The Day the Free Press Died in the US

painted grate

Free press in the United States is officially dead with the sentencing of Bradley Manning.  Obama letting him go to trial makes him complicit in punishing the kid on the playground who told on the bullies and let the bullies remain unpunished.  I have lost all respect for him.  It took a lot for that to happen because Bush was so damn evil in comparison, but this is 100% unacceptable to me.

I am a little emotional already because I tried to make chicken wings for Max today which required buying chicken wings and asking stupid questions of the meat counter guy and feeling like an idiot and then – because the whole thing was so surreal – I let loose some chatter at the checkout counter about how I have no idea what I’m doing cooking chicken wings because I’m a lifelong vegetarian and I could practically hear the checkout guy sigh with resigned irritation and I definitely saw the look on his face “Fat old hag being preciously vegetarian”.

I don’t suppose many people can understand what it means for me to buy some meat and try to cook it up for my son even though I’m completely opposed to eating meat and no matter how much I know it’s natural for most humans to eat it – what with the food chain and us being the animals at the top of it* – I still can’t stomach that people eat other animals when I am forced too close to it.  My acceptance of other people eating meat is a fragile thing.  Most of the time I want all of you to knock it off.

I’m on no high horse though.  I am complicit in the dairy trade which is responsible for the killing of millions of male calves and I wear leather that is their skin.  Some day I am going to have to square myself with this contradiction.  Something tells me it’s got to happen sooner than I’ll be ready.

I cut part of the wing off a bird carcass today.  And I almost retched.  I felt like I was cutting my own hand off my arm.  Chicken flesh is no different than human flesh to me.  It’s flesh flesh flesh flesh.  The feeling of that flesh made my own crawl.  And when the wing tip came off there was blood in the bone.  Like there’s blood in my bones.  Like there’s blood in my child’s bones.  And I looked at all the other wings and I saw beautiful birds that used to live in the wild.  My instinct is to bury the wings in the garden and mark their place with a beautiful forest stone.  I tried to brace myself to disconnect another wing tip but I knew I would throw up if I had to put my blade through that flesh again.  I couldn’t do it.

The only flesh I’ve ever willingly sliced is my own and when I did that it was because I was mentally ill and struggling to stay alive.

I don’t cut flesh.

I will never willingly cut flesh again.

Doesn’t matter if its alive or already dead.

I’m not saying I won’t let my son eat meat – he has his own choices to make and he desperately needs more things in his diet that can nourish him.  If his dietary issues weren’t so extreme I would never try cooking him meat in my house.  My kitchen feels so dirty right now even though Philip was really sweet and tried to get rid of every trace of dead animal.

My job hunt is the most depressing thing ever.

There are glitches with the house situation.  I’m not sure what the outcome will be.

I feel that my issues and challenges are misunderstood by most people I know.  I am feeling vulnerable to the sting of group “wisdom”.

I wouldn’t be so depressed if only I tried harder to elevate my mood and not dwell on the bad things.  My kid will love vegetables if I grow them in the garden.  If I didn’t LET my kid be a picky eater he wouldn’t BE one.  I’m not really mentally ill, I’m just normal with an affectation.  All this talk of having been suicidal as a teen is just melodramatic stuff.  My kid is manipulating me with all his issues – if I didn’t fall for it he’d soon learn to be like everyone else.  If I didn’t prop Max up so much he wouldn’t be weak.  If I exercised regularly the dark voices in my head would turn out to just be undissolved fat.  If I did things differently than I do (fill in the blank with YOUR WAY) then I would see how misguided I am, how much better everything would be.  If only I gave up grains I would discover that I’ve been super allergic to them my whole life.  I can’t know my own tastes until I have discovered YOURS.

So then I hear about the Bradley Manning “trial” and I feel even more sick and dejected because my country is punishing someone who told the truth, a truth that all US citizens had a right to know.  These are the thoughts that came immediately to mind:

Do you all think that when people witness pedophiles committing crimes they should keep silent about it if that person is in some kind of position of power?
Do you think it’s honorable to keep silent when you witness rape or murder? Do you think that kids who tell on bullies should be punished while the bully is not?
What kind of nation are we?
We’re a nation that punishes the kids who tell on bullies.

I haven’t always been this way – I was a bullied and scared person when I was young.  Scared of authority and of angry people and threatening people whether they were family or strangers.  But I’ve changed over time.  I won’t dismiss bullying.  I will encourage people to leave abusive situations and I have offered my apartment up as a safe place.  Many times I’ve asked myself if I could step up to the plate if I was truly called to do so.  I know one thing – people who speak out against crimes and injustice for the sake of our collective safety and freedoms are the people I want to be.  I want to be able to count on myself to always report abuses and stick out my neck when someone needs me to help them even at risk to myself.

That’s the character I model myself after.  My neighbors who grabbed hoses and ran into my burning house to do what they could to help us?  I want to be them.  To have them do that for us made me realize that, against all my fears to the contrary, there are still good people out there.  I want to be good people.

Even though I can’t bear to cut through the flesh of animals.

Lord knows I’m as flawed as people come.

I have also been having some curious revelations lately about myself.  Like – I’m a blunt person like Max is.  I guess I used to know I was blunt but over time I have come to think I’m pretty diplomatic with my truths.  I also can’t tell when people are teasing me about 50% of the time.  It makes me feel socially crippled.  I kind of knew this before but I’m realizing it’s a great source of anxiety for me.  Because when you can’t tell when people are joking you will make a complete fool of yourself all the time taking them up on what they say seriously.

I feel a fool around people most of the time.   Misunderstanding a tease or a comment is a given in any situation that involves me and other people.  But if I misunderstand that – how much more do I misunderstand?  Do I know ANYTHING about human beings?  Do I even know myself?

What if everything I’ve ever believed to be true turns out to be false?

Max’s psychologist has the best boots.  They look like they’re made of wool and they have blue laces.  I wanted to ask him what company made them but I couldn’t bear to be the frumpy fat middle aged woman ogling a pair of boots I would have worn when I was twenty.

I swear to god I’m in tears right now because I cut a chicken’s wings today.

I also might be in tears because Photojojo officially passed me over for employment even though I think they actually took my suggestion for a new editorial direction seriously though I’ll never be able to prove it.

I might be in tears for purely hormonal reasons.  I’m not on the rag or about to be – but I might be experiencing hormonal fluctuations due to perimenopausal progress.  One can hope.

Mostly I think it’s because of the chicken.

And because Obama has officially failed at standing for the same things I do by letting Bradley Manning be tried and sentenced.  This is the kind of pivotal political moment people remember forever – like the day Kennedy was shot.

The day Obama officially condoned secrets, lies, and crushing free press.

My country condones torture, war crimes, and murder.

I don’t.

Bradley Manning is an American Hero.

As long as he’s in jail we are no longer a free nation.

Before I shut down my computer my friend Tarrant posted this on Facebook:

Antoinette Tuff

A woman who talked a would-be-mass-murderer into surrendering.

And here’s more on Antoinette:

The 911 Call

Antoinette gives me hope for all of us.

 

* According to us humans.  A more biased view there is not.

 

2 comments

  1. jen says:

    Talking about heros and hope, I gotta say that to me YOU are a hero and you give me hope… you are strong and wise and beautiful, you’ve got your eyes open, you speak your truth, you’ve got fierce love in your heart. One breath, one step, one day at a time.

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