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Friday, August 05, 2005


The Journal North's paper edition reads "Guilty Pleas in Beating of Gay." Online it says Guilty Pleas in Beating of Gay Man, which is better, not particularly creative, but better than just "Gay." Was that an error? It's kind of crazy. Well, I'm glad at least someone is pleading guilty, and also glad that the man who drove drunk and killed the bicyclist plans to plead guilty. This morning, Eric and I spent a lot of time talking about how to keep drunk drivers off the street, reporting people via The Patriot Act. The city spies on people throwing their trash away. Cameras in convenience stores etc. etc. The common thread through all this, I think, is personal responsibility. It's as though, as a society, we've given up on people taking responsibility for their actions of their own accord, we've given up on the thought that people are just going to follow the law, or do what's right, and instead we've decided to police them, and people are so tired of worrying about what other people might or might not do, that they're willing to allow the policing. It's like putting cameras in a bathroom to make sure people are washing their hands. You only need Big Brother, or are willing to have Big Brother, when you've agreed to be infantalized. Look how often people accused of crimes try to get out of it. The truth is, Tim Solano and David Trinidad could just as easily have tried to fight their convictions—God knows other drunk drivers and attackers have. Fight them on technicalities or what have you. It doesn't change what they did, but at least they're admitting it. It's not much consolation to those who have and will suffer for what they did.
OK, I'm going to fall off my high horse now and go back to work. As you can tell, I'm in a swell mood. The truth is, some days it seems to me we are living in times when everyone is angry, with their back up, unreasonable and, often, not very kind. The government just gets worse and worse. You look around at countries where people have nothing and where people die on the streets every five seconds and it seems incomprehensible on the one hand and completely imaginable on the other. How long would it take us, once our food and electricity was gone, to start pillaging? To turn our backs on one another? Or am I being unduly cynical? Or is my cynicism long overdue? Maybe the question isn't, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it does it make a sound?" but, "Does anyone care if it falls?"
No more coffee for me today. Maybe I should go eat something. My blood sugar level has plummeted as has my mood.