So that little Dance, Monkey rant I wrote way back in 2010 has recently gained new life. You’ve probably stumbled across it since it has legs of its own now and walks free of its original creator (That’s called plagiarism, folks. If you see it, let me know). Sometimes it even picks up some extra words along the way.
Clearly, it resonates with people even still. I like that. I like when my words reach people. I like to think of all of you imaginary friends out there as real live people with thoughts, passions, experiences, opinions of your own. Something this response to my rant points out that I didn’t express well.
“You exist for my entertainment.”
Can you imagine saying that to another human being? I would hope that none of us could imagine it. Especially those of us who are Christians. The words go against the very foundation of our faith—the belief that God made us, loves us, and died to redeem us, and that His love gives us each worth.
She’s got a point, and I would never say that to another human being. Yes, my rant is worded personally, but it is directed self-important character these various celebrities play when they have an audience. Don’t get me wrong, I stand behind what I said in that rant seven years ago. The point is that despite what those in the public eye seem to believe, their opinions don’t matter any more than any other human being. Yes, they are human beings deserving of love and compassion with every right to their own opinions, but they do not have any authority to direct what you or I chose to believe.
My words were harsh and intentionally so. I make no apologies for them. I encourage you to read Gina Dalfonzo’s Rebuttal to me. She takes a much kinder and gentler approach to reminding us all that no matter how many cameras are pointed at you or how much a platform you’re given, we’re all humans suffering the same human condition.
So as you may have seen elsewhere around the interwebs, we spent our weekend with our tribe. Our chosen family. Phlegmfest.
Saturday night sitting in OldNFO‘s living room, I was reminiscing with Christina. I remarked that here in this room sit some of my very favorite people on the planet and it all started with a little shindig she threw some years back. We’d never met, but since Jim suggested she invite us, she did. I think he may have left out the part where he hadn’t met the Evylrobot and me.
But we figured, what the hell. Let’s take a road trip. What could possibly go wrong? I went to my boss to request the time off. He granted it and conversationally asked, “So what do you have planned?”
“Oh, erm. We’re going out of state to meet people from the internet. With guns.”
He gave me the look. You know the one.
Best crazy idea ever.
Never in a million years would I have thought that party would lead all the wild places that it has. Because of that weekend, I have since found myself dressed in a vinyl catsuit standing in a room cheering on the waxing of a friend. We’ve presented a pink gorilla to none other than Lawdog, himself, and we’ve traded puns with Peter and Dot. We’ve killed and eaten some of FarmDad‘s chickens. We’ve spent our lives south of the Mason Dixon, but it took GayCynic to make grits we actually enjoy. I’ve had my intoxication levels evaluated by Matt G, and gone antiquing with the divine miss Phlegmmy.
It was a pleasure, as always, to spend the weekend with this ragtag group of mischief makers. My soul is replenished by the laughter of my friends. Those of the tribe that didn’t make it, know that you were missed, and we look forward to being in your company soon. Hopefully no one will wind up in the emergency room next time.
You know what, ice storms suck. Ice storms that come before the trees have dropped all of their leaves come with extra special suckiness.
This is what we woke up to Sunday morning.
Sigh. Thankfully, we notified the neighbors that they might just want to move the car before it became one with the tree.
We owe her an antenna
Yet still, we are blessed. We’d been hearing the news of the storm since Wednesday so parked our own vehicle on the opposite side of the driveway.
We spent Thursday with family sharing good food, good stories, and lots of laughter. With the freezing drizzle on Friday, we decided we felt like a swim so headed to the local YMCA and their indoor pool. After a nice swim, we tossed Die Hard in the DVD player which turned into staying up and watching the first three movies while the storm rolled in.
Woke up Saturday to more freezing rain and the first of the branches in the yard. We decided the most appropriate course of action was to stay indoors and watch the next two movies in the franchise, interrupted periodically by the sounds of snapping branches and them crashing to the ground.
Thankfully, all fell to the ground. Nothing of any consequence hit the house or the cars. We don’t have any power lines near the house and aside from a few flashes, the lights stayed on for the duration of the storm. Some of my neighbors weren’t so lucky. Just across the street, they lost power for around 6 hours. We offered to run an extension cord.
Sure, this is going to be a lot of work, but we’ve got a chainsaw and we’re all able-bodied. Several neighbors have offered their assistance as well. We’ll all help each other, and together, we’ll weather this storm and the next.
See? We’re starting to get it cleaned up already. No shortage of firewood in my neighborhood!
I’m not going to lie about my age. I have taken every single one of those trips around the sun. Not everyone gets as many, and I hope to have many more. Besides, I’d much rather look damn good for 37 than to tell anyone I’m 29 and have them think those must have been some rough trips.
I’m going to quote myself in full with only minor changes because it still applies
Gun Control, Because It Feels Like Doing Something
No one wants to feel powerless, helpless, hopeless. We are all so horrified by the events in CT OR that we’re devouring information and trying to answer the question of why. We just can’t accept that we just don’t know.
We don’t know why the shooter succumbed to the darkness. Why he targeted innocent children.people. All we know is that he did. And it hurts. It shakes us to our very core. We don’t want to acknowledge that the darkness lurks in everyone. We want to push it to some outside force. He can’t be like us. Surely my darkness couldn’t ever look like that.
It must be the video games, the mental health issues, the loneliness, the gun. Right? Please let it be something definable. Something we can tie to the stake in the funeral pyre. Anything other than the evil that lurks in the hearts of men. No. Something must be done! We must have a culprit at which to direct our pain, our confusion, our sorrow, our rage.
For the children.
Guns are the easy scapegoat for the simple-minded. Never mind the fact that not one single gun restriction has ever reduced violence. Never mind the fact that as gun ownership has increased, violent crime has decreased. Yes, I know. Correlation does not equal causation, but causation requires correlation. Therefore, the claim that more guns cause more crime is demonstrably false.
But history, logic, and facts have no place in an emotional argument.We must Do Something. It doesn’t really matter whether or not it’s the right something. It doesn’t matter whether or not the something saves a single life. It doesn’t even matter if we’ve tried it before only to fail. It must be done, and it must be done now. Now, so we can stop staring into the evil. The something must distract us from the darkness. The darkness hurts. It’s frightening. The something feels better, warmer, brighter.
And it continues to leave our children defenseless. Not just our children, but us as well. I have never committed an act of violence, and yet the something would confiscate much of my property and leave me with only harsh words to fend off the rapist twice my size that is overwhelmed by his darkness. I’m a well-trained vocalist with a lot of voice, but I’d rather have a proven equalizer for that battle.
I reject the something. Even if it means I must stare into the darkness with no security blanket. I accept the fact that human beings are capable of unspeakable evil, and that we must each chose for ourselves whether or not we embrace our own darkness. I acknowledge that most chose to keep their demons at bay. For those that do not, we need more than harsh words, empty platitudes, and regulations to protect ourselves and those we care about. My gun is no security blanket. It is not a talisman warding off evil. It is a tool. It is the tool with the best track record of putting an end to the evil actions of others.
I don’t want to feel like your children and mine are safe. I want them to be safe.
Saturday, EvylRobot and I made the questionable decision to head down to a particular flea market that we don’t generally frequent. It’s not exactly in our normal stomping grounds. One of the establishments we pass between here and there in a nightclub known as Fantasy Island.
Overheard in the car:
ER: That doesn’t really look like much of a fantasy
Me: Well, unless your idea of a fantasy includes syphilis.
And so you can imagine my giggles when this story popped up as breaking news.
Last week, a task force raided Fantasy Island and wrote more than 20 citations ranging from possession of firearms to illicit sexual conduct.