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Okay, that was cheating. I clipped that from the middle of a sentence that’s buried in a song no one has heard of, on an album almost everyone recognizes.  So here’s the whole thing, from Speak to Me – Dark Side of the Moon.

“I’ve been mad for fucking years, absolutely years, been over the edge for yonks, been working me buns off for bands…  I’ve always been mad, I know I’ve been mad, like the most of us…very hard to explain why you’re mad, even if you’re not mad…”

I’d just like to know when we, as a society, lost our damn mind. My Facebook stream is plastered with news stories and commentary on the kid who fell into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati zoo. Can’t we just be glad the kid is okay? Do we have to publicly shame the parents? Was it necessary to dig up the dad’s shady past – especially when the most important line (“He has turned his life around in recent years”) is buried so far down that few people probably saw it? Really? Is that where we are now?

Witnesses said the mom was paying attention, that the kid just slipped away. That happens every day. And 99.999999% of the time, it turns out okay. So the FB timeline took me to a friend’s comment on one of her friends’ page. And in that discussion (not from my friend) someone said something about blaming the parents, something like “But this is what we deal with every day. If it had been a white family we wouldn’t be having this discussion.”  I’d really, really like to believe that’s not true. Sadly, though, I think it is. We would still be having the discussion about horrible parenting, but I bet the father’s background wouldn’t have been examined had he been white. What was the point of that, other than sensationalism?

My sister had a paper route when I was about 5. Ish. I don’t really remember how old I was, but I remember we had a Datsun 240-Z. One day, my dad took my sister on the route and I begged to go along. The hatch was up (to facilitate the throwing) and I was sitting in the back. My dad drove down the street … crested a hill … hit a dip … and I landed on my ass in the middle of the road. And he kept driving because he didn’t realize I fell out. To his credit, he did stop at the end of the street. I wasn’t hurt and the only reason I was scared was because I thought he wasn’t going to come back. It really wasn’t a big deal. He probably even told me not to ride in the back – although I don’t remember that specifically. What if we had internet back then and some neighbor was videoing on her cell phone? I’d like to think he wouldn’t have been publicly excoriated, mostly because it was a different time, a different mindset. But what brought about this new mindset?

I love the Internet. I love that I can find obscure song lyrics that I can’t quite remember. I like being able to talk with people all over the world. I love being able to find silly cat pictures (or post my own). But with all this accessibility we seem to have lost compassion. We’ve become numb. (Comfortably numb. Sorry. I had to.)

Maybe that’s why we’re so divided, so angry and judgmental.

I’m sorry about Harambe. I’m relieved the boy is okay. I feel bad that the parents are being excoriated.

Can’t we all just chill and watch some baseball?

 

 

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