Abyss

ABYSS

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The things that make her who she is. A child’s face gazing up from a deep abyss, innocence lost in the touch of a hand, the flick of a tongue where a tongue shouldn’t be. The fear of telling the one person who should be told. The words of a monster . . . “You did this. It’s your fault.” A life lived with fear and guilt that should have been lived with Barbies and dress-up games.

A 45-rpm record on a turntable, relentlessly cranking out a song that will haunt her forever, send chills down her spine and prompt a return trip to the abyss, the one safe place to be, where there are demons to keep the monsters at bay.

A sneer across a dinner table as they say they’re going out and she [it] has come to babysit. Leaving her alone with it again. A single tear (“Baby!”) overlooked and laughed at, left to drip silently onto a half-eaten mound of mashed potatoes.

A scar that runs too deep to cover, a rift straight to the abyss, where the demons become her friends and show her things she shouldn’t see (“Witch!”). She walks disguised in darkness, day and night, the underneath never showing on the surface, the facade etched with pain mistaken as weakness (“Loser!”).

A laugh, a jeer, a taunting face. She holds out her arm, long slim finger pointing. A burst of energy from the abyss and the demons bring peace. Justice. They keep their distance now (“Witch!”).

Nightmares filled with angels disguised as demons chasing her. She retreats to the abyss, where the demons drive the angels away and keep her safe, teach her things she needs to know. To be safe.

Older now, a touch on soft skin, a flutter where a flutter shouldn’t be. Or should it? A faltering step toward the abyss, toward safety, then two back. A touch, a shiver. Two steps forward. (“Jesus Christ!”) Anger, the touch growing rough. Lust. (“Bitch!”) Then down, down, where it’s safe. (“Bitch! What’s wrong with you?!”)

Older still, another touch, rough and hurried. The abyss isn’t so close this time. A laugh and a jeer. (“Cunt!”) She can hear the demons, there’s safety there in the abyss. She moves forward. (“Frigid!”)

Older still, but young again, this time a soft hand, gentle. A word (“love”) where the word shouldn’t be. Or should it? The demons are silent. The word again (“love”), not in her vocabulary, but could it be? Another gentle touch, the word spoken (“love”). This is truth, she knows it. And safety. Part of what makes her who she is, a child’s innocence returned at last, a little shattered, a little dusty, a little bruised, returned with one word (“love”). Same abyss, different name. Release, rapture, safety.

This is truth. The Bitch is back.

© 99shadows 10/27/1992

Discover Me Challenge: Words to Live By

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This Discover Me Challenge prompt (see the original post on JustSomeJane here)

I know, I know… DMC prompts are supposed to be posted on Thursdays, not late in the day on a Friday. I am a day behind on pretty much everything right now!! You know, this reminds me of a famous saying… How does it go? A day late and a dollar short? What can I say? Life happens.

Speaking of sayings and the sort – this DMC is all about words. Of course, we aren’t looking for just any words, rather we want to know what words do you live by? What is your code, your mantra, your living quote, the words that are strung together so perfectly that they drive you through life?

Some of us may have a couple of these fantastic phrases or may have just one that is the pure definition of life. Whatever it may be, what are those words and why do they speak to you? Who said them first? When did they become so important?

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Join the fun and discover more about yourself!! Be sure to add your links in the comments section so we can read your awesome responses, too!

Spring Fever

spring feverDo you ever feel like you’re just going through the motions? Wake up, go to work, come home, have supper, go to bed, then do it all over again the next day? The days blend into each other and sometimes it’s hard to tell one day from the next. It’s like you’re on a slow ride through a long, boring expanse of flatlands with nothing to see for miles and miles, just rolling along and letting life steer the car.

Lately, I feel like I’m just rolling along and (NOT) enjoying the ride! I think it’s probably cabin fever. The weather’s nice, but not nice enough to be spending a lot of time outside soaking in the sunshine and fresh air. The ground is spongy and damp, the air is cold and crisp…too cold and crisp to really enjoy it yet. The trees are just starting to bud.

Once the weather breaks, I lose my shoes the instant I come home from work and don’t put them on again until the next morning when I go to work. The soles of my feet are dying to feel the ground underneath. I want to feel the grass between my toes. I want those days where I come home from work and sit out on the back porch with my Kindle, reading until the sun goes down, sleeping with the windows wide open and hearing the birds chirping in the morning (although I can do without the mentally deficient Woody Woodpecker who keeps trying to “woodpeck” our gutters).

