I have a lot of things that bug me, could easily create a list. Not an exercise I've ever done or have been asked to do. Big things that bug me are greed, wanton killing, false piety, animal cruelty, debasing people. These are the daily cringe inducing matters that send me into spitting anger, disgust with humanity and life's nature. Lot of people will recognize and appreciate that and say, yeah, that goes without saying, who does like killing, except homicidal maniacs and others will say, sure, but it's kill or be killed, sometimes. The killing is out there, all the time, whether it's on videos on the net, splashed across headlines and television shows, movies. The cities are full of killing but so are rural homes, little towns. Those city killings get less attention unless they're in your neighborhood but the rural killings get more attention, it seems. They're more unique any more, at least it seems like it from scanning my news radar and seeing which stories rise up from local interest.
Mothers killing their children and fathers killing their wives or girlfriends and their children seem like they're rising. Maybe it's me, having my interest piqued because they make me sick. You know, it's the things that trash your emotions, that burn into your psyche, and become part of your make up, that you hunt, even if you don't want to hunt it. The mind has its own agenda. Emotions do, too. You must negotiate with them to establish your will and keep the sanity up even if you boil within.
We're all made up, aren't we, machines molded by others and ourselves, sometimes in ways we don't see. Some stuff are genetics inherited in the spermery, that majestic lottery where nature spins the wheel and you don't even know you're playing. Buttons are pushed to make you react. Some are secret buttons, pressed when you're not looking, appealing to you without you knowing it. Advertisers and marketers know whereas your g spot lies. They find it and punch it. You a white male, 45-54? They can tap your urges and goad you into action. Republican? Democrat? Liberal? American? They're tracking you by phone, by cookies on the net, by satellite overhead. Police follow you if you look suspicious, out of place, out of order. Good citizens inform on you to keep the peace.
Stop me if you've heard this one but the US is talking about using drones to watch its borders, from the inside, of course, we don't want to violate anyone else's air space, wouldn't be good form. Those drones the Air Force and the CIA invented started out as simple spy machines, collecting information, before becoming the kites which can rock your day with a few bombs. Hell, I'll bet they can be modified, you know, put a little tear gas and pepper spray on a drone, making it safer for the police when they need to use them on protestors, journalists and rioters. Give a little warning, maybe let the drone give a toot on an electronic air horn before it delivers its message, you know, so people can take cover and scatter. It ain't about hurting them, it's about controlling them through fear and intimidation.
Don't know how bad or how good this is for the rest of the world, or how the world flies. It might be lovey-dovey out there in Europe, down in South America, over in Austraila, Africa Could even be different from here in the next town, the next state, the next nation over. I'm holed up in my little town, hunkered down in my insulated, carpeted office, watching those runners go by, gazing at the deer and the squirrels and birds, listening to phone calls. The tube and net inform me, bend me, shape me, giving me a lense into the rest of the world through yahoo, google, and all those online newspapers and videos and the books that I read, the books produced and vetted by others as something worthwhile to read, for isn't that what the whole query/submision/agenting/publishing process about, who will like what has been written, how big an audience will it find and how well it will sell?
Selling is the game. These are the stories I'm reading today that have been sold, the stories about the grenade attacks, the giant plane to launch people, the payroll tax bill, and time magazine naming protestors as their person of the year, ain't that clever? It's another list, a list of one.
But these things, these are all abstracts, aren't they? I can shut them off. Turn off the screen, shut down the web, unplug it all, close the books and magazines and sit in solitude, but there are still those damn noises that bug me, because they come from other people. Where does my irritiation with these noises arise? Why do they so exasperate and torment me? From what secret well do they spring and who opened that well? For the sound that sets my teeth into grinding silence is the yawn.
Why, why, why, I ask myself, as I hear my wife yawn behind me, why does this bother me so? What the hell is my problem? She yawns a lot, a lot, so much that the obsessive analyzing freak within me checks the time and starts counting, asking, how many times will she yawn? And my mind says, will you just let it go, for crying out loud, it's just a damn inhale, exhale, with a little noise attached, and so what if it's happened eleven times in seven minutes, it's just a sound.
Sounds profoundly affect my cats. Lady is haunted by large truck noises and you figure, that probably makes sense, she survived on the streets and the trucks were threats, invaders, who knows what happened to her? Shoes cracking off the hardwood floor drives Quinn into panic and flight, and my sneezes chase Scheckter away, complaining about the noise. Don't know what in their make up causes such reactions to these sounds. Where's the logic? Is there logic or are their memories or expectations or just a build up of anxieties and stress?
But those cats, well, they're animals, not as bright as we humans, although they're pretty devious, damn good at pushing buttons on their own, with their wide eyes, their purrs, kneading, meowing, cuddling ways, and I am a human, I am not an animal, and yet, there it is, the rising irritation because there is that sound, that noise, a yawn.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com