What’s Bugging Me These Days

Image by Sammy-Sander from Pixabay

Watching television and your phone these days, do you ever get the feeling there’s just too much happening in your mind and your life? There’s the stress at work and school and home and community. Pandemic, arguing about Critical Race Theory, vaccination denial, death threats over masks, we won’t get toys in time for the holidays. There’s the social media hysteria. And the Democrats can’t get their act together. They’re practically handing 2022 and 2024 over to you know who. Don’t forget the new narrative about January 6, 2021. The FBI, BLM, Antifa, and yo momma did it. I have a severe headache.

Months ago began refusing to watch the evening opinion shows on CNN and MSNBC. Not because I was in denial. It was just the constant drone of lousy news hysteria and throwing shade, and it was just the same horrible bullshit night after night. There just didn’t seem to be any good news on the horizon. The bad guys were still the bad guys, and I couldn’t figure out who the good guys were. That was the sad part. Everyone points fingers and scream at each other. They accused each other of the worst things imaginable, and no one wanted to take the blame for anything. It was just easier to blame the other person.

Gas and everything else is going up. The supply lines are threatened. And you just can’t help but feel like nothing is happening and that nothing good will come out of this. Wow, this is a good time as any to take a deep breath and step out of the vortex of negativity, misinformation, and selfishness.

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

That’s a big part of the problem. You see and read more examples every day where people would rather satisfy their little selfish needs than take the time to see how their actions might impact their family or friends, or neighbors. Whether it’s speeding through someone’s neighborhood or refusing violently to wear a mask when asked, or shouting death to your neighbor every time you disagree with each other. Knocking out the teeth of a fellow passenger on an airplane 35-thousand feet in the air just doesn’t seem like a good idea. Arguing with the Uber or Lyft driver while they’re trying to take you to your destination by keeping their eyes on the road instead of your shouting mouth is just not the most brilliant move you can make.

Whatever happened to We’re all in this together? Yeah, I guess that was just a marketing slogan, not a sincere thought. And that’s the problem, isn’t it? We just can’t seem to muster enough empathy, sympathy, heartwarming feelings for our fellow human beings. Half of us are still angry that their guy didn’t win, and the other half is trying to move forward with an eye on our rear to make sure someone doesn’t run up on us and spray bear urine on us. Don’t grin. Some of that second half is spoiling for a fight and just can’t wait for the first half, nominally called Karen and Ken, to bounce out from their camouflaged hideaways and pick-up trucks and whatever hold they think they need to hide in to ambush the second half. Anger and threats fill the air between the first and second half, guns come out, and cheers and threats go up as we sadly watch our Democracy die.

In the meantime, we’re all just trying to survive. Carry on with life as if the past nearly two years didn’t happen. I hate to tell you, but it’s still happening whether you want to believe it or not. Denial, isn’t that a bitch? I just don’t get it. What’s the end game? There’s a whole network (actually more than one) devoted to fanning the flames of denial and hate and ignorance, and I’m trying to figure out what’s in it for them? It would be too easy just to say it’s all about money. And to say it’s just about aiding and abetting the next American revolution to overthrow the Democracy we know for something else like, I don’t know, a Theocracy or a United States of Republicanism or Trumpism. I mean, they do know that more of us voted for the other guy than voted for their guy? But, they have more guns and the deep state of law enforcement and military and ex-law enforcement and ex-military. What do we have? The stereotypical answer would be We have the truth on our side. But, no one cares anymore about facts. All that matters is which conspiracy theory, what crazy ass story, is the worst. How many times can you call something, anything, a False Flag?

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

I wish I could say that it’s only one side screaming crazy. The internet is full of people screaming equally crazy shit about the other side. Say something that breaks some invisible rule or crosses some imaginary red line, and you are fucked for life. All sense of perspective and proportion no longer exists. Everyone has anointed themselves enforcer, judge, and jury. All you need is a social media account, and you are suddenly that enforcer, judge, and jury. Whatever happened to sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Now, it’s we’re going to beat the shit out of you for your words with a stick, stones, more words, lawsuits, harassment, and threats against you, your family, and anyone else we can find. I’m just curious Who died and made you King and Queen?

I get into discussions with my wife and friends who have a more optimistic passion for the future. They believe in hope. In the long run, we all want happiness and a good life and community where we can all live as neighbors in peace. All the noise we hear and see in internet videos is not an accurate picture of this country. They try to convince me that there are more good people than bad people and that it’s all our responsibility to find each other and look out for each other. To celebrate together what we have and what we need. That without each other, we will surrender to all that noise that we just can’t seem to get out of our heads. Come on, Antonio, they say, change the channel and discover the other 500 channels of hope and love.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Okay, I’ll try. Except my channel seems to be stuck, and I have to change the batteries on my remote.

I guess I could just unplug the TV and turn off my phone.

Author: Antonio Pedro Ruiz

Antonio Ruiz is an ex-junkie-alcoholic, former seminarian, one-time radio host-producer, past community organizer, continuing to be a media advocate, retired television reporter, ex-commission executive director, once a street vendor of jewelry and gloves, waitron (waiter to you), a former bartender who drank too much on the job, an ex-motorcycle courier who learned to ride a bike just for the job, ex-airport shuttle driver, former Entertainment news director-producer, the best time of my life, one-time live TV events red carpet producer-executive producer, ex-small business consultant, ex-youth media and journalism mentor, and now a college student who also has been married three times (thirds the charm), and just couldn't help living with two other women because well, that's part of my story.

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