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Monday, December 17, 2012

The Real Reason...

For the past four days, I have sickened myself, not only following the tragic events in Newtown, CT, but the raging stupidity of the response to that.  Yes, we mourned for children of families we never met, or never will meet.  We also scrambled to our favorite talking points.  Those who were pro-gun now fear that President Obama will take away all their guns.  Those who ar anti-gun called for the President to...what else?...take away all our guns.  Some have said that this is God's judgement on a world that does not believe in him (of course no one says that when kids are gunned down in Comptin, CA or Bedford-Sty. NY....but that's another rant, all together). Atheists say this proves that there is no God anyway because He would not allow this to happen if He was in control (with the exception of Compton or Bedford-Sty.....sorry).

Some have blamed the lack of availablity of mental health care (bogus, because in America mental health care is basically "here's a bag of pills, knock yourself out...NEXT!" Ex.: Ms. L. Lohan...). Some have blamed the President.  Others have blamed right-wing talk radio.  Still others note that we're all going mad because of the latest impending-end-of-days Dec. 21 (which we'll all be bitching about the morning of Dec. 22.)....

Same shit, different mass atrocity.

Now for most of this weekend, I have spent enormous amounts of time trying to tell my Facebook and Twitter brethern, sistern, and transgendern that this problem goes deeper.  That we on the planet have a collective broken soul.  It is that, I believe, that must be healed.  And this goes beyond being born-again or finding whatever Higher Power you believe in.  It means that you have to take steps after that prayer to effect that healing.

But blaming (fill-in-theblank) is much easier than looking in the mirror and realizing that YOU are the problem and that the solution starts with YOU.

Obviously, I have lost my communications skills.

Thankfully, some else has not.

A bit of intrudction here is in order.

"Bond.Jane" was born in Portugal, and has lived the last decade in the UK.  We came together through our love and writing of Once Upon A Time fan fiction (A great sample of her work is "Atonment."  Give it a read, and, if you will, send it to the OUAT producers so they know exactly what direction the show should go......but I digress....).  The other day I wrote a Storybrook response to the tragedy, she said some kind things, and we started to discuss it.  What follows, with her permission, is her response to mine, and it spells out in beautiful detail what i have been trying to say.  I have left all typos and misspellings in.  When someone speaks from the heart, its best to present verbatim.

As for the the US and the UK... well, yes... there is a difference there which is this one: we do not wake up to news of a massacre in a random school by a random boy that for all accounst was a quiet one. And that is mostly because there are no guns on the high stree, every joe dick and harry do not have a gun in their drawer and there simple is no where to buy them.

Crime here is one on one. And it is terrifying, silent, with knives. Face to face.

Let me give you some background here. I am Portuguese. I have only lived here for 9 yeras. All my liofe was in Portugal, a small town there and, as I was teaching, even smaller villages. And there is this that I have noticed: everybody is involved in every one elses business. Society demands things of you, minds your business, whether it is the shape of your parents, your teachers, your parent's friends, your neightbours. You do not have space to be alone. Even depression is a different ball game there.

I guess that what it creats in you is accountability. To yourself and other.

I read a while ago, here in the Uk, that the most common motor deseases are those associated with avoidance of contact. People are so desperate to avoid contact with others that they have all these sorts of deseases like knee, elbow, neck and even eye repetitive motion stress. Check it out one of thewse days on public transport. You'll be surprised at what you see. Or maybe not. People are so desperate to avvoind contact with others that they do not now what to do with their angly body parts so as not to touch.

I think that is very telling: we are so detached from others that we simply forget to look at others- even the ones we do not know- as people that got here the same way we did, that are made of the same material that breathe the same air, that have their own sufferings and joys.

Yes, you are right. We are broken. Our capacity to establish connections is broken, we do not know how to reach out beyond the barrier of our own skin. And that has nothing to do with God or with guns. It is about accountability. There is none. To others or to ourselves While there is always a shrink waiting to excuse and absolve you, while there is aq blame laid at the feet of violent computer games or sports or films, we will never be accountsble. We will never hold ourselves accountable.

We find it diffcult to say "mea culpa". And it seems, that it is being made easier for us to hide behind the excuses more and more.
End quote.

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