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Sassi can’t wait to play in the mud after a Spring shower!

I want to sit out in the backyard and laugh at the dogs running in circles, burning off all the energy they’ve had pent up over the winter. I want to breathe in the aroma of cookouts that permeates the neighborhood all spring and summer long. I want those hamburgers that you can only get from a well-seasoned grill in the backyard, with the paper plates and potato salad and pickles and the pitcher of pink lemonade (always pink!).

Ugh, I don’t know whether I feel better or worse after writing all that. LOL! Hurry up, Spring, I’m tired of waiting!

Skewed Perception

I read an article recently in which several sci-fi authors and others had made predictions back in the 60’s as to what life would be like around the present time.

One of the things that struck me was that several of them predicted that our work week would be shorter (hopeful motherfuckers) and that most of our work would be done by machines or robots.

shame2At first, I thought they were sort of right. Machines have made our lives simpler in a lot of ways, and computers pretty much run everything…but then I started thinking of all those third-world people who actually do most of “our” menial labor for pennies a day, and I became ashamed.

What a sad reflection on the human race that we “use” our fellow human beings that way.

Freedom

I used to have a web site called Random Rants. I spent a lot of time sharing my thoughts and opinions there, and it’s been awhile since I’ve had a good rant, so consider yourself forewarned:)

I’ve seen several posts on my Facebook newsfeed lately regarding the Pledge of Allegiance and the phrase “In God We Trust” on our currency. The discussions are whether recital of the Pledge of Allegiance should be mandatory in US schools and whether the phrase In God We Trust should appear on our currency. The comments on these posts can get quite heated.

The Pledge of Allegiance
us flagRegarding the Pledge of Allegiance, a majority of people argue that recital of the Pledge should be mandatory and should start the school day. While this was standard practice when I was a child, as an adult I tend to see things differently. For one thing, the US was founded on the principles of freedom, and the First Amendment of the US Constitution grants every citizen of the United States the freedom of speech (also sometimes referred to as “freedom of expression”). What this means is that we may communicate our opinions and ideas using our body and property, and as such, we may express our opinion of the government (and anything else) in any way we so choose. The First Amendment gives us the right to disagree with our government. Sure, kids probably don’t refuse to recite the Pledge because they don’t like the US; in most instances, I’d say the decision to make recital of the Pledge of Allegiance mandatory usually isn’t made by the kids in the schools but by some adults or organizations on their behalf.

 What comes to mind when I think of rooms full of young people reciting a pledge to their country is crowds of Hitler’s Youth raising their hands in salute or young cadets marching in formation to the beat of a drum as they head off to war. Yes, it’s an extreme vision, but when you think about it, why is forcing children to pledge allegiance to a country just because they live there considered good? As I said, this country was founded on the principle that all humans are created equal. Why should we make young minds pledge allegiance (by rote, no less) to a country when they’re only just beginning to form opinions and ideas of the world?

Constitution_of_the_United_States,_page_1“If you don’t like this country, get out!” Why? As an adult, I choose to pledge allegiance to my country; I love the country in which I live, mainly because of the freedoms it affords me. If I disagree with something my government does or says, I can stand tall and state my opinion without fear of vanishing in the dead of night and turning up dead. But that’s a choice I make; every citizen of the US has a right to make that choice for himself. If someone doesn’t like something our government does (and believe me, I think we can all attest to feeling this way sometimes), they have every right to, and SHOULD, speak up and let their feelings be known, not be told to “get out!” The government of the United States is “for the people, by the people” and if the people don’t agree with something it does, they SHOULD share their opinion! It’s what our country was founded upon and was one of the very reasons our founding fathers left the country(ies) they were born in!

In God We Trust
1in_god_we_trustRegarding the phrase In God We Trust that appears on our currency, to be honest, I don’t care one way or the other whether it’s there. I’m (probably) not a believer, and at best, I’m an agnostic. I won’t even argue that the Constitution also gives us the right (and freedom) to choose the beliefs we wish to follow (it absolutely DOES grant us that right). I’d rather focus on the arguments I’ve seen on those posts. They run the gamut from “the US was founded by Christians” to “of course it should, because this country believes in God and doesn’t bow down to a false god like those filthy ragheads!” Another common comment I saw went something like “Yes! We need God in our lives more, people don’t even have dinner with their families anymore, they don’t go to church anymore, this country is falling apart because people don’t have God in their lives!”

