You Need Me

First Posted 15-Jan-2015

So, I nicknamed somebody, “SumYung HotTea” to make a point. The character was a collage of folk I’ve known. I thought I was done with her. Not. It’s never good to try and go blow for blow with a writer who owns a domain. This is why: This medium, blogging, thrives on conflict and strife. Being an ass in this space draws attention. Attention draws page views and drives traffic. Traffic makes me money. So, there is no reason for me to be reasonable here. Sending me nominally private communications on Facebook is almost guaranteed to get you written about here. Odds improve greatly if you argue with me. This is my turf. It’s my sandbox. I get to be as much of an asshat as I want.

You Need MeWhat prompted this? A note from SumYung HotTea that I need her. That actually, the things I said I didn’t value in her were things I should like about her. And the thing I thought was good was an attribute she didn’t care about. Right.

I need a dry drunk/addict lesbian with a huge idea that she’s good at things that are supposed to be hot. Good at sex? No. Good at house cleaning? No. I had to clean my house after she cleaned it. Good at . . . art? Music? Writing? Yeah, uhm, let me think . . . No. Can she cook? She cannot. Knows how to make Chinese tea? Not even. Hold a conversation? Sure, if you want to talk about drinking, getting high, lesbian sex, or Tupak and speak in monosyllabic slang punctuated with, “Feel me?” Feel her? Eew.

I’m running out of positives here. I need her for . . . what? I do have core beliefs. Bad or good, I have them. One of them is that for a relationship to work there has to be empathy. There has to be a sense that both parties would do self-sacrificial stuff for the other without hope of return. That it isn’t a barter, where there isn’t some sense of mercantile interest in the transaction. Not, “if you’ll take care of me I’ll do stuff for you.” Do what? Clean my house? Bump uglies? Feel her? Yeah, how about . . . no. Another belief is in humility, in selfless surrender to the relationship. I’ve become as healthy as I am, and I am far from healthy, because of a long string of sacrifices to God of the hurts, habits & hangups which have kept me from Him. Putting someone in my life who does not compromise, does not sacrifice anything to God or anyone else, would be painful. It’s so not hot.

I come from a family who does not compromise Our currency is long, intense, faux psychoanalytical conversations about what’s wrong with so and so. We believe that the world is messed up and we would be better off if it’d just stick to our orthodoxy. This next relates, work with me: my aunt asked my granddad, her father, why he never complimented the performance of my cousin. He replied that our family does not praise each other because it’d give us a swollen head. Maybe so, but a multi-generational diet of words about what’s wrong with us, with our family and the world, and a stipulation that the answer is to adhere to our orthodoxy, doesn’t set a course for healthy relationships.

My grandfather would not listen to any suggestion that you could puff & dry fruit without oil. He argued with us when we told him painting the interior of his contraption with lead paint made it useless for cooking fruit in oil in a vacuum that people would buy to eat. It’s part of our family insanity. More people like that, who have no room for me in their life unless I understand they are right? I’ll pass.

SumYung HotTea sends me a message and blow for blow, debates each of the elements of my message intending to set expectations. She tells me why my expectations, my hopes for the friendship need to be what she tells me they will be. Why? Why would I go back into a relationship where I have to fight for simple basics like empathy? Why be friends with someone who goes quiet when I tell her I only have $4.00 and tries to reschedule for Friday when I get paid? How is that a reason to fantasize about her naked? Maybe a couple decades ago, maybe when I’d rub uglies together with anyone that would rub uglies with me, today? Nope.

It’s the other way. I’m the one with the domain, the running web site, the sandbox in which folk can play. I have a house where so far, the bills are getting paid. I have a car I don’t owe money on. I was born a citizen so the INS is just a far off, faint aspect of my government. Relative to her, I’m rich. It’s what I have that is attractive, not what I am. I had that in with the wife I left. Wife 2.0 will love me for what I am, for who I am, not just for what I have. SumYung HotTea, as I listed above, she’s got nothing for me. Here I am trying to bury the ghost of Webb’s past with the stuff about my grandfather and this, a woman so like us, so like the worst of our craziness, making the case that I should be happy to rejoin the mess I’ve tried so hard to heal because I need her. Yeah, I need her like I need bullet wounds.


