be such a dick?
I guess we were lucky he didn’t have a gun.
The point in all of this rambling:
The despair that permeates our country, is one that compiles and spreads.
To show my age, one of the most brilliant movie quotes of all times is from The Matrix:
“I’d like to share a revelation that I’ve had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you’re not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.”
Despair. Anger. Hate. Intolerance.
We are spreading them like a virus.
What is the cure?
A rather gloomy thought for this Tuesday, so have some more pictures I took while visiting. End on a good note.