Sunday, August 13, 2006

violence, machismo and hatred, oh my!

i may be all over the place in this, so forgive me if i lose you. i'm really feeling intense about all this right now and have to get it down.

i don't usually follow the news. i try to not watch it actually. i always have. i don't like to sink into the negativity. it really infiltrates your life when you watch it a lot, i think...it sure did during sept 11 when i couldn't turn the tv off for about a week. but then that was an extreme.

but local news is the worst. we live in an area with a lot of violent crimes and it just sickens me. i can't watch it. i know that its out there, why do i need to be reminded of it daily? i don't. and i truly believe that there is a great influence on my life and my being when i allow myself to get sucked into all that negativity. same thing for reading...i don't read the paper either. and i don't like reading books that are negative either, same reason. i don't get the appeal of authors like stephen king. it makes me ill to read that stuff. not that i have never read it...because i too have been pulled in like rubber neckers on a freeway after an accident.

but anyway i've always figured that if something important is happening that i should know about i will hear about it. always has held true. the morning of sept 11 we got a call from my mother in law to turn on the news. and everyone talks about big news, so it'd be hard for me to miss anything. if they mention something that i know nothing about, i ask about it and look it up on the net later when i can. if its something i feel i should know more about.

anyway, with the latest terror threat (that was caught before it could be played out), it just gets me thinking about how scary things are in the world. makes me feel unsafe. like there's no way to be truly safe. i guess there isn't.

i have to say i'm just so fed up with the whole middle east thing...i'm so sick of hearing about how they are always blowing each other up and all that. i just don't get it. i don't get it when people do crazy horrible things here either. i just don't get violence, period.

i don't get how one human being can hurt another, intentionally. i don't get it, and never have. i don't get how people can enjoy watching it (on movies and tv shows) and i don't get how people can reach a point that they can make it ok to hurt and kill innocent people.

i used to have a boyfriend long ago that was proud of his ability to fight. particularly, i think, since he was a wirey skinny guy. i thought back then as i still do now that this is just so friggin stupid! the whole machismo thing just doesn't do a thing for me...actually it pisses me off. one time this boyfriend came home with a beat up face, bandaids covering his lower lip where his tooth had gone through and his eyebrow where he had got hit, i think...and he was smiling in a kind of sheepish way when i saw him the first time and asked "what the HELL happened????" like i should be proud of him or something? he got into a fight because someone else picked a fight with him and he just couldn't let it go. why? why is it that some guys just can't let it drop?? like it diminishes their penis size if they walk away from a fight. how stupid can you get? i was so incredibly disgusted with this attitude and i think it was just one of the many reasons this relationship didn't work out with this person...we were just too different (although he may very well have outgrown that by now...at least i would hope...he was still a teen back then).

but this macho attitude bugs me to no end. i know people like that in my life now and it never fails to irritate me when it comes out. (thank GOD i didn't marry someone like this, though...i couldn't have) its this sort of attitude that glorifies violence (and is just plain stupid) that i think has fueled the horrors in the world. maybe not the reason for it, but it can't help! and it sure keeps the movie industry making billions of dollars on horrific films. i don't get the joy of watching a movie where people are getting maimed and beat up and worse. i just don't get it.

back to the middle east thing...these are scary times with all the terrorist threats and the horrible things that are happening. but at the same time i always try to remember that this isn't something that is about a religion, or a culture, this is about a small group of people that have taken things to the extreme. its really hard though when we're bombarded by the images from the middle east all the time. its hard not to just think middle easterners in general are wacko terrorists. its really really hard. but i do know that this isn't true. i do know that muslims are not violent people. i do know that islam isn't about violence. hell look at all the horrific things christians have done in the name of god! the burnings times where they burnt people at the stake when they thought they were doing evil things (which they weren't), the crusades, and on and on and on...perhaps every religion has their time in the negative limelight where they do bad things. but its important to keep reminding us all that this stuff that's happening now isn't being done on behalf of muslims everywhere. its being done by crazy sickos that don't have their heads on straight and are so blinded by hatred of our culture...perhaps for things they have every right to be pissed off about (i don't know enough about all this to say for sure...but i know that america is not blameless in all this).

so, when garbage circulates the internet that fuels the fires of hatred against islam, and i know that islam is not the reason for these bad things happening...its specific people, not islam...when this crap is being passed around it pissed me off to no end! i recently got such an email that really set me off. i did manage, in my opinion, to word things very carefully in my response...trying not to be too harsh, but at the same time, i just could not let it go. just as i wouldn't let a person get away with telling a racist joke in my presence without expressing my disapproval. i feel it is important to stand up and say when something is wrong. i don't enjoy rocking the boat, but when its important, i'll do what i have to do. its really all i can do.

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