I stopped posting anything on Facebook a very long time ago. No one wanted to hear anything I had to say unless it was positive or I suppose it was ok for it to be negative as long as it was benign and mundane like complaining about my neighbors and the shopping carts collecting in front of their houses. The things I was reaching out and trying to discuss were to real though. And it isn’t even just the harsh realities I wanted to discuss for which earned attacks and I have even been attacked for sharing vegan recipes or photos of my vegan meals because apparently my being vegan is offensive and the way I live my life and even my very existence is inherently judgmental. People blocked me, people unfriended me, people stopped talking to me in real life.I am going to be brutally honest with you and tell you almost no one talks to me in real life and it’s pretty damn lonely. So I stopped posting. I stopped participating in any of it and then I decided that at the end of this month I am going to delete my personal Facebook account because it has only made me hated and miserable.
I thought it was me. I thought if this many people hate me both virtually and in real life then it must be me.
Tonight I have been lying in my bed weeping. My sobs became so loud that I got up and went to another part of the house so I wouldn’t wake anyone and so I could wail openly because I just couldn’t contain it anymore!
I wasn’t sad because no one likes me and I am lonely. I was wracked with grief for the babies being killed in Gaza. I can not get their faces out of my head! I can stop my mind from making imagine feeling their cold, lifeless bodies in my arms. I can feel them. I can hear my own screams in my head as I look at the faces of the fathers carrying the bodies of their babies and children through the streets with their clothes covered in the innocent blood. I can’t look at the dead little baby girl whose hair is still up in a teeny little pony tail in a fluffy hair tie and not see my baby girl. Then there are the ones who are not dead. I won’t say they are alive because there is death in their eyes where there should be nothing but joy and hope and light. Someday if their bodies survive this the blood and debris will be washed away and the cuts and bruises will heal but they will never be alive-not truly.
Because they were born where they were born to whom they were born.
This is the crime they committed. They can’t leave even if they want to. They have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. They have no way to atone for the sin of being born.
This isn’t just Gaza. This is happening all over the world. Babies and children being mutilated and slaughtered on every continent and nation. Slaves are still being bought and sold. Victorian sweatshops are made to look like preschools compared to today’s sweatshops world-wide. People are being viciously killed because they don’t love the right person or worship the right god not only by angry criminals but by criminal governments.
But that is not our problem. That is a different nation inside of different borders. They are different. This isn’t our business.
Until it is. Until our government says those different people inside of their different borders are threatening our liberty. Now it is our business. We don’t ask why but we send our tanks and our bombs and our drones and our husbands and our wives and our children and our friends and our fathers and our mothers to go off and kill the enemy. We don’t know who that enemy is but we know they are different and they were not born inside of our borders and they have a different god and a different language and they dress differently and that is a threat that must be stopped. We don’t ask what is happening there we just pray to our god that our people will be safe and come back inside of our borders quickly.
We don’t want to think about it. We don’t want to think about those “peace keeping” missiles our heroes are shooting. We don’t want to see the faces of the children our bombs are killing. We don’t want to see the bloody bodies of babies wrapped in white cloth lined up on the streets. We don’t want to see the face of collateral damage because it is the face of our babies. If we see it we may see that they aren’t different and that isn’t what we want to see because it isn’t convenient. If we see that the people our bombs are killing are just like us then what would that make our heroes? What would that make our government? What would that make US?
Nevermind that, we have our own problems!
There are corporations fracking underneath our feet and destroying the earth’s crust, poisoning the water, and causing deadly earthquakes and other (un)natural disasters. Our for-profit jails are filled with people whose crime was growing, selling, or even possessing a herb and they are spending more time there than rapists and murderers. Our children are eating dangerous synthetic food-like substances, getting type 2 diabetes, have heart disease, and are getting so morbidly obese that they can not play. Boys are being mutilated. Babies are murdered and it’s a legal and freeing choice but pregnant women are being forced into Cesarian sections by court order to “protect” the unborn baby instead of protecting the mother’s right to choose a natural vaginal birth that she feels will protect them both. Children are being taken from their families and made wards of the state and forced into medical treatment against their parents’ wishes, their doctors’ orders, and their own needs because a judge made the decision. Our soil, our air, our water, and our very DNA are being polluted and destroyed by gigantic corporations with deep ties to our government which sanctions and subsidizes these atrocities that in other countries are illegal.
Oh, but those aren’t the problems I’m supposed to mention. I am supposed to complain about taxes and minimum wage and the Kardashians and grocery prices and road conditions and weather and school lunches and the size and shape of my ass and the status of my latte…priorities.
A friend of mine told me to read the Hunger Games and she wanted me to blog about it when I was done reading the trilogy. I read it but I never blogged about it because it seemed so obvious that I just didn’t know what to say that wasn’t redundant. Then the merchandise started to come out including a Hunger Games themed cosmetics line with a different set of gaudy synthetic colors representing each District replete with all the glitter and artificial golden eyelashes and body jewels anyone could ever need. Next came the Pins on Pinterest about how to get Katniss’s side swept braid and how to throw a Hunger Games Themed party and then even my beloved Sesame Street made a parody with Cookie Monster called the Hungry Games. I guess I was wrong-it wasn’t obvious to everyone so now I will write about it.
This is Panem.
We send our children to fight each other to the death and we call it an honor.
That isn’t all. If that weren’t bad enough is how most of us in the “first world” are even worse: We are the Capitol. We watch the murders in the Arena and we choose our sides and we clamber for more. We don’t question from whom or from where our food, clothes, electricity, fancy gadgets, and our general frivolities come. We spend small fortunes whitening our teeth, coloring our skin and hair, applying artificial fingernails and hair pieces and coating our faces in makeup until we are hardly recognizable as our natural selves. We over indulge on food until we are ill. We send more food to the landfills than is even needed to feed the world because it isn’t pretty enough or because the date on the package says it is no longer suitable regardless of the actual condition of the food whilst others starve. But we are so much more vile and repulsive than the people in the Capitol because we aren’t just the Capital we are also living in the Districts. We know the pain of living in the districts because it is our children who get sent into the arena, it is us who work our fingers to the bone and still can’t get ahead, most of us have known want and hunger and fear and oppression. We have buried our Tributes. We have held the living bodies of our Victors that are now all but dead inside. We drink the poisonous water and breathe the toxic air.
In the trilogy the people in the Capitol had never even been to the Districts but here we are living each day in the Districts putting on airs pretending we live in the Capitol and taking advantage of anyone living in an even poorer, more unfortunate District and we don’t want to hear anything of it or see anything other than the glossy, photoshopped, scripted version what the Capital wants us to see in the mass media.
So I stopped posting on Facebook.
I can fight the Capitol but I can’t fight the Districts.
Now the question is do I remain silent or go back to shouting hoping someone in the Districts will hear me and wake up?