Oh my god, Ferguson. Gaza, Robin Williams. Amazon fighting Hachette. People calling Lee Child a bully. People attacking Chuck Wendig for having an opinion. Like eighty school shootings in America in a few months. American police forces acting like invading armies.
So. Much. Chaos.
Everyone is on edge right now. Today a lady's tweet was retweeted into my timeline. It said 'RT if you'll still be mad about black men being shot by police a year from now. Tryna see something.' I retweeted it. So did a lot of other people.
Someone who follows me, a crotchety British fellow who I had developed a reasonably good relationship with on Twitter, replied to us both saying that he wouldn't be mad about black men but about anyone shot by police.
What does a person do in this situation? I tried to appease both sides by saying that it was true that we didn't want anyone shot, but right now the numbers are leaning toward people of color.
In my way of handling disputes, I did my very best to gently assert right while trying to make sure everyone expressed themselves. The lady, a stranger to me, was lovely and gracious about it all. The guy wrote out a string of expletives and names, including racist and the c word. He also told the lady to 'die.'
This is not a time or place where it seems like a good idea to gently explain why people of color can't be racists. (Prejudice plus power equals racism. No power, you just have prejudice.) It's hard enough to try to get the uninitiated to buy race theory at the best of times.
So I simply apologized to the lady. And held my breath. And then I said to the guy, "I can't interact with you when you talk to people that way. It's unnecessary." Which given what he'd said to a perfect stranger in my timeline, seemed pretty reasonable.
His response was to block me. Great.
I'm a law abiding person. I tend to think of myself as lawful neutral. But actually that's a stretch. I'm more like lawful good or on very rare occasions, I'll pull a chaotic good card out of my pack. I like to feel like a good person, a blameless person. It seems there really isn't much way to be blameless in the world right now.
Does this really have to be so hard? Yes, I guess it does. Very easy to get dismayed about things.
Can everyone just be a little bit patient with everyone else right now? We're going to need it.
In other news, I wrote one of my famous, mental emails to President Obama, reminding him that we need him right now, and not just to be Presidential, but to react with human emotions.
I'd love to tell you all about the drama that's going on in my personal life, but I can't. Someday I'll be able to. Someday it will make a good memoir. Or Wikipedia entry. But until it's all resolved, I'll keep silent. I know others must be going through difficult stuff as well. And I always try to think about what might be happening in other people's lives that might be making them behave the way they are.
I mean, maybe that guy isn't flipping you the bird while he swims. Maybe he's drowning, you know?