Archive for September, 2010

September 30?

Can someone tell me where the month of September went? It seems like a day passes with each breath, and I don’t have as many breaths left in my life as I once had.

facing the truth – part 1

Last night my son called me to tell me about his day. There’s no doubt that he had a rough day, but the more he talked about it, the more it became evident that all his problems were of his own making and that his attitude about his situation is not going to improve his situation.

This morning, as I was waking up just a few minutes ago, I came to the realization that he has exactly the attitude that I would expect him to have if his father had done everything he could to make sure his son would suffer as few consequences as possible for his own actions. Slowly my mind’s eye opened wider and I started to understand why I am where I am in my life. I am an enabler.

From Merriam-Webster

enabler: one that enables another to achieve an end; especially : one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior

I have always tended to think of myself as being a protector, a rescuer, a shield, but the word “enabler” is what lies at the base of those other more gallant sounding words. It’s not like I haven’t known this, but my son’s phone call last night switched on the spotlight that found the nasty little bug living in the corner of my mind.

There’s a greater, more repugnant aspect of this situation. When you are an enabler for other people, you are also enabling yourself to deny the situation. Your thinking can be, “My life will be good once I am able to help get so-and-so’s life on track.” It is almost like a martyr complex, but it’s not that you want to sacrifice yourself so much as you don’t want the people you love to feel any pain, including the pain they cause themselves by their own decisions. This provides an easy excuse for your own pain and unhappiness in life.

I believe I have always accepted the responsibility for my own actions. This could be my own mental health construct, though, and in the past I may have blamed the world for my current condition, but I don’t believe so. Certainly at this time I know that I am where I am because of my own actions and inactions.

Then came the realization that I am lying to myself when I accept that as the whole truth. My acceptance of the consequences of my own actions is tainted by the thought that my life would be different if it weren’t for the actions of the people I enable. Somehow this thinking provides my psyche a layer of protection from my own actions. I can shade the responsibility for my own life to make it look like it’s not all my fault.

Well, it is my fault. So what am I going to do about it?

sturm und drang over nothing

Can you say “overreaction?” I can. Let me try . . . “Burn a Quran Day.” Yeah, I think that is an appropriate equivalent to “overreaction.” What a bunch of morons everyone is on this issue, and since I’m commenting on it, I guess that includes me. C’est la vie.

There is a real problem with too much publicity available today to every whackjob who wants to get his or her name in front of people. Witness one Pastor Terry Jones, minister of the Dove World Outreach Center. (Their web site seems to have disappeared when I went looking for it – I wonder why. A cached version is still available through Google as I write this.) This man with his reported fifty-member church wants to commemorate this year’s anniversary of 9/11 by burning a pile of Qurans.

Picture this scenario. On the morning of September 11, 2010, Pastor Jones walks out to the parking lot of his church where he has scores of signs posted about the event of the day. Stacked in the parking lot are hundreds of Qurans (or Korans, if you wish). Assembled there with him are the fifty members of his church (and I would bet that they wouldn’t all be there) and no one else. The pastor pontificates for a bit and then pours kerosene over the Qurans and lights them off. An hour later there is nothing left but a pile of ash. The church members go home, the Pastor walks back into the church, and someone sweeps up the ashes and takes down the signs. Big deal, eh?

So no media, no protestors, no one to witness the event? No cameras there to record it all for primetime television? Wonder what that would do to the event? Wonder no more; it would relegate the whole thing to the status that it should have, and would have had, if every asshole in this country didn’t overreact to Jones’s announcement about the event in the first place. The whole thing would be a total non-event if it were not for all the media coverage.

Come on, the guy is an asshole, but there are plenty of assholes in this world. Pastor Jones is nothing special. I lay the whole brouhaha at the feet of the media. Ignore a twit like this and he will go away. Or, if he can’t stand being ignored, he will eventually do something that will land him in jail. (As a matter of fact, this whole Quran burning thing has brought a spotlight to bear on the financial affairs of the church which appear to be somewhat questionable. He may come to regret his actions in more ways than one.)

Let the jackass burn his books.

Oh, oh, oh . . ., but, but, but . . . , there will be a worldwide outcry against the United States! It will endanger all citizens of the United States and its military throughout the world. It will serve as prime recruitment propaganda for Al Qaeda. Oh, oh, oh! Let us wring our hands and beat our chests and wail!

So what? Like Al Qaeda or any other whacko Muslim group needs another reason to attack the United States, its citizens or military? This is going to be the big incitement to violence? When a little man with perhaps fifty people behind him has the power to incite this kind of reaction in the entire world, there is something desperately, deeply wrong.

From my point of view – that of a white, middle-aged, libertarian citizen of the United States – the greatest problem in the world today is intolerance, in all its forms. I hold fast to the rule that you should be able to do anything you want as long as it does not physically prevent another person from doing the same. I will grant that I am in a very small minority with this philosophy. Even in the United States – “the land of the free” – there are more people who want to tell you how to live than who will leave you alone to live as you wish.

Burning a bunch of books does not hurt anyone. If this jackass of a minister wants to dirty his parking lot (or wherever he is planning to do this), let him. If doing something like this is going to flush out all the idiots who would be offended enough to attempt violence against us, it’s better to have them flushed out than sitting undercover waiting to strike. To all those nervous Nellies out there quaking in their boots over what the Muslims might do, I say put on your big boy (or big girl) pants and face the fact that no matter what, there are people in the world who wish us harm.

I hope that this brain-dead “pastor” passes on burning the Qurans, not because I care but because I would like to see the whole thing become a non-issue. If he insists on going through with it, then so be it. The world will forever have to deal with assholes and he will not be the last. Better the world learn how to ignore such fools sooner than later. And no, I know that ain’t never gonna happen.