Friday, January 20, 2017

A Preamble to a Call to Arms, 2017

It's happening again as it has happened before and I am certain it will all happen again. We were in the garage at my mother's house a few days back. As we were taking off our shoes, I whispered to my wife: “I wish I wasn't such an asshole.” I got no response from her. Perhaps she wishes I wasn't such an asshole too.

The thought came, of course, because I really am an asshole. Moments before this statement, we'd been eating tacos on a Sunday afternoon. It really should have been a happy occasion. I mean, tacos. I was with my family, my wife, my son, my parents. I love these people, I really do love them. Honestly, I like these people. Trump came up in conversation. Let it be known, Trump is not my problem. I vote third party. Trump followers, they are not my problem either. And America? I wore the uniform once, went half way across the world to shoot at people who, also, not my problem. I love America. I love that I can say what I want and for 240 years, it's been my right to say what I want. Trump is a piece of shit. He's a piece of shit and he really isn't my problem. I really don't care. So why do I get involved in any political debates?

I'm asshole because I said hasty things. I say hasty things. I say hasty things because I'm always getting involved in conversations when I shouldn't. Trump is a good case in point. There are other things too, all manners of conversations.

I don't watch tv. I don't follow the news, neither the conservative nor the liberal. I see no difference between the right and the left. Go too far either way, you'll become a book burner. I don't follow sports, I do not prescribe to religion. And as already ascertained, I don't care for politics. This in itself does not make me an asshole.

What makes me an asshole is that I should not contribute to at least 99% of the conversations that I get mired in. After all, I really should be kind to others and they do not need me to stir up emotion when at the heart of it all, I don't care. I mean, tv? To me it's sports, reality and news mixed cleverly with ads for pills, processed food and cars. I feel like I art is the highest form of human expression, and reality tv, sports broadcasts and political debates are the complete antithesis of art. Hell, they are the antithesis of human.

There was a time when our conversations were about books, rock bands, funny anecdotes. Have things changed? Are we so inundated with screens and instant information that we have no choice but to know all about the doings of the highly organized things that require uniforms and worse still, uniformed thinking? Or am I just so far removed from a life where people seemed interested in better things?

The grand summation? Nothing. For me, I'm asshole. I know I'm not alone. I know there are others who feel the way I do. I see the book clubs. I see people making art, and I see some pretending to make art, too.

If there is a time to make art, it's now. Now is the time. The screens are failing us, especially the pills, processed food and cars. So, stop reading this. Go outside, read a book, make art.

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