All of these comments bother me, not because of the belief people have in God, but because of the nonsense they’re stating. Let’s break them down:

The US was founded by Christians.”
According to sources cited on Wikipedia, “of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, 49 were Protestants, and two were Roman Catholics. Among the Protestant delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 28 were Church of England (or Episcopalian, after the American Revolutionary War was won), eight were Presbyterians, seven were Congregationalists, two were Lutherans, two were Dutch Reformed, and two were Methodists.” Additionally, a few were anti-clerical Christians (Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin), and some (Thomas Paine, for example) were deists. Some historians even argue that some of the most prominent founding fathers were theistic rationalists.

muslim pray…this country believes in God and doesn’t bow down to a false god like those filthy ragheads!” Regardless of what our founding fathers believed, the US Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” In other words, the US has no “official” religion, and no one in the country can be prohibited from freely exercising the religion of their choice. So those “filthy ragheads” have every right to get on their knees for Allah! And printing the words In God We Trust won’t make that commenter any less of a bigot than he is now.

Yes! We need God in our lives more, people don’t even have dinner with their families anymore, they don’t go to church anymore, this country is falling apart because people don’t have God in their lives!
you-must-be-the-change-you-wish-to-see-in-the-world-1024x576This comment gets me every time. This person is essentially blaming the absence of God for the lack of family and community. She thinks that by forcing God on people, they will miraculously change their ways and become better people. The fact that people don’t have dinner with their families is directly related to the fact that they don’t have God in their lives? How so? As I stated above, I’m a non-believer…but I have dinner with my husband nearly every night. My beliefs, or lack thereof, do not determine whether I’m a good person or not. The presence or absence of God in my life doesn’t make me want (or not want) to have dinner with my family. All that needs to happen for people to change their ways is for…GASP!…people to change their ways!!!

free

A LOT of the comments I saw on the In God We Trust post were bigoted and hateful. I replied that words on a piece of paper won’t make people “better” if they’re bigots. In God We Trust won’t do anything to change someone from hating the “filthy ragheads” or make them have dinner with their families more often if they don’t want to. Those are things that THEY have to do on their own.

We should not need God to tell us to be good people; we should aspire to be good people regardless of what we, or others, believe.

Disclaimer: For the record, this post is not at ALL about, or against, religion. I could not care less what anyone believes, what religion they are, etc. This post is about bigotry and hatred and my frustration at people thinking that what’s wrong with our country can be fixed by forcing other people to conform to what THEY approve of.

The Bus

I’ve always had a vivid imagination. It’s part of the reason I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Once I realized that not everybody sees things the way I do, it made me want it even more. Of course, my low self-esteem has always been detrimental to my aspiration to publish, so…

The Bus
“The Bus”

Anyway, that’s not what this post is about. This post is about The Bus. Several years ago, when I worked in the legal field, I had to deal with a lot of difficult people. I was a supervisor in the word processing department of a fairly large firm (by Rhode Island standards anyway), and my staff was responsible for doing all the overflow work from the “real” secretaries, as well as providing coverage when someone was out sick or on vacation.

I loved that job, despite its difficulties. I didn’t have to sit at the same desk every day and do the same old work day after day for the same people. I got to work with nearly everyone in the firm, and I loved the challenge of knowing exactly how they liked their documents prepared, their phones answered, etc. I loved solving problems and gaining the reputation of being able to make Microsoft Word do things people didn’t think it could do.

mountain cliffBut along with all the good stuff came the constant complainers, the people who were never satisfied and always found something wrong with something no matter how you prepared it. One day while I was sitting at my desk, stressing over a particularly difficult encounter with one of the lawyers, I imagined him on a bus careening down a steep incline toward a dangerous cliff. I giggled. My anger and stress dissipated a little bit.

So from then on, whenever someone upset me, rather than let it get to  me, I just added them to The Bus. My friend down in accounts payable emailed me one day, upset over being hassled by her boss. I told her about The Bus, and before we knew it, we had back-and-forth emails about The Bus. We had people clinging to the roof, and if we were especially upset or angry, people desperately grasping the grill on the front of the bus, barely able to hold on, and the speed of The Bus would increase, the incline would become steeper, cliffs would appear on either side of the road, the weather would get rainy or icy.

I’ve used The Bus a lot over the years, and it never ceases to help me deal with the every day stresses of working in an office with various personalities.

