Friday, December 14, 2012

Sandy Hook, Connecticut: Sadness, Anger, Hopelessness

This probably isn't the time to write this, but I'm pissed off and sad and I damn well want to vent. 

We have almost thirty dead people in Sandy Hook, Connecticut today and twenty of them are kindergarten students. The shooter? He's dead too, along with six to eight other adults. We don't know much about the shooter and really even the particulars of how it happened. What we do know is enough for now. Twenty dead children. Twenty dead kindergarten children. Twenty children around the age of five. 

First, I'll deal a little with my anger. There is no justice for this. How can there be? Even if the shooter were still alive and I could be alone in a room with him and a hammer, where would the justice be? Am I angry those children are dead? Of course, but my anger is more immediately aimed at nothing. I'm just angry, because I know that no justice can be done. Those twenty children and the their families have forever.....FOREVER been destroyed. That's beyond our control and it angers me. 

My sadness obviously comes from place in my heart that is touched because I'm a parent and even beyond that, these folks are my fellow human beings. I can't imagine the terror, the distress, the hopeless feeling, and the helpless feeling that has to be hanging around the necks of those parents right now. That's a pain that will never heal. Fade? Yeah, time does have a way of lifting a burden, but their hearts will never be the same. That makes me sad. Nothing anyone can say or do can make it better for them. I'm also sad that those children will never get to experience life. The good, the bad.....all of the shit that goes along with being a human being. They will not get to experience it. The thrill of competing in a sport, learning an instrument, getting a scholarship to college, having fun with their friends, their first kiss, their first true love, their first child..........none of that is in the cards for twenty children today. Yeah, there are thousands of kids dying every single day. Circumstances mean that there is loss of life in our world, but this wasn't a loss, it was a theft. A human being, likely a broken human being, stole their lives. He stole hope. He stole the future. He stole love. It's been replaced with grief, sadness, anger, and confusion. 

For those of you with children, try for just a very brief period to imagine your child's last moments. The terror, the fear and confusion that had to be rolling through their minds. Calling out for you and then being silenced. You having to go to the school and come to the realization that your child has been stolen from you.  It only takes a few seconds for my eyes to tear up. I can stop my pain, those parents can't. 

I'll make no bones about it, because I never have before; I don't care to pray for them. That implies that I would be believing that some greater entity cares enough to comfort us and the families or cares enough to usher those children into heaven. I don't believe that. I do not wish to feel better by believing it's a part of some grand plan. We just live and die. Looking to a god for comfort in times of death only serves to push the truth away, when we should embrace it. The truth is that life is very precious. Every second that ticks away is one less second you have to be here. The truth is not comforting, but that's the way it is. I don't begrudge anyone who believes or prays. If that happens to comfort you, do that. 

I've done my best to make sure my children understand that death is always with us. That may seem a bit odd or cold, but I don't want my kids to take anything for granted. I don't dwell on it, but when things like this happen, it's a good time to help them understand that the world is mostly beyond our control. As free human beings, we do things. We do some marvelous and breath taking things, but we also have the capacity to do great harm. I do my best to tell my children how much I love them at every chance I get. I'm sure they get tired of hearing it, but it's important to me that they know I love them. Love and truth are the most important things about our humanity in my opinion. Those are the only things that can ever unite us and help us understand each other. 

So, I'll turn into a preacher for a minute if you will allow me. I want to preach love. We should love as much as possible. It's not always easy, but it's the only thing that can truly change our world. We can't always agree. We can't always believe the same things. We can't always do the right thing. We can't always love. We can try though. If you want the world to change, then change yourself. Do your level best to put the ego aside and love people. Put aside petty differences with your friends and family and let them know you love them. Show love to others in how you treat them and the world around you. It will come back to you, even if it's not apparent immediately. Love now and it will make life easier on you down the line. 

