That’s what I keep saying about the days we’re living in.
Hola. Even though mi amigo/my friend understands that we’re now in the Century of Insanity, he is still blown away each day by insane news stories and something loco that happens when he’s on the streets of San Francisco. One example, he came within a foot of being hit by a car while on his bike the other morning because the driver was speeding and staring at his phone while driving. Multiple people including another cyclist and a pedestrian behind mi amigo were witnesses to this and started screaming at this insane driver. Mi amigo said when the driver finally came to a stop right next to him that the driver looked up from his phone with this, “What’s wrong” look on his face. Insanity. Nearly being hit by a vehicle would obviously give me a major emotional jolt, but other than immediate and imminent danger, I’m rarely phased by anything. But that’s because he and I come from two very different backgrounds. My background includes working a number of years in a mental health organisation and talking with distressed people on a regular basis as a trained counselor. When I left that organisation after a number of years working there and burned out, I said: “I’ve seen and heard it all! Nothing phases me now.” Other people who worked there said the same thing upon leaving. I suspect most psychologists and psychiatrists say the same from their experiences. Mi amigo does not have that background. What does phase me or surprise me are the little things when they go how I think they should go, which is not often, instead of how I’m expecting them to go. But other than that, constantly-awful news events and insane comments made by the orange despot, talking heads and others wash right over me.
I expect idiots to be all around me and often they are. I don’t mind that mi amigo tells me the things that he’s amazed by or finds unbelievable (“that’s amazing” and “that’s unbelievable” are what he says frequently, probably as a way of venting), but I don’t feel the same way. My response is usually silence or a spoken or unspoken: Well that’s expected, and that’s because we’re in the Century of Insanity, where one should expect the worst. And usually that’s what we see.
When we first met, mi amigo said that his military service allowed him to “see it all” which I questioned. Well it did to a certain degree, but now he doesn’t say that because even though at the time he thought he was “seeing it all” it was a very limited experience compared to my mental health work and what that entailed. I had considered training as a PhD-level psychologist — this was awhile after I graduated from the Conservatory of Music where I trained and it was suggested to me that I could work as a music therapist — but, after my work with that mental health organisation where I left burned out, I realised that I would only be helping a very small fraction of the public in the big scheme of things. I came to realise I wouldn’t be “changing the world” because the majority of people would remain in need of therapy that they’ll likely never get. So, the majority of society would remain as they are: Fucked-up, dysfunctional, septic, and so forth.
Sometime ago, mi amigo was riding his bike and he stopped at a public bathroom where he saw a homeless person digging a hole into his leg about the size of a baseball. When mi amigo left the bathroom, he looked back to make sure he had seen what he saw. He said it was too gross to even imagine. When mi amigo told me about that, I didn’t think much of it — no, I wasn’t phased — because of my experience and that one can see the most horrid, horrible and disgusting situations and scenes in our society. Also, I’ve lived in San Francisco much longer than he has, and I lived in the nation’s capital, the District of Columbia, before moving here. Living in major US cities most of my life combined with my work at that mental health organisation has caused me to say, “I’ve seen it all. Nothing phases me.” After he saw that homeless guy, he realised he had not “seen it all.” When he and I met, I think this used to frustrate him about me in that my reaction was not the same as his. Well, if anyone has had any experience with a psychologist or another type of mental health worker, one knows that s/he doesn’t respond to what their client says with gasps, bugged-out eyes or a hand-over-mouth reaction, or gaping mouth or screams or shouts or any of that. The psychologist and or mental health worker sits there calmly and listens and processes what s/he has heard and responds accordingly in a rational and reasonable manner. That’s pretty much how I react to things instinctively. I guess one could say that “my shrinks cap is always on” but it’s on by default and from experience, not because I consciously think to keep it on.
Someone might ask me: You’re not surprised by the daily goings-on in DC? Surprised? What’s there to be surprised about? There’s a reason that sometimes the District of Columbia is called the District of Corruption, although it wasn’t called that when I lived in the District that I recall. Someone might ask: But aren’t you surprised when the despotic regime in the US sends armed active-duty US troops to the border between the US and México a week before the midterm s-elections to exploit the immigration issue and to confront a Latino caravan from Honduras? No, not surprised. What’s there to be surprised about? This despotic regime constantly plays the divisive Hate and Fear CardsTM for feeding/playing his gullible, stupid-is-in, proudly-ignorant base. And through all this along with all the hate and lies spewed at his campaign rallies, where are the “Democrats?” Silent. Not even a whisper from them. Silence = complicity. They’re absolutely useless. They don’t deserve to be rewarded with anything in the midterm s-election. And by the way, the Honduran caravan is an annual occurrence and usually just a small number of the group make it all the way to the border between the US and México. If they do arrive at the border, they’re not expected to arrive for another two weeks or so after the US midterm s-elections. But Hate and ignorance override logic and reason. And from what I’m seeing, hate is winning all over the world (most recently in Brazil with the s-election of their far-right fascistic presidente). So to those who say, “Love Always Wins,” one might want to rethink that since it’s not accurate. Oh it’s a nice slogan and more appropriate for a syrupy “greeting card” than anything else but it’s not remotely accurate here in the Century of Insanity.
As I’ve written many times before, politically I expect the worse and when one comes from that perspective, there’s nothing that can happen that will surprise me, no matter how insane it is. And as I have also said before, it was all over for this country (the shithole US) back in 2000 following that stolen election, so I live under no illusion that anything is about to improve here — one is not going to vote themselves out of this disaster — until there’s maybe a revolution. A revolution in the shithole US? Laughable. This is not the EU (that stands for the European Union for any stupid people who happen to show up here). Over half of the US population is obese and wouldn’t be able to “march” the length of their oversized vehicle in a revolution. It’s true we’re in the midst of a civil war of sorts — led and encouraged by the orange despot as he promotes hate, divisiveness, he bullies people and other nations and I could go on — and the dysfunctional basura who are attracted to him also love violence, and things are getting worse by the day. But the masses are glued to their phones not paying any attention to this stuff and what matters, so the civil war will be happening around them most likely, while they ask for a cigarette and beer and then ask: “What are the fire crackers all about that I’m hearing?”
Some phone-addicted Millennials nearly walked into me last night glued to their phones in the Castro/Upper Market area — now known as the Breeder Mecca — which is now a high-crime area (this was not the case when this area was a Gay Mecca), and the crime rate is now soaring since breeders are in the majority. But observing these phone-zombie Millennials one gets the strong impression that San Francisco is now a crime-free City where muggings and rape do not occur especially at night. Millennials walk the streets of San Francisco with phone in face as if they think they’re in the comfort of their living room, as if they think that phone will protect them at all times, rather than being mugged because they are oblivious to their surroundings at night in a major city. Insanity.
Mi amigo said he was in the forest the other day and rather than looking at the forest and its beautiful, a female was quickly
walking stomping through but oblivious to the forest and her surroundings and entranced by her phone. Doesn’t surprise me in the least. Her phone may be the only friend she has in the world here in the Century of Insanity. Chau.—el barrio rosa