Monday, October 3, 2016

DEBBIE FUCKIN" DOWNER


So, about a year ago, I had started work on the worlds heaviest Pop-Tart holder.
 Zack had gone home for the holidays and I was messin' around at the shop working on a steel rolling bar.
Zack came back, and work pretty much ceased on this piece.
 For a about a year, it was a piece that separated our office from our shop, and with a piece of scrap plywood used as a shelf, it pretty much collected dust and housed the breakfast favorite with absolutely no nutritional value known as...Pop-Tarts.
 A client came in and wanted to purchase said Pop-Tart holder, but wanted to add real shelves and some locking doors.
 By weeks end, what was a big dumb heavy steel box, was transformed into a real piece.
Friday night my brother-in-law was having a gallery opening that was to celebrate 25 years of his hardcore band called Los Crudos and their influence on the Pilsen and Little Village community.
 Me and my son went to the event which was held at a great space in Bridgeport. Zack and his wife were going to come and support and aside from seeing a lot of old friends and hanging out with a bunch of family, it was a great opportunity to just get out of the house for a change.
 Zack had sent me a text to tell me he was almost there, so me and Max had gone outside to wait for them.
There was a slight misting of rain, and there was a group of people hanging out, when an unmarked police car stops at the corner, the officer leans out the window and tells me to take my son inside because someone around the corner had just been shot...in the face.
 As I ushered my son back inside the gallery, he began to shake, and then burst into tears, fearing for his life.
He was convinced that we were going to be shot.
 It didn't take too long to assure him that we were safe, and I wouldn't let anything ever happen to him.
He calmed down and proceeded to play Foosball with his cousins.
 Zack and his wife arrived shortly after and had barley missed being in the middle of the shooting.
What started as a really nice night, ended with my head being all kinds of fucked up.
 Where am I? Where do I live? What fucking world did I end up in?
In Chicago, our murder rate is almost an inside joke.
 We get these ridiculous statistics of shootings reported to us daily with usually grizzly details accompanying those statistics, and we go on with our regularly scheduled lives. It's business as usual here.
Sometimes the bullets are really close...too close.
 What if I showed up later? What if I parked around the corner where the man was shot in the face? What if me and my 6 year old were caught in the middle of cross fire? What if a bullet found it's way into my son.
 Would there be a 5 second news clip of a father clutching a small childs Paul Frank beanie splattered with blood? Would the incident just be another statistic to add to the rising murder number for the weekend?  Would that father be me?
The thought cripples me.
 It's painful to even write about the "what if" that I just described.
What's worse is I have no answers and no solutions to an epidemic.
 People love to chime in with the expected response of "you should move."
It's not that simple, so save your suggestion.
 Something like this can, does, and will happen....anywhere...anytime.
There are professors and think tanks that dissect this social issue, and it's very complicated, and very confusing, and equally frustrating.
 I'm not a professor, nor do I subscribe to any think-tanks, but I have more of a suggestion than a solution.
Please, if you are a parent....and not if you're a black parent, or a white parent, or a Puerto Rican parent, or a right wing parent, or a left wing parent, or a gay parent, a Jew or Muslim or Christian parent....if you are a PARENT, please...can you stop worrying about keeping up with the Jones's, put your fucking phone down, and teach your children the VALUE OF HUMAN LIFE.
 You have your work cut out for you because death and murder and killing is woven into every thread of our existence.
 Movies=murder, video games=murder, the news=murder, music=murder, every religious book=murder, cartoons (old and new)=murder...murder-murder-murdery fucking murder.
 But you're responsibility to not only your children, but humanity as a whole is to teach them that life....life is special.
 Even that asshole that stole your parking space...his life has a value. The person that disagrees with you...their life has value, The person that doesn't share your religious or political beliefs...their life has value.
 You HAVE to teach them to respect life because the deck is stacked against them.
Everyone loves to say "we have to ban guns!!!!!" Listen....people have found very creative ways to kill each other before guns were even invented, so save that circular argument for someone that has nothing better to do than to phonetically spin their wheels.
 Teach your fucking kids....that's the start. It's not the answer, but it's a step in the right direction.
I don't mean to be a Debbie fuckin' Downer, but it seems like we as humans have clearly lost our way and we've lost any sense of tolerance.
 If I shot everyone that ever called me an asshole, or stole my parking space, or fucked my girlfriend, or didn't pay me....There wouldn't be anyone left.

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