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“Not an easy way down”

So the next time someone pisses you off at work, just close your eyes for a moment and imagine The Bus, swerving and bouncing along a high mountain road, cliffs on either side, lots of twists and turns, and picture the people who pissed you off in various areas of The Bus–their eyes wide with fear, their knuckles white as they cling to the back of the seat in front of them…or the edge of the window they’re hanging out of…or the back door flapping wildly as they hang on for dear life. I usually picture an old, decrepit school bus, but you can make it look however you want.

And don’t be afraid to let people fall off–or to let The Bus crash–it’s a magic bus…it will be there the next time you need it!

Good News

I read an article last night that came across my Facebook page. It was about a 2-year-old girl named Hazel who’s been in the oncology ward of a children’s hospital for several weeks, battling a high-risk Stage 3 neuroblastoma. Her family spends a lot of time there and they try to keep her feeling happy and upbeat. A few weeks ago, her grandmother visited and shared a time when she was in the hospital and put a message up on the window of her hospital room.

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Photo: Hope for Hazel/Facebook

The little girl was waving out the window at passersby, but nobody was waving back, so her family decided to put a message up on the window. Using tape, they wrote: SEND PIZZA, RM 4112. A passerby saw the note, snapped a photo of it, and posted it on Reddit. Pretty soon, the hospital was inundated with pizza, so much that they had to begin handing pizzas off to the nursing and other staff, and Hazel woke up to the wonderful smell of hot pizza and had a pizza party in her room. Look at that smile! Isn’t it beautiful?!

This is the kind of thing I like to read in the news; the kind of story that makes you take a second look at your fellow Earthlings and wonder why more people aren’t more kind more often. To see the results of a simple pizza order–the grin it put on a 2-year-old little bald girl’s face–we should all strive for those results. Every. Single. Day.

I don’t subscribe to a local (or national) newspaper. I haven’t for at least 10 years. I first stopped my subscription to our local paper because the writing was so atrocious–or at least the proofreading. I’m a bit obsessive about spelling, grammar, punctuation, and typographical errors, especially in the media. People trained to deliver the news should deliver it as accurately as possible, and nothing bothers me while reading a professional publication more than finding errors. [My favorite was the brochure for my local community college, which offered a course in “Pubic Relations.” Ugh! That’s just unacceptable!]

I do have some news apps on my phone, and I do try to catch the news on a regular basis via my phone or CNN; but sometimes I’ll go days without it, not due to grammatical and spelling errors these days, but simply because there are so few uplifting stories. There’s always a “trial of the century” or a natural disaster or a terrorist bombing, and they’re always overblown and sensationalized, which I find offensive. News anchors should be reporting the news, not making it into a hyped-up reality TV show.

smileyI pay attention to the news and try my damnedest to not let the media color my own perception of the facts. Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what really matters and what is just “fluff,” added to make the story more sensational. It seems as though modern media thinks we need crazy headlines and a sensational “name” for everything that happens… Do they not think we’ll watch a news story about a deadly tornado in the Midwest if it doesn’t have a flashy title like “Horror in the Heartland”?

I love the feel-good stories, but they seem so far and few between these days. So every so often, I find myself visiting sites that share good news, and I’ve provided some links below. I’m going to make it a point to visit those sites more often, to remind myself that for all the bad things that happen in the world around us, there are also so many many good things that happen as well.

Good News Websites:
Daily Good
Good News Network
Good News Planet
Good News | Huffington Post
Good News | Today
Happy News
Inspirational and Positive News | ABC
Positive News
Positive News US

Print Books vs E-Books

bookAlright, I’m gonna rant here, I can’t help it. I have a Linked In account and I belong to several writers’ groups there and it’s almost a daily occurrence to see a debate about ebooks vs. print books, and to be honest, I’m just sick and tired of the whole argument.

From the point of view of an aspiring writer who has published one erotica book under a pseudonym and one collection of short stories years ago when electronic self-publishing first came out, let me just say that I don’t care in WHAT format someone buys my books as long as they READ them.