Gun Control

This originally posted 08-Nov-2015.

This morning (07-Jan2016) Whoopie Goldberg made news because she said we should ban automatic weapons that were banned in 1934.
In 1989 California banned assault weapons and large capacity magazines. Gun manufacturers modified their semi-automatic rifles so that they could still be sold in California. The main difference? A California AR-15 has a fixed magazine holding no more than 10 rounds.

The headlines which prompted this post have fallen out of the news cycle. The press is bored with the story and has moved on. Lately, it’s Billary & Sanders who have their attention and whether Billary was derelict in her duty as Secretary of State while our embassy in Benghazi, Libya was being attacked. The spin being espoused has a lot to do whether you believe in the orthodoxy of the Republican establishment or the puritanism of the Democrats.

Back to what this post was about—gun control. Several people were killed in the shooting in Wuerenlingen, northern Switzerland.I have a hard time with any phrase that is xxxxx control. Drug control, crime control, gun control, blah blah control. I distrust the success of any law attempting to impose control on us. Somewhere in me is an abiding suspicion that I and those like me are incorrigible. We outliers are the minority exception to the majority rule. Yes, some of us get caught and spend time in jail. Some get tired of the criminal justice system and quit behaving in ways that cause them to catch more cases and time. Some don’t. Some die unrepentant.

Propaganda that pitches the need for gun control as, “there was a person shot to death with a gun today. That’s one too many deaths by guns. We have to ban/control guns to stop this onslaught of gun violence and death“, just annoys me. It sets of a tough to resist impulse to scream and yell at the TV about the stupidity of that problem and solution statement. The blame is placed with the weapon used to commit the crime. The conclusion pitched is that if we remove the weapon we’ll stop the crime. And the sad truth is that humans intent on murder have been rather darkly ingenious when it comes to the means by which murder is committed. Without guns we’ll invent something else, suicide bombs anybody?

As I type this a woman drover her car into the crowd of the Oklahoma State homecoming parade. 4 people are dead and 50 are injured. This may not equate, but I’ll say it anyway. If removing guns from the hands of people who shouldn’t have them will reduce gun crime then can we also say that removing cars from the hands of those who shouldn’t have them reduce car crime? We don’t know yet the status of this woman’s driver’s license. I doubt she was worried about that as she decided to plow into a crowd of innocent people and kill 5 of them. Also, since this post was first drafted some crazy person found a sword and used it in Switzerland to kill two people and injure two others. The optics were earily similar to our mass shootings at public places which were a favorite story of the press for a while.

We are scarily talented when it comes to conceiving of ways to kill each other. A lack of guns isn’t the impediment to violence we wish it would be. Swords can be just as deadly in the wrong hands. We have the logical fallacy of taking the specific instance and trying to generalize from it. One more crazy person shot up another public place, this time a college in Oregon. And so the propaganda that we have to make sure this never happens again by ensuring that no more crazy people can get a gun. My itch to scream at the TV is getting much worse. Us, the outliers, are not dissuaded by laws saying we can’t do what we do. I don’t wish to see another shooting at another public place. I like the idea that we could do something so that this last shooting remains the last shooting. But I’m an outlier and I have friends. There are too many of us who won’t obey the law for me to be comfortable with another iteration of laws attempting to keep us from getting guns.

The problem isn’t the weapon, be it a gun or a sword, or as C.S. Lewis spoke of, a baseball bat. Gun control laws have not prevented the crimes we were promised they would prevent. Miyamoto Musashi (宮本武蔵) won deadly duels against steel katana and trained solders using a red-oak practice sword. The problem is the collective heart of the country reflected in the leadership we have in office. Our collective heart is in a rather dark place and some of the ways this darkness is manifested is through these mass shootings. The solution is not a legal one but a spiritual one. We need a change of heart, a change toward compassion and leadership to help us with that.