History is written by the victors.
–Winston S. Churchill
I have this personal pet theory. It goes a little something like this:
What do I mean by this? It’s time for a tale of hungry dogs, drowning by garden hose, buxom secretaries, altered birth certificates and who’s car is parked next door.
Here’s a couple examples I’ve noticed of late.
A new term has cropped up recently to describe the act of publishing a person’s real name, address and other personal information on the internet with the intent to cause harm.
Yes, it happens so much there’s a word for it now.
The term is “dox.”
Years ago, long before it was trendy, I was doxxed. I had banned a couple of racists from an online forum and they were none too happy about it. So they threatened to kill me. “You have 24 hours to get out of town. Or else.” Seriously? You just did that? I didn’t realize I lived in the town of Tombstone. Oh, look. There goes a tumbleweed. Somewhere a chicken clucks.
I reported the emails to the police. They contacted me and I showed them the printouts. “That happened online? That’s not real. There’s nothing we can do.” True story. Good times.
Later the racists doxxed me on Craigslist, published photoshopped pictures of me and my wife, and took credit for killing my missing cat. Craigslist wouldn’t reply to my requests for help. Remember, I was years ahead of my time. Again, I turned to the police. I had proof I had been doxxed. Their reply? “Nothing we can do about that. It’s not illegal. That’s public information.”
Fast-forward to today and the Topsy-Turvy part: Oregon currently has about 55 “juvenile sex offenders” attending class in 24 different school districts. Parents and other students are not notified of their presence. Why? Because of federal and state laws that protect the privacy of the sex offender student.
How do you know when a situation is Topsy-Turvy? When it only flows one way – against you – at every possible turn. That’s Topsy-Turvy!
You may remember the name Ethan Couch. Recently his name has been coming up in the news again. He’s the Texas teenager who used the “affluenza” defense to get out of serving jail time for killing four persons while driving drunk at over three times the legal limit. He was 16 at the time when he crashed into a stalled pickup on the side of the road.
A CBS television station in Dallas, Texas, reported yesterday that Ethan will be released “very soon” from about a year spent in rehabilitation. Once released, he will be on ten years of probation. He will not have served any jail time for his actions.
And now some Topsy-Turvy: A 90-year man was arrested and taken away, in handcuffs, by Fort Lauderdale police. His crime? Feeding the homeless.
For 23-years Arnold Abbott has operated a non-profit organization called “Love Thy Neighbor” which distributes hundreds of meals per week to the needy. The mayor of Ft. Lauderdale supports a city ordinance that essentially bans food sharing among local citizens.
The mayor was initially defiant. “Just because of media attention, we don’t stop enforcing the law,” he said. Now, in light of media attention that threatens tourism and the local economy (which consists primarily of horny millennials drinking lots and lots of booze and having gratuitous sexual relations with each other and inanimate objects like fire hydrants) he has adopted a more conciliatory tone.
A killer of four walks free among us while a 90-year old man is “dragged away in cuffs” for feeding hungry people and threatening the rights of young people to act like assholes. That’s a whoop ass can full of fucking Topsy-Turvy.
Why do we tolerate? Why do we, as a society, utterly lack the spine to properly address the problem of drunk driving? Our inaction is basically a way of saying, “We accept the loss of innocent lives as an irrationality inherent in the system and one that we are powerless or unwilling to prevent.”
We are not powerless. More can and should be done. All we have to do is defeat the apathy that comes along with “it hasn’t affected me personally … yet.”
Some basic stats:
- Each day, people drive drunk almost 300,000 times, but fewer than 4,000 are arrested.1
- In 2011, 226 children were killed in drunk driving crashes. Of those, 122 (54% percent) were riding with the drunk driver.1
- Since 1982 fatalities have decreased by 51%. Since 1991 they’ve declined by 35%. However, fatalities increased from 2011 to 2012.2
- There are about 9,000 to 10,000 fatalities per year due to drunk driving in the United States.2
- Source: MADD – Statistics
- Source: The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility
The other day I was reading about a famous U.S. bicyclist who traveled the world and “supported the message of peace” and had been killed while bicycling in Russia. Ron McGerity, age 60, had visited 61 countries over the past 15 years and logged more than 75,000 miles on his bike. He was hit and killed by a truck driver who fled the scene and was later located and suspected by police of being drunk. (Source: RT.)
In a different case, a young mother was killed by a drunk driver leaving two young children behind. The drunk driver also survived.
Far too many innocent lives are lost. Far too many innocent lives are irrevocably affected.
So why is this still such a problem? I believe it’s because we don’t do enough to stop it.
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The problem is when your mind is limited, it’s really hard to be aware of how it’s limited. Because, you know, you’re not even aware. True original thought is so contrary to our ingrained pre-programmed mental pathways that if we actually had one it would bite us in the ass.
Perhaps heart attacks and strokes are merely the symptoms of people who’ve experienced an original thought. Hey, I’ll bet that’s an original thought right there. Ugh. What’s this tingling in my fingers? Oh, pretty rainbow colors. My head hurts.
Oops. Sorry about that. I’m back. Turns out it wasn’t an original thought after all. Just the same old thing that always when I happen to stand up too fast. I’ll try to be more careful so we can get this damn post over and done with.
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