I get very nervous when something bad happens
You probably couldn’t sprint that far without getting winded
|Luke O'Neil||Sep 3, 2019|| 6|
I would really appreciate your support I could definitely use it thank you.
At least twenty five people are dead after a boat fire off the coast of California and at least five people are dead thus far after a hurricane pummeled the Bahamas and seven people are dead and twenty two more are wounded after a shooting in Texas no not that one a new one and you can turn on your tv right now and watch them all being talked about one after the other if you want just flip back and forth from one channel to the other and it’s like a scene in a disaster movie where the person is watching TV in the background to let you know things are going to hell. They flip channel by channel and weirdly even now in movies they still do this as like a stylistic choice they make it so the channel changing has that old percussive chunking sound where you’d hear a bit of static in the spaces in between the channels but TVs don’t do that anymore they don’t make that sound anymore the toggling between the tragedies is a lot more seamless and streamlined now.
I watched a movie yesterday about the end of the world called Starfish and it’s quite visually striking and the lead who is just about the only person in the entire film is very good and it’s definitely taking a big swing but I don’t think I liked it after all it dragged on a bit and it was confusing at times and I didn’t always understand why the characters behaved like they did and the motivations of the monsters weren’t clear but I guess all of that also applies to real life.
The woman is paralyzed by immense grief to be fair and I understand how that can make a person behave oddly.
It’s also really heavily stylized like if a person on Instagram who uses the word aesthetic a lot did all of the set design. There are a lot of old tape recorders and other retro affectations like that even though it’s set in modern day (I think) and it also reminded me that tape recorders used to make a real satisfying chunking sound too but nothing makes that sound anymore when we listen to music it’s a lot more seamless and streamlined now.
It’s usually just the sound of a finger pressing against a piece of glass.
I just looked up at the TV and I saw a headline that said teen confesses to killing five family members and they only talked about it for about 20 seconds so I missed what that was all about or where it happened maybe I’ll find out later or maybe it won’t even be a big deal in the news.
I saw a story where some students and teachers at a school in Colorado were being instructed on what to do in the case of a shooter showing up to kill them and they had a simulated shooter and the teachers had to rush him for practice then the little kids were supposed to jump in and help hold him down.
“No one wants to be a victim anymore, so again, leaving people in the dark not allowing them to be aggressive or pick the appropriate response is the new trend,” Joe Deedon owner of Tac*One the company running the drill told ABC 7 Denver.
“I think it's good but also sad that we have to learn this just because of society and how crazy it is,” 7th grader Luis Marquez said.
He admitted that while the training was useful he didn’t think he’d actually be able to do it when the time came.
“No, I get very nervous when something bad happens,” he said.
A seventh grader is around thirteen or fourteen which is the age the boy who killed his whole family is I just heard so now I’m not sure if I’m supposed to be scared for kids or scared of them.
At one point in the movie Starfish the protagonist says “I wonder if the world still exists if I choose to ignore it” and then she takes a nap while the world is ending outside around her.
I watched an ant trekking across my porch up and over the contours of the warped boards and nails and the scars where the gray paint has chipped away the height of which must seem like a staircase to the ant and sometimes when I see a solitary scout sniffing around like that I’ll hold my burning cigarette in front of its path not to kill it or hurt it or anything but rather to give it the impression the place it’s trying to go is on fire and to take that information back to its friends so they know not to come here anymore.
I went to the “Straight Pride” parade in Boston on Saturday and it’s hard to put into words the sickening feeling the entire ordeal put into the pit of my stomach. I went on my pal Jared Holt’s podcast yesterday to try to explain if you’d like to listen to that you can do so here.
It’s one thing to be aware of the general concepts of a given political situation at work and to see them on your TV or in your timeline but it’s another one for the parties involved to be close enough that you can smell them.
The turnout for the bad guys side wasn’t that impressive there were about two hundred or so MAGA guys I would estimate. There were around two thousand or more counter-protestors and seeing them all together yelling and pushing back against the parade gave me the exact opposite feeling that seeing the grinning nazis did it filled me with an immense sense of solidarity and pride.
More striking than either of those groups was the sheer number of cops on hand at least five hundred if not one thousand from all over Massachusetts.
I saw a few skirmishes that were quickly snuffed out and for the most part no one from either the Trump cult side or the good guys side seemed interested in starting any violence the only people I could see who wanted that sort of action were the cops.
These threads on Twitter do a good job of collecting much of what happened so read them if you’re interested.
molly 🐶@socialistdogmom@two_knocks @quatoria are you telling me that even with one trillion cops from every jurisdiction in the state out there that day, THE SAME COP PEPPER SPRAYED ME TWO TIMES HOURS AND BLOCKS APART? what the hell is his problem.
I could probably be convinced pretty easily that it is necessary but I’m not sure at the moment if it’s a good idea for us to show up at these things in such numbers any more. I certainly understand the need to demonstrate that these marches aren’t wanted or welcome in our cities and also the value of standing together to intimidate them from wanting to come back again but at the same time what these marches amount to now is the right using the police as a tool against us.
The MAGA choads know that police sympathies align more closely with theirs and that they have been successfully sold the myth of the violent Antifa or whatever so they calculate that simply by showing up to a parade or rally that it will draw large numbers of both out. It’s basically scheduling a fight between the police and the left and it keeps working over and over again and compounding the problem and every pointless illegal arrest or instance of police violence will then be used against the left the next time as evidence of their invented criminality and their justly deserved punishment.
And then you get articles from the fascist sympathizing media that amount to propaganda for the police and the right like this one from the Boston Herald.