See, here’s the thing…for years, we’ve been seeing in the news how horrible American schools are nowadays, how 90-gazillion percent of high school seniors graduating are reading well below their grade levels. Rather than arguing over which reading PACKAGING is better or worse, shouldn’t we just be glad that people are READING?!

book2Seriously, if I see one more person eloquently state how they savor the fresh scent of a paper book, rejoice in the feeling of the pages moving so softly between their fingers, and relish the weight of a book in their hands, I’m gonna very eloquently vomit on their friggin’ book. A book is to be read…not made love to. I don’t care if the damned thing is written on a NAPKIN, a paper bag, or parchment laced with gold, all I care about are the words that someone took the time to put together into sentences and build into a story.

Ebooks are not going to be the death of literature, no matter how many people seem to think they are. Electronic publishing DOES have it’s advantages, even if most people won’t acknowledge them. For instance:

  • Some aspiring authors can’t afford the expensive marketing and publishing costs today, so the only way for them to get published is to do it themselves.
  • By the same token, unless an author is lucky enough to get that huge multi-million dollar advanced payment contract that we all dream of, chances are they are working a full-time job and don’t have the time to market their book and shop around for an agent, a publisher, etc.
  • If not for things like Project Gutenberg, there is a very good chance that a LOT of obscure, out-of-print books would have been lost in the sands of time by now. How incredible is it that some of those old tomes have been preserved electronically?!
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Kindle 3

I have a Kindle. I bought my Kindle when they came out with the second-generation version in early 2009, when they still cost a fortune even. It was my Christmas gift to myself using my Christmas money and money I saved up, and it is probably one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever bought. A year or so later, I bought a third-generation Kindle and gave the older one to my mother-in-law. Two years ago, I bought my eldest niece one for her high school graduation and bought one for my mother for her birthday.

My niece LOVES her Kindle, uses it all the time, and loves to get Amazon gift cards to buy new books to read. One thing I have never regretted is buying books for each of my nieces and nephew every year and instilling a love of reading in them, picking out books that I loved as a kid (like Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn or Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia) as well as books I know they want, and I won’t regret buying each of them a Kindle as they get older. (And for the record, my 19-year-old niece’s favorite book of all-time is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn:))

My mom loves her Kindle as well, especially the fact that she can enlarge the font to make reading easier on her eyes, one of the reasons she said she hadn’t been reading as many books in the last several years. She now reads every day on her Kindle.

We bought my stepson a Kindle Fire for Christmas in 2011, and he loves that as well. He was one of those boys who really didn’t like to read, but in the last few years, he’s been reading like crazy.

The debate over whether ebooks will make printed books obsolete is stupid (yes, my opinion–STUPID). For one thing, I think there will always be a place for printed books, just as there is still a place for vinyl record albums, CDs, and live musical acts. But just the fact that people are actually READING–THAT is what’s important!! Who cares what format the material is in as long as they are READING!

carDo we really need to see the same arguments fighting against advancing technology every time something new comes along? Many people believe ebooks are just a passing fad. Sure they are–just like automobiles were–and electricity–and radio–and film–and the telephone–and the computer.

I am always amazed and astounded by technology. When I realized that I could carry an entire library in my purse, you bet I was excited!   And yes, I immediately started saving my money up to get one! And I haven’t regretted that purchase for a minute. Besides being able to carry so many books with me, the fact that I can download the next book in a series when I finish the previous one, that I don’t have to go out to a bookstore (or wait for it to be open if it’s the middle of the night), that I can switch from one book to another without having to pick one up and put one down, that I don’t have to keep bugging my husband to build me another bookcase–those things alone were worth it!

Really, just quit with the arguments and debates over which is better. Keep buying and reading your print books if that’s what you prefer. I won’t knock it; I get it! But don’t knock ebooks either! Just be glad people are READING!

I have a story to tell…

booksI used to have a “book buddy.” He was my husband’s nephew, Jesse. Jesse was born with a congenital heart condition. He was around 12 when I first met him, and I was in my early 20’s. Jesse and I both read similar genres of fiction – science fiction, horror, psychological thrillers, etc. Some scary, some that just makes you think. So when I’d finish a book, I’d bring it over to him and give it to him to read if he hadn’t already read it.

Jesse seemed to epitomize the term “old soul.” For all his youth, when you met him, when you talked to him, he seemed to have a wisdom and a peace that was well beyond his years. And it wasn’t even really anything specific – not the way he talked or the things he said…there was just an “air” about him that made you feel “good” somehow. It’s kind of hard to put into words. He was quiet and studious; because of his lifelong heart condition, he couldn’t play the way normal kids did – he’d never ridden a bike, never played a sport – and so he lost himself in books and his imagination, something that we had in common.

