It’s been a couple rough days. I’ve been feeling the weight of the world pretty intensely. Anxiety has been hanging over me like a dark cloud, not giving me much space in my brain to think about music. It seems like every time I get online to get an update on the current militant state of the US the police are continuing that barrage of violent outbursts on peaceful protests. No need for the devil’s advocate game. Yes, there is looting and violence starting from outside the police, but there’s a hell of a lot that is being instigated by the boys in blue. I know there’s a lot a love and good coming from these protests. People from every color and background are coming out in support of the black community. Continued protests are showing the world that this issue matters. That the law enforcement community needs a serious, hard look in the mirror. Torn down, and rebuilt back up even.
But then that pessimist in me starts to rear his ugly head and the darkness returns. Between the months of isolation, the armed white guys storming statehouses demanding their rights to eat out be returned, angry boomers demanding they no longer have to wear masks at the store, and now another heinous murder of a non-resisting black man in Minneapolis by law enforcement, I feel my psyche has been stretched to the limit. The past two weeks I’ve been dealing with that pit in my stomach and it came to a head yesterday. Had that feeling of falling into a black hole, never to be seen again. Had a dentist appt at 1:30pm and ended up having to cancel because I just wasn’t going to be able to handle it. I normally get a little jittery before doctor appointments anyways. A lifetime of doctor visits; for myself throughout childhood, then as a parent with asthma and dental issues for my kids(not to mention two miscarriages that my wife and I went thru), a doctor office holds in it certain anxiety triggers. Typically once I’m in the thick of an appt things ease up and I’m good, but these last few months have put me a raw nerve state.
The last thing anyone wants to hear is a sob story from some middle-aged dude in the Midwest about how he’s getting panic attacks. Especially when there are people hitting the pavement in every state of the union protesting police brutality, murder, and the general unfair treatment of the African American community as a whole. I know I don’t want to be sitting here typing that shit out. I want to be talking about records, beer, books, movies, funny anecdotes from my life, and just the impact that art has on my daily life. But to be quite honest, it feels pointless talking about any of that when we’re still seeing the murders of people like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, Ahmaud Abery, as well as a list of men, women, and children as long as the dead sea scrolls that spans way too many decades killed senselessly by police.
I want to believe that things can change. I want to believe that those in power can see what is happening. How can they not? It’s in the news almost on the regular. There seems to be institutional decay in the way police officers are being trained and how to approach a suspect. What’s happening now is not working. I wouldn’t want the job of a police officer. I know it’s not an easy thing, to put your life on the line every time you pull a car over and approach the window to ask for license and registration. I can’t offer any solutions on how to make that better. But there seems to be a drastic divide between how these situations go down when that person in the car is caucasian or a person of color. How does that get fixed? Who’s going to step up and fix that sinking foundation?
I have no idea.
The massive protests give me hope. But seeing the reaction by riot police is both telling and frightening. The incident in Buffalo, New York yesterday where a 75-year old protester who approached riot officers and was pushed, fell, and cracked his head open(with blood visibly pooling from his head and ear) while the cops kept walking around him makes me think this isn’t going to right itself from a couple weeks of protests. A few photo ops with kneeling officers, Bible poses, and the jangle of change in donation jars of various victims’ funds more than likely won’t right this ship. Even if this ship can be righted.
The core has been rotting for years now, not just in police/civilian relations, but people/government relations. The last 20 years seem to have begun a trend of playing “Fact or Fiction: You Decide” in the media and now we have a government that loves playing it as well. As long as we have a President that talks about how happy a man that was murdered by police officers two weeks ago would be at how great the economy is doing, we’ll never see any significant change. If there’s another four years of this we’ll see The Running Man as more of a neo-futuristic documentary than a Stephen King story.
Sorry. Debbie Downer here. I’m still a little raw from yesterday and not seeing that silver lining just yet. I think I’m closer. I could use a stiff drink and maybe some meditation. I still need to get my teeth cleaned, but that can wait. I’ve got good teeth. It’s my mind that could use some serious flossing.
See you soon with music.