I find tears leaking onto my cheeks at the smallest provocation. Not just sad and awful things, happy, silly things too, like a stupid story about a granny using please and thank you on Google searches. I was going to write about crazy aunts this week. I saw some research that found that all female CEOS have a ‘crazy aunt’- a female role model who let them believe they could do anything, and I wanted to write about my desire to be that for all the small girls in my life but I’m so wiped out by the events of the last week or so that I can’t find the words.
The straw that broke me was waking up to the news of Jo Cox’s murder the other day. A woman I had never heard of. A Labour MP in Yorkshire, shot and stabbed in the street by a white man shouting “Britain First”. After yet another senseless mass shooting in the States, 50 people killed while out having fun.
Why am I reeling so much emotionally from this incident, just the latest in an endless stream of horrors? Is it because Jo Cox was a woman close to me in age, with similar values? I know Yorkshire, I have family there. Is it because it feels close?
Maybe because between Orlando and this, it feels like the chickens have come home to roost. The phony ‘war on terror’ has finally brought terror to our doorsteps, as so many have predicted for so long, and its come from people who who born amongst us: both Jo Cox’s alleged killer Thomas Mair and Omar Mateen, the Orlando accused, were citizens of their nations by birthright, citizens who’ve been led to believe that violence against people you disagree with is right.
I am so heartsick at the endless vitriol from people who call themselves our leaders but do nothing but preach hate and division. It never stops. They never miss an opportunity to promote hate. Our politicians, our political commentators, the shabby paid mouth-pieces of the Murdoch’s of the world, the self-appointed masters of morality from this religion or that, all of them are complicit. Every time they open their mouths and tell you to be afraid of your fellow man, to fear every difference, every time they tell you it’s right to hate others, they make it more likely this will happen. Even in the wake of this horror, they are still at it, endlessly vomit hating and bile.
What’s the answer? I wish I knew. Shouting at the internet doesn’t work (!). Writing to politicians and newspapers has no effect. I’m volunteering for the Greens, who promote positive policy instead of division, but it seems a feeble contribution. I’m muting the politics on social media to clear some of the sludge from my head, but I know its still out there, infecting the world.
I guess all any of us can do is celebrate the joys we do have, and be grateful for an internet full of kittens and soppy stories to distract us. Here’s a gratuitous picture of animals being friends to cheer you up. Let them show us the way!
Spread some peace and love this weekend, the world needs all it can get.