I don’t remember exactly when, probably when he was around 15 or 16, but he once told me a story he was working on in his imagination. He told me the plot, gave me the gist of how the story would go, and that someday he intended to write it all down. Unfortunately, if he did write it down, it’s surely lost now.

Jesse died the week before his high school graduation and three months before he would have turned 18; two months before my marriage; and three weeks before his winning entry in the local logo contest would grace commemorative buttons and posters for Bristol, RI’s Fourth of July parade (the longest-running parade in the country). Things were a little surreal when he died. The night before, he’d called his grandparents (my in-laws) and asked if he could come spend the night, something he’d not done in several years. My husband said when he stopped by his parents house that weekend, when he was leaving Jesse said, “Goodbye, Chris” and for some reason, it stuck in my husband’s head. He’d turned and looked at Jesse and said goodbye and said a strange feeling had come over him that he couldn’t put his finger on. That was Jesse. The next day, his father picked him up at his mother’s house. Half an hour later, she received a call from her ex-husband that Jesse had collapsed when he walked through the front door, and he was gone.

Ben EarwickerGarrison Photography, Boise, IDwww.garrisonphoto.org
Ben Earwicker
Garrison Photography, Boise, ID
www.garrisonphoto.org

After his death, we learned that in the weeks leading up to that day, Jesse had quietly been disposing of his personal belongings – giving his things away to his friends, his sisters. When his mother went to see his art teacher to gather his last paintings, among them was a beautiful canvas depicting a pathway in the woods in gorgeous pastel colors. The pathway forked into two directions, and laying on the fork in the path were Jesse’s favorite leather jacket and boots. The teacher explained that the assignment had been to paint an abstract self-portrait in bright, vibrant colors.

It was almost as if he knew he was leaving this world. At his memorial service, his mother had a bowl of blue stone heart beads. I wore one at my wedding two months later as my “something blue.”

A few years ago, I started writing a story called Haven. That story was the one Jesse had told me, although I have no idea what his title would have been. Haven seemed to fit. I’ve only written a couple of chapters so far, but I do someday intend to finish it. And it will be for Jesse. Maybe telling me that story was his way of “giving” it to me.

And we all shine on
Like the moon…
and the stars…
and the sun…

John Lennon | Instant Karma

Miss you, my friend. <3

I’m Only Human

Classic TelephoneI got a telephone call one morning (figures, it was on a Saturday…when I don’t usually get out of bed until after noon at least), and I decided what the hell, the guy on the phone seemed friendly enough.

So he started asking me all kinds of questions – starting with my age, my sex, my zip code. Then the questions turn to what radio stations in my local area I’d listened to in the previous seven days, what local TV stations I’d watched, what local papers I’d read, etc.

Then he asked me “And can you tell me what race you are?”

Without hesitation, I responded, “Human.”

Ever hear a speechless telemarketer? He laughed and said that was the best response he’d ever had to that question. Of course, he told me that he needed to know – Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic, etc. – for purposes of his survey, so I said “Caucasian” and he laughed and said, “Well, I’m going to note both of your responses…because I like the one you said first better anyway!”

Which brings me to this: Why was that such an unusual response? I mean, WHY do people feel the need to classify us by skin color/race/nationality? What do my ancestors really have to do with who I am, other than the knowledge they’d passed down through the generations or the genetic things I’d inherited from them (my blue eyes, for example)?

peace

I love responding to questions like that, especially when they still use the term “race” on applications, surveys, etc. Unless the question asks for “ethnicity,” I have never once filled in “white” or “Caucasian” – always “Human.” It’s really too bad that more people didn’t do that. Maybe if we could get everyone to realize that we ALL belong to the SAME “race,” that it’s only a matter of genetics and probably evolution that we’re not all grey, maybe we could do away with some of the shit people have to go through every day. It’s too bad that a “racial slur” wasn’t something like “hey, dude, you’ve got a huge schnozz for a human.”

Think about it. Whites are [fill in the blank]. Blacks are [fill in the blank]. Asians are [fill in the blank]. Arabs are [fill in the blank]. But if we could get everyone to acknowledge that we’re all part of the same race, what would the question be then? “Humans are [fill in the blank].” Imagine how hard it would be to stereotype the whole race… It’s too bad that isn’t the way things are. If it were, there might actually be a chance for peace in the world…well…there would always be religion to fight about, I suppose, but that’s another rant, isn’t it? ;)