Ugly Is As Ugly Does

Don’t let that gleam in my eye fool you… this is not going to be the usual, humorous fare you’ve come to know and love here at Musings. I know that I’ve regaled you with the catchphrase “I hate people” often, and perhaps, for a while, it lost the bite it once had. However, reading the news, as it so often does, brought this feeling to the forefront with decided force.

Do you remember the final episode of Seinfeld where the gang, as so-called “innocent” bystanders, were arrested for watching as a man was robbed and abused on the street? Yeah, everyone remembers that one.

Have you ever thought of what drove that episode, though? I’ll tell you what I think. Incidents like the idiots on the subway who sat by and watched as a poor, defenseless 78-year-old woman was kicked repeatedly in the face by a psychopath!

But really, who is the psychopath here? No one called 911. No one intervened. Instead of calling for help or better yet, putting down the cell phones and getting up off your asses to help this poor woman, a bunch of you continued to record the incident, some even went so far as to provide commentary. What is wrong with all of you?? How can this be okay? How can you live with yourselves after watching, while a woman feared for her life and lay there bleeding right in front of you? Didn’t any of your parents teach you better?  Your callous inaction was disgusting, and the fact that you could stand there and watch, while doing absolutely nothing, makes you disgusting.

Oh sure, you could argue that you were gathering “evidence.” Bullshit. I don’t buy it. When everyone is recording, and no one is helping (I’ll repeat an important point that was reported: not a single 911 call was made) … that right there is a sign of a bigger, much uglier, issue in our society.

What if she were your sister or your mother or your grandmother? What would you do then? Would you record someone in your family going through the same experience or would you help? I really want you to consider this, and then explain to me why there is a difference.

Is this what we’ve become as a society? An eager audience to someone else’s suffering? Or has it always been this way? I know the human race – as a general rule – is horrible but come on people! God damn it, get your shit together. We’re all in this world together and we can’t keep doing this to each other.

Get up, rise up, and speak up! Offer assistance when needed, give up your seat to stand up for others, be kind. Put down the camera and forego the viral footage in favor of nabbing the bad guy, not on tape but in real life… even if that just means calling 911. For God’s sake think of someone else sometimes, especially in pivotal moments when your action, your voice, can make a difference. Do the right fucking thing.

Okay, rant over. I need a drink.

Judge Not… Well, You Know the Drill

I’ve really been trying to control how often I use this blog as a soapbox to wag fingers at others (okay, so I haven’t been trying that hard). When I read this article my annoyance meter kicked on and I knew it was time to dust off the old ‘box’. Oh come on, don’t roll your eyes at me! I have a good reason, this time, I swear.

If you can’t open the link, here’s the gist: A mom was carrying her five-year old daughter in a baby carrier on her back. The manager of the store they were in snapped a photo, posted it on Facebook, and used the social media platform to shame the mom for allowing the kid to be in the carrier. The mom found out and all hell broke loose.

As a mom, here’s my perspective. I’ve been to the mall with my kids and guess what? They get tired. Shocking, I know. So what do you do? There are two options: 1) listen to your kid complaining and throwing mini tantrums because they’re in no mood to walk or 2) keep ‘em quiet by hoisting them up. Both options depend on your own sanity level.

Sometimes a parent is in zero mood to hear the tiny rants coming from their precious child. So we’ll gladly carry them, even up to the age of 5 (if we’re strong enough), just to zip those lips. But sometimes a parent has enough patience in the tank to teach the kid a life lesson about bucking up and getting through the tough times. That’s when we can take the crocodile tears and trembling lips and keep the kid putting one foot in front of the other. There is a third option in which no one wins. You throw in the towel, head to the car, and retreat home trying to convince yourself you didn’t really want to go shopping anyway.

I’m saying this and admittedly I’m old school. Those carrier things like the woman in the article had didn’t even exist when I was a mom to toddlers (not that the kid in the photo was a toddler). I just held them in my arm, pressed against my hip. Having one of those carriers would’ve been a godsend. Of course the mom is going to use that handy-dandy carrier when her kid’s not feeling well or simply to shut the kid up. It seems like a no brainer.

The idea that someone else would publicly humiliate a mom for doing something that benefits both her child’s comfort and her own sanity is beyond me. So what if the kid is older? It’s not like she was in Middle School for god’s sake. Now that would’ve been worrisome. So what if it’s not what you would do as a parent (speaking to the store manager and the complainers here)? That kid isn’t yours. So why do you even care?

And did I miss the memo that it’s no longer super creepy to lurk and take photos of other people, especially children, in public and post them online? Is this okay now? I mean, I understand if you’re trying to out someone for stealing or doing something truly nefarious, but carrying your kid on your back? Or (gasp!) breastfeeding in public? You can go viral from that?!? Sadly, apparently so.

All in all, it’s just sad that our society has stooped to these levels. Just because we can do certain things now thanks to the internet and technology doesn’t mean we should. I think this is a morality line people forget or altogether neglect to consider. Or maybe it’s worse than I think. Maybe people nowadays simply just don’t care about that morality line in the first place.

Upside Down World

I’m a little behind. Okay, way behind.  This article about the Senate voting on human involvement in climate change is from January but I just saw it a couple of days ago and have to say something about it. You know me.  Never one to keep my mouth shut on things like this. I’m not here to change anyone’s mind on the issue, but I have my viewpoints and one of them was so strongly challenged from a place I least expected it that it sort of took my breath away.

Per the article:

The Chairman of the Environment Committee, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., is an enthusiastic denier of climate change, saying it is the “biggest hoax” perpetrated against mankind.

“The hoax is there are some people so arrogant to think they are so powerful they can change the climate,” Inhofe said Wednesday on the Senate floor. “Man can’t change the climate.”

Please keep in mind people, this is the CHAIRMAN OF THE ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE saying this. That’s like the Executive Director of General Motors saying that cars aren’t actually faster than walking. It’s all been a hoax. You’ve just been fooled this whole time into purchasing these wildly expensive newfangled contraptions that you never really needed.

I’m sorry but isn’t there a little something called scientific evidence that supports the fact that the climate has gone through a more radical change than Jekyll and Hyde over the past century or so.  Has Inhofe never heard of that somewhat monumental historical event known as the Industrial Revolution? Heck, the impact of that period sure enough changed the course of evolution, just ask the peppered moth.  I’m pretty sure pumping out loads and loads of contaminants into the atmosphere for decades on end has had the power to make some alterations to the weather patterns.

Only five Republicans joined the Dems in the belief that humans have contributed to climate change and that’s fine. Republicans have their beliefs and I do my best to respect them. I try not to ask for too much from my government (cause seriously, it’s the government after all), but it’d be really, really nice if the Head of the Environment Committee could actually believe in science or at the very least just listen to other people with scientific degrees who might perhaps know a bit more about the whole issue than he does…you know, those people with tons of letters after their names who work for little known firms like NASA and NOAA, among others.  Just saying.