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Some Random Mind Drippings

Image: PV Bella

“I love people. I love individuals. I hate groups of people. They come together for a common purpose, and pretty soon, they have little hats, tee shirts, armbands, and fight songs, and a list of people they are going to visit at 3 AM.” (George Carlin)

America loves a fight. To fight, you need an enemy. Americans love to have enemies. In our current time, we are all the enemy, fighting against and hating each other. The volume of anger is at a fever pitch. The COVID-19 pandemic brought out the worst in rage and hatred on all sides over the severity of the disease, masks, vaccines, mandates, treatments, and God knows what else.

We are supposed to be people who think. We are turning into herds of sheeple, or worse, lemmings heading blindly off a cliff. Ignorance is the fuel of hatred. There is no lack of ignorance in our public discourse. There is a lack of learned understanding. We are running down one-way and dead-end streets. Nothing good is going to come of this. We are not becoming a better society. The anger and hatred accomplish nothing.

The Kyle Rittenhouse trial is getting a lot of media traction. The trial was called “polarizing” by one media outlet. News commenters with no knowledge of how trials work, Wisconsin laws and criminal procedure, or what the word justice means in a criminal trial pretend to inform the public. They bring out the usual suspects, their experts with no expertise. They are trying the case in the press, not the courtroom.

Rittenhouse is on trial. He is guaranteed a fair trial under Wisconsin law and criminal procedures. The prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Rittenhouse’s attorneys must refute the prosecution beyond a reasonable doubt. The judge is the referee. The jury will decide. It is that simple. Once a verdict is rendered, we do not have to like it. We must accept it. That is how the justice system is supposed to work. All the rest is bothersome noise.

I live in Chicago. Political pundits are fretting about the Virginia governor’s race and what it portends for the mid-term elections. Even the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board weighed in on Virginia, yet they will not weigh in on severe problems in Chicago. Why? Not one neighborhood is safe in this city. People are being shot, wounded, killed, robbed, and carjacked every day in every neighborhood. No one cares. Yet, people and pundits fret or are angry over Virginia? What does Virginia have to do with our city? Not one damn thing.

If you went grocery shopping lately, you noticed the steep price hikes on many food items. I went shopping the other day at a chain supermarket. I was stunned at the price of meat, fish, and poultry. It was almost as high and sometimes higher as the quality deli butcher section in my neighborhood. The same was true at one of the big box club stores. It looks like the upcoming holiday feasting will either be deep pockets or meager this year.

There is a lot to b angry about this year. When things bug me, I try to find humor or insult humor in them. I reserve my mental energy for the issues that impact me. There is more to be grateful for too. As Thanksgiving approaches, let’s think with the attitude of gratitude. It sounds trite, but there is something to be grateful for every day, no matter how bad things are or appear to be.

Last but not least, with the upcoming Christmas shopping season, please try to shop local for gifts. The small local businesses suffered during the pandemic. Shop at the museum stores too. They have unique items not found in other stores. The money helps fund the institutions. Or you can purchase memberships for people as gifts.

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