The Boston Police Patrolmen’s Union chief Michael Leary said “We’re made up of laws, and people have to follow them. If you can do anything with impunity, that’s when things start to slide downhill and we end up in a bad place” and he’s definitely right about that just not in the direction he is suggesting.
The police also said protestors were throwing “so-called milkshakes at them — liquid concoctions that sometimes include chemicals…” and that is how a lie from one city’s protest repeated enough times on the news becomes a lie believable enough to use again for police in another city to justify their own unchecked violence.
Ok the details of the shooting in Alabama found their way to me. No not the one at the high school football game where ten people were injured the other day this is a different one. In this one which apparently happened last night a fourteen year old has shot five members of his family to death.
It’s disorienting bouncing back and forth between news of the various shootings and the hurricane right now. Bullets are weather.
We measure the damage of storms in feet like the water is going to rise five feet and we measure shootings by the number of bodies but I wonder if it would do anything if we measured shootings in feet too. If you gathered up all the spent bullet casings at a specific shooting how deep would it be? If you lined up the bodies head to toe like you were laying railroad tracks how far would they reach?
Ok let’s do some fun math. The average adult in America is about sixty six inches tall. Around 36,600 people die from gun violence a year here.
66 inches per body
That’s roughly forty miles of bodies if I didn’t fuck up the math. Does that seem like a lot or a little to you because I guess I was thinking it would be more but then again I’ve never thought about it in these terms before so I have no frame of reference.
Forty miles is a little more than the distance from where I grew up in Kingston, MA to Boston and when I think of it in those terms it starts to become easier for me to grasp. It would take you about an hour to drive from the beginning of the bodies to the end depending on traffic I guess. The average person would have a very hard time walking that far in one go you’d have to take a lot of rests along the way and stay hydrated. Your kids would get bored on the trip in the back of the car and you’d have to turn around and be like alright you two that’s enough.
And that’s before we even add in the 100,000 merely injured by guns per year.
Hmm think of it this way maybe instead. One hundred people die from gun violence a day which is 6,600 inches which is 550 feet which is almost two football fields of bodies lined up head to toe every day. You probably couldn’t sprint that far without getting winded.
I guess the books are arriving.
Boston Magazine was nice enough to interview me about the book and you should read it here if you want but here’s a few parts of it:
It seems like you’re internalizing all of this constantly. Is it exhausting?
I 100 percent need to step away sometimes from reading the news or reporting on some of these stories because, you know, my own mental health is is pretty fucking tenuous as it is before we even get to any of this other stuff.
At the same time, I want to be clear that compared to a lot of these people that I’m talking to or writing about, I still lead a pretty fucking charmed life, you know? No one I know or in my family has been murdered in one of our regular gun massacres, and the police aren’t as of yet ruining my life. So while I do, for sure, take this all internally, very much so I still do it with the recognition that I’m pretty fucking lucky all things considered.
I guess I do worry about you a little bit. What’s your message for people who read your work and are like, Is he alright?
I do get that a good amount, and I don’t know if I am or not, to be honest. One of my best friends asked me that once, like, “Are things for you really as bad as you say sometimes?” And I don’t know. It’s something I talk about with my therapist a lot. I’m not in imminent danger of hurting myself or anything. But thank you for your concern.
In a way, it’s very therapeutic. It makes me feel better. I’ve been a musician for much of my life and I would always write pretty harrowingly sad songs. I guess that’s always just been a way I process things. I am the guy who runs Emo Night Boston [a monthly party at the Sinclair that features emo music]. So it’s always been in my nature to be drawn to things that are depressing and sad in a way, and not to wallow in them in the case of Hell World, but to keep these things in the forefront of people’s minds. I don’t think it probably has any real effect on the real world and isn’t solving any problems. But I certainly think it’s good to help people keep perspective on exactly what kind of country we live in.
The infamous Fox News piece connected a lot of people who’d had experiences losing family members to the channel’s programming. I’m guessing that helped them in some way.
People write to me all all the time saying, like, “Reading this makes me feel better.” “It feels like I’m not alone” and shit. That’s about as good a thing as you can hear if you’re a writer in my opinion. And I don’t know, maybe there should be a next step where we can turn it into sort of concrete and beneficial action. I just haven’t really figured out what that is yet.
The Boston Globe, famously, fired you after the backlash to your column about wanting to piss in Bill Kristol’s salmon. Have you moved on from that ordeal yet, do you think?
I don’t really care about it anymore. I never wanted to really do the column in the first place. I pretty much knew going into it that I was gonna get fired, but I figured it was gonna be for something I tweeted, not something that I actually wrote in their paper. I wrote about that in Hell World once. Like, go read my Globe column while it’s still there, because they’re going to 100 percent fire me.
But I don’t really care. Part of the thing about doing this newsletter and trying to make a living off of it is that I’m so sick of having to deal with that sort of shit from institutional places that don’t understand the enormity of the moment we’re in, and still don’t understand the people that they’re up against. Right now as we’re speaking, a bunch of New York Times and Washington Post reporters are sharing this story that Beto O’Rourke kicked out this Breitbart guy from one of his rallies. And they’re all like, ‘You can’t do this! This is bad!’ And it was like, I cannot believe that these people we’re supposed to trust to explain the world to us are falling for this shit. It’s like they’re refs in a WWE match and one side has a folding steel chair and they’re hitting the other guy over the head with it. And the ref is like looking the other way and has absolutely no control of what’s going on. It just really bums me out.
ok bye for now