Friday, June 5, 2020

A law-'n'-order guy who stands/sits with protesters

I was staring out the window as the nurse announced my blood pressure result like she was announcing I’d just won a new car.

“You’re 98/68!” she said. “That’s great. Many men your age are 140/115.”

This low BP will contribute to my theory that I’m more Muppet than man. The similarities are striking. Muppets have no discernible heartbeat or obvious means of support and Muppets continue to root cheerfully for nonsensical lost causes like Bob Nutting’s Pittsburgh Pirates

She was curious: What did I do for a living?

Still staring out the window, I told her I stared out the window.

And it’s true. I used to tell people I was a news reporter, which was my title when in fact what I did was talked to people and typed what they had to say. Back then when anyone asked  what I did for a living I told them I talked and typed.

Now that I’m what people consider a writer, there’s very little talking involved (and not much typing), but many hours are spent staring straight out of the window.

It’s a very peaceful job, but the pay is low and often sketchy, but I must be competent at the task. No one’s come and told me they found a better starer.

Job security contributes to my low blood pressure. But some days I wish I could look away. Like this week I saw clear to Minneapolis. What I saw made me sick.

Who knew slowly killing a handcuffed man in front of a crowd of camera-wielding hostiles could be done with such nonchalance, such aloof. I’m more dramatic when I squash a mosquito. 

Once again, I’m struck by the contentious divide, which is better than being struck by a riot baton.

For a subject that is described by the word “race,” progress seems to be at a standstill. Some race.

I’m most confounded, as usual, conservative whites who become livid when wished Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas think liberal blacks over-reacting about unarmed blacks getting murdered by conservative whites.

See, I’m a law-and-order guy: Not until all the laws are equitably applied to all the people can true order ever be enforced or expected.

That makes me a law-and-order guy who stands with the protesters. Or more precisely, one who sits staring out the window and with encouraging solidarity cheers them on.

I believe meaningful change can, should and will occur. I believe this in spite of the fact that in 400 years it has mostly not.

But what do I know?

I’m just a guy with a Muppet-level blood pressure who in spite of all he sees out the window believes the impossible is still possible.

I guess my mind must be Muppet too.

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