The bottom line is, we will never be able to make sense of this, because there is no sense to be made. There can be no justice for this, because the incident was so unjust. We can only learn that life is short and we need to do all we can to appreciate and love one another. This happened to all of us. Not directly, of course, but those people are us, they just live in a different town. 

I hope I have not offended anyone. This is for me anyhow. Just wanted to pull some stuff out and express how I feel. Take care and give an extra hug to your loved ones. Let them know you appreciate them. 

**Perhaps I will address the gun issue and all that later. Right now, I just don't care about it as much as I do the bad feeling I have in my heart and stomach for the people in those families and that town.**

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2012 Man Of The Year

Making cake for the hungry. My kids were hungry for cake.

Each and every year, major publications and news organizations announce their "Man of the Year". Sometimes the "Man of the Year" is not even a man. Hell, sometimes, it's not even a human being. That is where this blog comes in. You get it straight here, without influence from the "Jersey Shore" or hipster crowd. Freddy's Open Mind is a blog for the people. I will not bow to pressure from shameless self promoters, celebrity agents, networks, film studios or record companies. I will not cave in to the demands of the political elite! This blog hits upon the toughest issues facing our world today and is a vital part of my news cycle. 

The "Man of the Year" must be an individual force, who is not afraid to be on the cutting edge of thought, even if those thoughts, more often than not, lead to inaction. My readers deserve a true representative that they can look up to and use as a beacon of hope for themselves and their children.

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, circus clowns of all nationalities, I present to you;

Freddy: 2012's Man of the Year
Wondering if stuff in florescent lights really cause cancer. 

That's right. Your humble blogger (sounds like a bad job doesn't it? blogger) wishes to accept on behalf of himself, the Freddy's Open Mind 2012 Man of the Year Award. It's not every day that I receive an award. Hell, it's not every lifetime that I get one. I have been here, writing a bunch of bullshit that few see and even fewer read, and it makes me proud that I continue to tell myself that someday, someone will read one of these articles and it will make a difference. Perhaps 100 years from now, when someone finally gets around to cleaning up the Internet (what a vile and disgusting place), I will get my due. Yes, some over paid nitwit in Washington D.C. will be hired to take a bunch of trash out and he'll discover this site as he is headed for the dumpster. He'll read so many great articles about "douche bags", Sammy Sosa, mix tapes, hell, and Star Wars that he'll be inspired to publish my work and celebrate it as "great lost art"!  Seriously, is there any way that "You Might Be An A-Hole" isn't put into the National Archives at some point? How can any reader walk away from "Soccer Suuucks" and not be touched to his or her being? 
Not realizing I don't have to get married again because I caught a bouquet.

Why did I choose Freddy for Man of the Year?
 This has been a big year for me. I broke away from a job I had for 16 years (really disliking the last year or so of it), went from being a sarcastic, discontented pud to just being a pud (progress, right?), and have reduced my carbon footprint by working at home. Yes, I'm helping to change the world. I watched "Tree of Life" and didn't hate it. I listened to some YES songs and didn't hate them. I foiled a plot by evil ground hornets to infiltrate my yard and terrorize my children. I did try to watch "Super Troopers"again and continue to hate it and still have not made it to the end. I committed myself to lose 15 lbs and even though I gained 10 lbs, I made a commitment to do something and that felt good! Over the past 12 months I have managed to not say "Hot enough for you?". I have also not watched a single second of "Jersey Shore" and I couldn't pick a "honey boo boo" out of a lineup of two. I am also one of only 15 or so people who realize that we are not literally going over a cliff if DC doesn't come to a budget agreement. In 2012, I stopped using prescription drugs and started using drugs for recreation and I feel great! One of my greatest ongoing accomplishments is that I am a lot a hearty and brave soul, much like Lou Gehrig. No, I'm not battling a disabling disease, but I have now gone 31 consecutive years without being in a fist fight. Those are admirable accomplishments for me and I've decided to recognize that by bestowing my highest honor upon myself. Congratulations to me and may I have a stellar 2013!